James LaVaughn “J.L.” Norris

Published 2:52 pm Tuesday, December 5, 2023

August 10, 1934 – December 4, 2023
James LaVaughn “J.L.” Norris was born in Elk Mills, Tenn., to James Bert Norris and Frances Pearl Norris, elder brother to Jerry Mack Norris and Rita Kay Perkins.
J.L. was a member and Deacon at Hampton First Baptist. He taught Sunday School and Big A for many years.
J.L attended grade school at Hampton Elementary and Hampton High, graduating in 1952. He served in the Army from 1954 to 1956. Following his service, he attended East Tennessee State University with a bachelor’s in education and then a masters, graduating in 1959. J.L. had a 26-year career in education beginning with his first teaching job at Surgoinsville where he served as a drivers ed instructor. He went on to teach at Morganton Jr. High, and Cranberry in North Carolina. J.L. then started teaching and coaching basketball at Central Elementary in Carter County before becoming a principal. His years as a coach earned him a spot in the Carter County Sports Hall of Fame. He then transferred to central administration to become Supervisor of Special Education and then of Secondary Education. J.L. finished his career as principal at Hampton Elementary.
In addition to teaching, J.L. worked in the post office for 39 years as a mail carrier and was elected magistrate for Carter County’s 11th District in 1960, serving for six years. He was also a member of the National Association of Watch and Clock Collectors.
J.L married the love of his life, Lillian “Eldona” Norris, on August 7, 1964, at Union Baptist Church. They were married for 59 years.
He is survived by his wife; children, Vonda Haney and Robbie (Natalie) Norris; niece, Letha (Mac) Stricklin; as well as six grandchildren, Lindsey, Thomas, Jamie, Gunnar, Cade and Whitney, and two great-grandchildren.
A celebration of life for J.L. will be conducted at 7 p.m. Wednesday, December 6, in the Chapel of Peace at Tetrick Funeral Home, Elizabethton, with Pastor Richard Stout officiating. A eulogy will be provided by Mr. O.J. Roberson. Music will be under the direction of Whitney Stricklin, harmonica, Lisa Hendrix, soloist, and Karen Timbs, pianist. The family will receive friends in the funeral home chapel between the hours of 5 and 7 p.m. Wednesday, prior to the service.
The graveside service will be conducted at 10 a.m. Thursday, December 7, at Happy Valley Memorial Park. Active pallbearers will be Cade Norris, Gunnar Norris, Thomas Haney, Calvin Thompson, Brad Perkins, Samuel Perkins and O.J. Roberson. Honorary pallbearers will be Jimmy Blackburn, Mac Stricklin, Darryl Hendrix, Mark Grindstaff, Carl Taylor, Harold McEwen, Richard Campbell, Doug Vines and Will Andrews. Those wishing to attend the graveside service are asked to meet at Tetrick Funeral Home of Elizabethton at 9:15 a.m. Thursday to go in procession to the cemetery. The family wishes to especially thank the staff of Hillview Health and Rehab in Elizabethton and to Gentiva Hospice for the love and compassion shown to J.L. during his illness. Those who prefer memorials in lieu of flowers may make donations in honor of J.L. to SOUL Youth Community Outreach, 210 2nd Avenue, Hampton, TN 37658. Words of comfort may be shared with the family by visiting our website, www.tetrickfuneralhome.com.
Tetrick Funeral Home-Riverside Chapel, 211 North Riverside, Elizabethton, TN 37643 is honored to serve the family of Mr. J.L. Norris. Office Phone (423) 542-2232; Obituary Information Line (423) 543-4917.
“Don’t get too serious about this life – make good friends – be nice, laugh a lot.” – J.L Norris

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