"I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith: Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing." 2 Timothy 4: 7-8
Mr. Willie Daniel Norris, age 54, of Smyrna, Delaware, passed away on Monday, October 22, 2018, at the Seasons Hospice and Palliative Care in Newark, Delaware, following a brief illness.
Chief Norris was a graduate of Washington County High School in Sandersville, Georgia. He began his Naval career in January 1984, attending Basic Training and MS “A” School at RTC/NTC San Diego, California. Upon completion of “A” school, he received orders to Attack Squadron 176, homeported at NAS Oceana, where he completed deployments on board the USS Independence CV-62 and the USS Forrestal CV 59. He was also advanced to Petty Officer Second Class.
From 1988 to 1991, he was assigned to Naval Hospital Portsmouth, Virginia, where he was deployed to Saudi Arabia with the First Marine Infantry Forces during Desert Shield and Desert Storm.
In 1991, he transferred to Naval Support Facility Antigua, W.I. Upon completion of a successful tour of duty and being advanced to Petty Officer First Class, he was transferred in 1994 to PCU Firebolt PC-10. There he commissioned the ship, made its maiden voyage, and qualified Surface Enlisted Warfare Specialist.
From 1997 to 1999, he was assigned to Naval Station Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. There he attained his Associate Degree. He then received orders in 1999 to the USS Vinceness CG- 49 homeported in Yokuska, Japan. There he made several cruises, was selected as Sailor of the Year and advanced to Chief Petty Officer. In 2001, he received orders to Surface Combat Systems Center, Wallops Island, Virginia, where he completed a successful tour. In 2004 he reported to the USS Bataan LHD-5. Chief Norris’s awards include 2 Navy Commendation Medals, 6 Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medals, Combat Action Ribbon, and 2 Sailor of the Year Citations. He was a graduate of City College of Chicago (A.A.S.) and Troy State University (B.S.).
In addition to his loving wife of 29 years, Mrs. Arletha (Cole) Norris, Willie is survived by his children, Dionna Arlexes Norris and Daniel Akeem Norris; his sisters, Mrs. JoAnn Norris Poole of Sandersville, GA, Betty (Charles) Mitchell, Ms. Martha Norris, all of Louisville, GA, and Mrs. Ella Frances (Charles) Ellison of Tennille, GA; sisters-in-law, Dorothy McCray of Glendora, MS, Hereen Robinson (Daffy) of Saginaw, MI, Mary Kincaid (Roger) of Holcomb, MS, Lana Cole of Helotes, TX, Roshella Cole of Glendora, MS, and Marcieta Hayes of Tutwiler, MS, brothers-in-law, Kelly Cole of Chicago, IL, Kenneth Cole of Midland, TX, and Jerome Cole (Katherine) of Chicago, IL; mother- in-law, Mrs. Cora M. Cole of Glendora, MS; uncle, Charles Daniel of NY; aunt, Louise Daniel of Avera, GA; and his many nieces and nephews. He was predeceased by his siblings, Willie Bailey, Willie Lee Brinson, Willie Pearl Ward, Willie B. Norris, and Betty Joe Davis.