William C. Norris, Jr., Ph.D.
April 17, 1933 - September 27, 2020
Written by Bill 2/20/18; updated 9/30/2020
Bill Norris, Jr. was born in the old Baton Rouge General Hospital, while his family lived in Clinton LA in 1933. That year Prohibition ended, which added not a little to his pleasure. His father was William C. Norris, D.D.S. and his mother was Frankie Maxine Peters, later Maxine Juban. He graduated from University High School, LSU, Union Theological Seminary in Richmond VA, and the University of Southern California with a Ph.D. in Communication.
He married the former Betty Johnelle Harris in 1954. He spent sixteen years in education and service with the Presbyterian Church followed by thirty years in communication arts, including film, radio, television, cable television, cellular telephones, microwave, computer software, and the Internet. After Hurricane Katrina, Bill served as a small business counselor for Operation HOPE, a Los Angeles non-profit. All his life Bill was an entrepreneur and raconteur.
In 1990, he and Betty retired to the New Orleans French Quarter. He loved giving historic tours and lectured in Professional Tourguiding at Delgado Community College. His recreations included walks along the river and the French Quarter. He spent many hours birding in the Feliciana’s.
Some of his media productions included: public affairs programs for Mississippi Authority for Educational Television and Louisiana ETV and in 2017, he published a book of local history told in the Tourguiding class. 'Down in New Orleans: True Stories of a Fabled City' which was released on Kindle and Amazon and in New Orleans bookstores.
In 2018, Bill and Betty left the French Quarter for the quiet pace of Bayou St. John. It was here in his home that Bill quietly passed away on September 27, 2020.
He is survived by his wife of sixty-six years, Betty Norris; children William C. Norris III, Johnelle Brewster and her husband Bruce, Lydia Fairbanks and her husband Hal; and grandchildren William Secar Brewster, Laura Maxine Fairbanks, and Henry Norris Fairbanks. His brothers were L. Conley Juban, Jonathon Norris, Alvin “Tommy” Norris, and sisters Carroll Maxine Norris Burroughs (deceased), Lillie Norris Jantz, Nora Norris Adams, and Sally Norris Beckes.
Dr. Norris’ remains will be cremated and the ashes placed in a family plot in the old Clinton Cemetery in Clinton LA. This will be his last addition to global warming. Memorials may be sent to Friends of the Cabildo, 701 Chartres St., New Orleans LA 70116, or your favorite charity. A party in Bill’s honor will be held at an unspecified date in the future when crowds will be able to gather. Please send the family a request to be included on the guest list and/or any stories or photos to firstname.lastname@example.org