Dennis Reed Norris

Dennis Reed Norris, 70, of Nacogdoches, passed away on Saturday, October 28, 2017 in Nacogdoches. Dennis was born on September 20, 1947, in Dallas, the son of Wallace Reed Norris and Vivian O’Wanda Warren Norris. Funeral services will be held at 2:00PM on Thursday, November 2, 2017 at North Street Church of Christ, 3914 North Street, Nacogdoches, Texas, with Curtis Barbarick and Bill Sherrill officiating. Interment will follow at Eden Cemetery. Visitation will be held from 5:00pm – 7:00pm on Wednesday, November 1, 2017 at Laird Funeral Home.

Dennis was raised in Nacogdoches and established himself as a great football player for NHS. In 1963, his grandparents sold the little store where Dennis grew up “working”. However, much to his surprise, the young lady whose parents bought the store, caught his eye. The two became friends, and around Valentine’s Day the next year, Dennis decided he wanted to ask her out. This began a lifelong courtship for them. On November 5, 1965, Johnnie Dale Massey, married “the boy next door” and they haven’t been without each other since. Their family was soon blessed with their first daughter, Denise, and 8 years later, by Kristie. Their daughters were their greatest joy, until their two grandsons came along. “Grandad” was his favorite name to hear. He taught them all about frogs, squirrels, and anything else that little boys love. His passion for teaching children began when his daughters were very young. He worked tirelessly with the youth group from 9th & Elm Church of Christ and Fellowship Church of Christ in Orange. The family spent many summers in Arizona and New Mexico helping teach the youth of the Navajo about Christ and successfully holding VBS with them. Dennis was a character and loved to sing any Elvis tune! In their later years, Johnnie and Dennis developed their love of traveling and were surprised with an Alaskan Cruise from their girls, for their 40th Anniversary, where they visited “their” Norris Glacier. Dennis had a soft spot for animals, and was known to have the “cafeteria” for all the neighborhood “friends”. Although they did not have any of their own, all the animals would come visit to have a meal at the Norris house. This included the birds, squirrels, dogs, cats and even “Flicka” the horse. The love between Dennis and Johnnie grew exponentially over the years. Dennis was quite the romantic. He and Johnnie would read to each other every night, just as she did to him until his last days. The many little gifts he gave her and the girls on every occasion, and sometimes for no reason at all, will forever hold the love that he shown them. His legacy of giving and compassion will be something for them to cherish and carry on through the girls and grandsons. Mrs. Johnnie, the homecoming queen, will miss her football star but their love story will forever live on with each passing year.

Dennis was a very devoted member and Deacon for 9th & Elm Church of Christ and Fellowship Church of Christ in Orange and a member of North Street Church of Christ in Nacogdoches. Dennis also worked for Dupont in Orange, Texas. He began working in the mail room in 1966 at age 19 and worked his way up to process operator where he spent over 27 years.

He is survived by his loving wife of 51 years, Johnnie Dale Massey Norris of Nacogdoches; daughters, Denise Norris Dickson and husband, James of Douglass and Kristie Norris of Houston; his mother, Vivian O’Wanda Warren Norris; grandsons, Ian Case and wife, Lindsay of Huntsville and Dennis J. Case of Beaumont; sister, Jan Haggard and husband, Will of Longview; brother, Dale L. Norris and wife, Pat of Douglass.

He is preceded in death by his father, Wallace Reed Norris; and his brother, Clay Norris.

Pallbearers will be Ian Case, Jim Dickson, Chris Massey, Dale Norris, Larry Bailey, Donnie Bailey, Dave Bush.

Will Haggard and Dennis J. Case will serve as Honorary Pallbearers.

Memorial donations may be made in Dennis’ memory to Prostate Cancer Foundation 1250 Fourth Street, Santa Monica, CA 90401 or to The Nacogdoches Treatment Center at 119 Hughes Street, Nacogdoches, Texas 75961.

The Norris family is being served by Laird Funeral Home. To convey condolences or to sign an online register, please visit www.lairdfh.net

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