Dr. Joseph Andrew Norton

Obituary Notice

Joseph Andrew Norton, M.D., F.A.C.R, 85, of Little Rock, died Wednesday, December 22, 2004, at Presbyterian Village. He was born May 6, 1919, in Pine Bluff to the late Joel Little and Lucile Estelle Woodry Norton. He was preceded in death by two sisters, Carrie Mae Strauss McClaugherty and Lucille Goodman and by his wife, Mary Bobera Pace, whom he married on December 22, 1940. Dr. Norton died on their 64th wedding anniversary.

Dr. Norton attended public school in Pine Bluff, Arkansas A & M College in Monticello, and received his BSM and M.D. from the University of Arkansas School of Medicine in Little Rock. Following service as a Major in the US Army Medical Corp, he completed his residency in radiology at Washington University Hospital in St. Louis, Missouri.

He was in private practice for 35 years at Radiology Associates, P.A., in Little Rock, and was on staff at many area hospitals. After retirement, he taught at the University of Arkansas Medical Center and Penn State University Medical Center in Hershey, Pennsylvania.

Dr. Norton was involved in many professional organizations but most enjoyed serving his community. Some of his community service included: President Arkansas State Medical Society, President Pulaski County Medical Society, Director & Vice President, Little Rock Chamber of Commerce; Director & President, Rotary Club of Downtown Little Rock; District Governor, Rotary Club; Director, Better Business Bureau, Little Rock; Chairman, Professional Division, United Fund, Little Rock; Director, Arts Council, Little Rock; President, Little Rock Philharmonic; Director, Arkansas Choral Society; Director, Wildwood Opera; Member, YMCA Century Club; Member, Arkansas Council on Human Relations; Member & President, Urban League of Greater Little Rock; President, Pulaski County Audubon Society; President of Medical Division and Life Member, University of Arkansas Alumni Association; Director, Arkansas Caduceus Club; Board Member & President of the Board, Presbyterian Village, Little Rock.

His service also extended to the church. He was a member of Westover Hills Presbyterian Church since 1950, where he sang in the choir and was a deacon, ruling elder and teacher in Adult Sunday School. He was Past Moderator of the Washburn Presbytery, Washburn Presbytery Men's Organization, Synod of Arkansas, and Men of Synod of Arkansas. In addition, Dr. Norton was General Assembly Moderator Nominee of the Presbyterian Church, US; Chairman & member of the Assembly's Permanent Nominating Committee of the Presbyterian Church, US; member of the Professional General Executive Board's Executive Committee for the Presbyterian Church, US; and a member of the General Assembly Mission Board for the Presbyterian Church, US.

Dr. Norton received recognition throughout his lifetime. In 1942, he was awarded the Buchannan Award & Outstanding 4-Year Student Award at the U of A School of Medicine. In 1972, he received an Honorary Doctor of Laws from Arkansas College (now Lyon College) in Batesville. In 1972, he received the Distinguished Alumnus & Degree from the U of A in Monticello. He was a 32nd Degree Mason, member of Quapaw 730 Masonic Lodge, and a Scottish Rite member. He received the Distinguished Service Award and the Distinguished Alumnus Award from the University of Arkansas Medical Center; Distinguished Service Award from Goodwill Association in Little Rock; Statue of Liberty Centennial Award; Dedicated Service to Resident Training in Radiology, University of Arkansas Medical Center; Dedication and Commitment to St. Vincent Infirmary by the Sisters of Charity of Nazareth; 50-Year Plaque, Arkansas Chapter, ACR; 50-Year Plaque, Arkansas Medical Society; 50-Year Plaque, Pulaski County Medical Society; Paul Harris Fellow, Rotary International; AMA Physician's Recognition Award; Liberty Bell Award, Arkansas Lawyers Association; First Family Award, Little Rock Urban League; and the Lifetime Achievement Award, Pulaski County Medical Society.

He is fondly remembered by many as the singing doctor. He sang to everyone he met. After retiring from medical practice, he continued to volunteer at St. Vincent Infirmary, singing to patients and bringing joy and comfort to families involved in medical crises. Throughout his life, he was the mainstay of his extended family, providing loving support and care to all. His blue eyes, ready smile and laugh, and songs of joy will be cherished memories for his family and all who knew him.

He is survived by three daughters, Jo Donna Rothberg, Martha Norton deBin and her husband Robert, Bobera L. Young and her husband Doug; one son, Dr. George A. Norton and his wife Linda; six grandchildren, Shira Rothberg and daughter Brynn, Aaron Rothberg and his wife Tabitha and daughter Mara, Mary Elizabeth Norton, Andrew Norton, Rob deBin, and Laura Jane Young.

