Robert Fred Norris passed away on April 4, 2019, at his home in Albany, Oregon at the age of 89.
Bob was born in St. Paul on July 22, 1929, to Elsie Lindstrom and Fred Norris. He grew up and graduated from Rush City High School in 1946.
He was a very talented and gifted musician; he learned to play guitar and sing at an early age. When he was 17 he was asked to join the Sunset Valley Barn Dance which was broadcast on KSTP, but being times were tough he had no car to get there, so had to pass on the offer. He eventually started his own band called the Melody Ramblers with Willard Johnson, Lloyd Hammergren and Waldo Carlson. They played for many years around the area. He met Verna Mae Hinze at one of the dances he played at; they were married on Sept. 29, 1950, in Rush City.
He was drafted in the army in 1951 and spent some time in Korea where he was sent in as a spy so the morse code he learned in high school came in very handy. He also wrote a song while over there called my Musemae. After he was discharged he decided to go to radio school; he graduated from Brown Institute so his life as a DJ began. He went to work at WCMP in Pine City. From there he went to Fergus Falls.
Then in 1960 he got a call they were looking for DJs in Oregon. They settled in Salem, Eugene, Pendelton and Newport. He met many country stars – Loretta Lynn, Faron Young – and became fast friends with Buck Owens and his wife Bonnie, becoming Buck’s fan club president.
He decided they needed a more stable life with the family; they now had three kids: Lynn, Vicki and Randy. He hated giving up radio. In fact, he kept his license up in case he ever went back to it. They moved to Albany in 1971 where he started working for American Can until he retired.
Bob is survived by his daughter-in-law Debra Norris, son-in-law Ron Trevillian, grandchildren Robin (Kyle), Jim (Nora), Joe (Brittaney), Jessie, Ali (Tony), Tiffany, Aaron, Tania (Rich) and eight great-grandchildren.
He is preceded in death by his wife Verna, children Lynn, Vicki and Randy, his parents, and his brother Harlan.
A memorial service will be held on July 20 in Oregon with burial in the Rush City Cemetery.