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Posted By Whitney & Murphy On December 17, 2021 @ 11:04 am In Obituary | 6 Comments

Doris Norton

Our beloved Doris Norton passed away December 16, 2021 at her home in Paradise Valley, AZ surrounded by her loving family. She was born September 9, 1927 in Sioux Falls, SD to Anna Lydia Hartig and Gustav Reinholt Schaefer. Following her high school graduation, the family moved to Phoenix, AZ, which she referred to as the beginning of her life.
Doris attended the University of Arizona, pledged Kappa Gamma, was crowned the U of A Citrus Queen and while on a date with one fellow met her future husband, John R. Norton. They married in 1950. After John’s service to our country in 1955, they settled in Blythe, CA, to raise crops and a family adding sons: Michael, John and daughter Melanie prior returning to Phoenix in 1972.
In 1985 after serving on President-Elect Ronald Reagan’s transition team, John was appointed Deputy Secretary of the United States Department of Agriculture and they were off to Washington DC. Doris supported John and worked in the White House assisting FLOTUS, Nancy Reagan.
Together Doris and John were fortunate to travel the world visiting over 70 countries in every continent all while giving back to their community.
Subsequent to the many gifts made by John & Doris together, Doris’ gifts to St. Joseph’s Foundation, Phoenix Children’s Hospital, Creighton University and the Arizona Humane Society were a very special part of her life after John’s passing in 2016. The many other gifts include: John and Doris Norton Healing Garden at St. Joseph’s Hospital, the John and Doris Norton School of Family and Consumer Sciences, the University of Arizona, endowment of the Norton Gallery at the Phoenix Art Museum, and in 2014 their transformational gift to St. Joseph’s Foundation establishing the John and Doris Norton Cardiothoracic and Transplantation Institute. Doris served as Co-chair for Campaign Cornerstones, U of A, and was a life member of the Women’s Board of Barrow Neurological Foundation.
With the founding of the Norton Foundation, supporting charitable, educational and scientific purposes, Doris and John have left a legacy benefiting the community they loved.
She is survived by daughter Melanie Norton; sons, John Norton (wife, Lillian) Michael Norton (wife, Kathleen); granddaughters Allison Rolfes (husband, Timothy) and Melissa Norton; great grandson William John Rolfes and her devoted caregivers.

A Visitation will be held at Whitney & Murphy Funeral Home, 4800 E. Indian School Road, Phoenix on Wednesday, December 22, 2021 from 5:00-7:00PM.
Doris will be laid to rest next to John in a private family committal at Paradise Memorial Gardens in Scottsdale.
Memorial contributions in her memory may be made to: St. Josephs Foundation (designation Norton Thoracic Institute), 124 W. Thomas Road, Suite 250, Phoenix, AZ 85013 or Phoenix Children’s Hospital Foundation, 2929 E. Camelback Rd., Suite 122, Phoenix, AZ 85016. Condolences may be expressed at www.whitneymurphyfuneralhome.com.

“ If happy little bluebirds fly above the rainbow, why then, oh why can’t I”

Condolences for the family of “NORTON, DORIS”

Condolence from Jose Luis Ruelas on December 17th, 2021 1:06 pm

Our condolences to the Norton family. May her children , grandchildren and family find peace in their hearts knowing she is now in the company of our savior Jesus Christ.

The Ruelas Family
Salinas , CA

Condolence from Sister Margaret McBride on December 17th, 2021 1:21 pm

To the Norton Family,
Thank you for sharing Doris with so many of us at St. Joseph’s Hospital and Medical Center. Both John and Doris’ generosity have done so much for the hospital. Wishing the family members peace during this time of loss. Her smile and beautiful continence will be missed by all.

Condolence from Valarie Kahoun on December 18th, 2021 3:44 pm

To the Norton family,

Doris’s love and light will be with you always.
We are keeping you in our thoughts and prayers.

Love Valarie & Ken Kahoun and family

Condolence from Posey Nash on December 18th, 2021 5:09 pm

My beautiful Doris Mae, thank you for my name! Your God daughter. Posey Lynn
I hope you and John are up there with my folks and the many others who are still loved and always missed, as I miss you.

Condolence from norm brown on December 20th, 2021 3:00 pm

My condolences to the entire family; I saw Doris regularly every year and she was a sweeetheart, one of the most kind, beneloment women I’ve ever known. I also knew Johnny as a kid and he helped some of the Brown boys by letting them work at the packing sheds back in the forties for what was then outrageously good pay! They were both giving to the community in so many ways, really among the city’s finest citizens. She will be greatly missed by so many. A very long and so well lived. Norm Brown M.D. (ret)

Condolence from Jean Feuer on December 22nd, 2021 11:02 pm

I met Doris through my friendship with Mickey Rufenacht (my high school friend and designer). We all served on The Friends of Arizona Cancer Center board together. Doris was quietly elegant, friendly and kind. She had a beautiful presence and will be sorely missed by many. I had not seen her in a few years but I will never forget the wonderful person she was.

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