Bertha Mary Norton

Bertha Mary (Casey) Norton

April 26th, 1921 – Jan. 11th, 2007

Bertha, a 5th generation Irish Canadian, was the eldest of 14 children (seven boys and seven girls) born to Mildred and Arthur Casey of Dalhousie NB.

Bertha and husband William (Bill) James Norton of Norton Construction, Prince Rupert (deceased 1997 in NB), in 1949, traveled by vehicle through the States (better road conditions than in Canada at that time) from NB to Prince Rupert. Bertha was pregnant with fraternal twin girls {Eileen Marian Norton (Swift) and Elizabeth Eloise Norton} and their son, Gearld (Gerry) Joseph Norton (at 2 yrs. old), and another daughter, Donna Jean (at 1 yrs. old). Donna Jean was admitted to the Frances Mahon Deaconess Hospital in Glasgow Montana where Eileen and Elizabeth were born. Donna Jean died in MooseJaw, Sask, where the family spent the evening after leaving Montana.

At a time when not many achieved the highest-grade level of grade eight, Bertha achieved grade eight. She spoke Latin and French and her best subjects were History and Geography. It was recommended that she attend an Art School. Here in Smithers, she attended Elder’s College at NWCC, at 85 yrs. old, participating in Jay’s computer class.

Bertha worked for almost 30 years (1950-1978) at Rupert Cleaners and Laundry, Prince Rupert, as a silk presser. She retired in 1978.

At 17 she was Housekeeper and Nanny in the Escuminac area, for a family whose two children (Johnathan and Prue) were deaf and could not speak. Later, these two children were enrolled in a special school for the deaf. The children were then brought to the Casey homestead to visit often. While at this family’s home, Bertha created stained glass windows for them.

Bertha was a person of few words, perhaps a habit she acquired while looking after Johnathan and Prue. She had a highly developed and wonderfully subtle sense of humor. The world won’t find another woman like her soon.

She leaves behind sisters Eileen, Mary Lou, Shirley and Edith and one brother, Ambrose; seven grandchildren: Katharine, Nadine and Richard Glenn; Teresa; Amie, Cara, and Dione, and one great grandson, Evan. And, as well, a large extended family in NB.

Mom: You remain a guide in spirit and an outstanding and wonderful mentor.


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