Born in Wilkes-Barre, Pa, to Ida and Thomas Norton, he lived on his aunt and uncle’s farm in rural Pa until his teen years. He then moved to Philadelphia to live with his Aunt Bess and Uncle Pete. At 17, he joined the Navy and was assigned to his first ship a destroyer as a sonarman. He made several “Med” cruises and saw first hand post-war Europe.
After several tours of duty on the east coast, in 1958, Joe was assigned to the Fleet ASW School in San Diego as an instructor and soon after was promoted to Chief Petty Officer. While on the west coast, he made several “West Pac” cruises aboard the USS Bennington. Next came assignments to the HS-8 and HS-10 helicopter squadrons at Ream Field (Imperial Beach, CA) where he eventually retired after 20 years of service.
Then off to a new career in civil service. Starting at the Naval Rework Facility(North Island) to the Naval Oceans System Center(Pt. Loma) working on submarines, to finally NAS Miramar as a C.O.T.R. in charge of the F-14 flight simulator for Top Gun. Another 20 years!
After retirement, Joe turned to woodworking. From scroll saw work to intarsia to carving rocking horses, he had a knack for creativity. His other talents included writing poetry and everything electronic. Joe loved fancy cars, was an avid Philadelphia Eagles and Penn St. Football fan and was also known for his “stylish jumpsuits”. Joe loved Western music, especially by Hank Williams and Willie Nelson. Frank Sinatra was a favorite as well. Joe liked to keep busy and was always available to help a friend or neighbor in need.
Joe, as he liked to be called, will be deeply missed by his wife of 50 years, Barbara and son Robert, sons Steven, Kenneth and Jeffrey, Sister Mary, along with his grandchildren Karissa, Amanda, Valerie, Laura, Samantha, Nicki and R.C., 19 great grandchildren, God daughter Kate and Best Friend Edoardo. And of course his “Bestest Doggie Ever Muffin”, Buddy and Snoopy.
In keeping with his love of the sea and the Navy, Joe will be buried at sea from a Naval ship and a plaque will be placed at Fort Rosecrans National Cemetery in his Honor.
- Date: August 28, 2017
- Time: 4:00 PM - 8:00 PM
- Location: Legacy Funeral & Cremation Care
- Address: 7043 University Ave La Mesa, CA 91942-5954
- Directions: Legacy Funeral & Cremation Care
Celebration of Life
- Date: August 29, 2017
- Time: 1:00 PM
- Location: Our Lady of Grace Catholic Church
- Address: 2766 Navajo Road, El Cajon, California 92020
- Directions: Our Lady of Grace Catholic Church
A luncheon will be served in the church hall following the service and colors presentation.
Mary Mignogna on September 12, 2017
Ellen Le Vita on September 01, 2017
holly pritchard on August 31, 2017
Val on August 31, 2017
Jim Hudson on August 29, 2017
Mandy on August 28, 2017
Barb Matthews on August 28, 2017
Laura Norton on August 28, 2017
Ely Freedman on August 28, 2017
Kathie Rosario on August 28, 2017
Karissa on August 26, 2017
Jim little on August 25, 2017
Mel Norton on August 24, 2017
Anna Rodriguez on August 24, 2017
Dick Mishinski on August 23, 2017