Visitation will be from 2 to 4 p.m. Sunday at Ruebel Funeral Home, with a memorial service at 11 a.m. Monday, Dec. 27, at Westover Hills Presbyterian Church with Rev. Jim & Debbie Freeman officiating.

Memorials may be made to St. Vincent Infirmary, Westover Hills Presbyterian Church, Wildwood Park for the Performing Arts, or Presbyterian Village.

Register Book

  • We are thinking about you and your family during this time of loss. May God smile on each of you as we are sure He already embraces Dr. Norton. Ecclesiastes 12:6 Or ever the silver cord be loosed, or the golden bowl be broken, or the pitcher be broken at the fountain, or the wheel broken at the cistern. 7 Then shall the dust return to the earth as it was: and the spirit shall return unto God who gave it. 2 Corinthians 5:6 Therefore we are always confident, knowing that, whilst we are at home in the body, we are absent from the Lord: 7 (For we walk by faith, not by sight:) 8 We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord
    Don Keene & Family 
    Hall-1964 classmate
    Sherwood, Arkansas
    Email: dwksr@yahoo.com
  • We at Goodwill Industries share your grief and loss. Dr. Norton has given so much to the community as a whole and to Goodwill Industries in particular. We are so grateful for his contribution of service to persons with disabilities. He will be missed.
    Gail Grice 
    Events and Job Coordinator, Goodwill Industries
    Little Rock, Arkansas
    Email: gailgrice@yahoo.com
  • My prayers are with your family.
    Jan Woods Eastwood
    Houston, Texas
  • Jo Donna, Sorry to hear about your dad. He was a cool guy when I was a Radiology Resident and doing Pediatric Radiology over at Ark. Children's Hospital. He would be there when Dr. Joe Calhoun was on vacation. He was very fast and very accurate. Then later I saw him once or twice when I was home visiting my parents in the last 10 years. I have been in Tucson since1976. 
    Robert L Reese, Radiologist
    Tucson, Arizona
    Email: acecoop@earthlink.net
  • Jo Donna and Family, my thoughts and prayers are with you and yours at your time of saddness. 
    Dub Allen
    Little Rock, Arkansas
    Email: f4jrider@hotmail.com
  • Joe was a dear man and a special friend to me and my family. He will be missed by so very many people. Please know that you are all in our thoughts and prayers at this time. 
    Betty and Carl Glenn 
    (Members of Westover Hills Presbyterian Church)
    Little Rock, Arkansas
    Email: bettycarl@sbcglobal.net
  • We will keep your family in our thoughts and prayers.
    Mr. and Mrs. Ron Fuller
    Little Rock, Arkansas
    Email: R3988@aol.com
  • Jane and Harold Hamilton
    Little Rock, Arkansas
    Email: hhamil@arisotle.net
  • Jo Ann & Larry Pinion
    Both retired from St. Vincent Infirmary Medical Center 
    Hot Springs, Arkansas
    Email: lpinion@cablelynx.com
  • Our thoughts and prayers are with you in your time of loss.
    Stephan McAteer and Tom Gray 
    Little Rock, Arkansas
  • God Bless your family. Dr. Norton was a wonderful Christian man and a positive light for others to follow.
    Jane Wood Hulsey
    The Woodlands, Texas
  • Dear Jo Donna, I am so sorry to hear about your Dad's passing. My mother is in the hospital now ,and we had just said how nice it was to have your Dad sing to her during her last hospital stay.He will be missed by so many.
    Susan Elson Ogburn 
    Little Rock, Arkansas 
    Email: SuOg03@aol.com
  • Dear JoDonna, I have just learned of the death of your precious father! A few years ago, I was visiting my mother at Forrest Place Apts. and your father came down the hall. He visited with me and my mother, and then he sang, "Moonlight Bay". We were totally enchanted and I have often remembered him with a smile. My prayers are with you and your family.
    Joye Dickey Cook 
    Sheridan, Arkansas
    Email: geegerx7@yahoo.com
  • My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.
    Diane Wightman Battle 
    Olmsted Township, Ohio 
    Email: diane@alanrossins.com
  • We will miss you.
    Betty & Mac Lyons 
    Little Rock, Arkansas 
    Email: mac1308@aol.com
  • We are very sorry to have learned of your father's death--my son Mark told us upon our return. Joe has been a good friend for many years. He and I even shared a room at a medical meeting. It will not surprise you that when we returned to rest in the early evening, he spotted a Barber Shop Quartet function in the newspaper. Immediately energized, he hopped up and was on his way. A wonderful guy. I'll miss him.
    Howard J. Barnhard, MD 
    Roland, Arkansas 
    Email: hjbarnhard@aristotle.net
  • Westover Hills misses you, and always will. We loved you.
    Glenn E. West 
    Deacon, Westover Hills Presbyterian Church
    Little Rock, Arkansas