Bro. Sam J. Norton Jr., 89, passed away Feb. 18, 2009, in Ennis. He was born in Rusk, Texas, on Dec. 4, 1919. He was raised in Frankston. His parents were Sammy Norton Sr. and Lucy Bell Norton.

On July 22, 1939, he married Estell Branam and they made their home in Rankin, Texas, but moved several times thereafter: to Bardwell in 1946, Ennis in 1947, Lancaster in 1955, Lake Palestine in 1982 and back to Bardwell in 1993. Bro. Norton worked as a service technician for Lone Star Gas for 35 years. He retired in 1982. He started his ministry in 1951 and served many congregations for 58 years including as recently as last Sunday at Bardwell Church of Christ. He will be truly missed by his family and those who knew him.

Bro. Norton is survived by his wife, Estell Norton of Bardwell; three sons, Don and his wife Edie Norton of Grapevine, Texas, Jerry and his wife Deborah Norton of Pittsburg, Texas, and Randy and his wife Toni Norton of Lexington, Texas; daughter, Jan and her husband Brent Marshall of Waxahachie; 11 grandchildren; and 15 great-grandchildren.

Bro. Norton was preceded in death by one son, Sammy Norton, in 1958; 11 sisters; and one brother.

Services will be held at 2 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 21, 2009, in Keever Chapel. Earl Stanford and Kenneth Farmer will officiate. Visitation will be from 6-8 p.m. Friday, Feb. 20, 2009, in Keever Chapel.

Pallbearers are Nathan, Jeremy, Jason and Jerrod Norton; Brian and Jeff Marshall; Heath Norton and Scott McCutcheon. Honorary pallbearers are Tamera McCasland; Cortni Norton and Carrie McCutcheon. Interment will be in Elm Branch Cemetery in Bardwell, Texas, under the direction of J.E. Keever Mortuary Inc. in Ennis.