Joan E. Norton

Posted 9/28/20

EARLVILLE - Joan E. Norton, 87, of Sugar Grove, formerly of Earlville, passed away Sept. 26, 2020 at home in Sugar Grove.

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Joan E. Norton


EARLVILLE - Joan E. Norton, 87, of Sugar Grove, formerly of Earlville, passed away Sept. 26, 2020 at home in Sugar Grove.

Visitation will take place on Saturday, Oct. 3 at St. Theresa Catholic Church in Earlville from 9-11 a.m. with a Rosary at 10:30 a.m. and two musical selections offered in tribute by her grandchildren. The Funeral Mass will begin at 11 a.m. with Rev. Jean Tayoro officiating followed by burial at St. Theresa Catholic Cemetery in Earlville. Protective masks are required in the church building and seating for Mass will be limited to maintain safe distancing. Hanley-Turner-Eighner Funeral Home, Earlville handled the arrangements.

Joan was born Nov. 10, 1932 in Utica to Thomas and Elizabeth (Donahue) Harmon. She married John E. “Jack” Norton on June 20, 1953 in Earlville at St. Theresa Catholic Church, where she was an active parishioner since childhood. He preceded her in death.

Survivors include one brother, Thomas Harmon of Clearlake, Calif.; six children, Thomas (Susan) Norton of Carol Stream, Julia Norton of Mesa, Ariz., Mary Beth Norton of Milwaukee, Wis., Jane (Febronio) Norton of Chicago, Margaret (Duane) Norton-Rosko of Sugar Grove and Joseph (Nikole) Norton of Chicago; 18 grandchildren; two step-grandchildren; and seven great-grandchildren.

She was preceded in death by her parents; her husband; one daughter, Mary; two sisters, Donna Schrecengost and Marilyn Payne; and one brother, Robert Harmon.

Joan grew up and spent most of her life in Earlville. As a member of Earlville High School’s graduating class of 1950, she was a straight-A student in every year of school. However, college was not within her family’s reach, so she continued as a member of the local workforce. Beginning at age 13 as a pinsetter at Earlville’s bowling alley, she worked the rest of her life until retirement, including both part- and full-time work as she raised her family. Among her employers were the Earlville Leader Newspaper, where she began dating future husband Jack, Babcock Insurance Agency, R & H Supermarket, One Stop Foods (later Red Fox Supermarket), and she retired from Pioneer State Bank (aka National Bank of Earlville). Her life revolved around her faith, her marriage, her children, her extended family and her work, and later in life, her grandchildren, traveling the Midwest to support them in their academic, musical and athletic endeavors. She especially loved the trips she took around the U.S. with her children and grandchildren and as the guest of her brother, Bob on trips to New York, Ireland and Rome. Known by all as an exceptionally kind, giving and loving person, she will be missed dearly by her family and friends. May she rest in peace.

In lieu of flowers, kindly consider a gift in her memory to the Earlville Library District, the Earlville Community Historical Society, Earlville High School, or to the Alzheimer’s Association. For more information or to sign the online guest book, please go to