Local artist, visible downtown Smithers character, Elizabeth Norton, passed away unexpectedly at 8 AM Friday morning, March 11th, 2016at the Bulkley Valley District Hospital, Smithers. Elizabeth’s sister and niece were at her bedside.
Friday happened to be a gloriously beautiful day for Elizabeth to spread her wings and clear sail all the way to the Skeena River, her most treasured place in the world.
The Smithers business community will remember Elizabeth as a unique individual, exceptionally giving, impressionable, thoughtful, and friendly.
Guileless would be a perfect description of Elizabeth.
An example of someone who is guileless would be an honest and innocent girl who just arrived in a big city and who believes that everyone is as honest and as good as she.
You’ll recall seeing her around town with a cart filled with bottles, various food items to give away to her street friends, and treasures for others she knew would be perfect for them that she’d pick up at the Salvation Army Thrift Store, or, occasionally, at the New To You. This brought her much joy.
She daily left The Meadows where she resided and visited all and any of numerous places in the downtown Smithers core, the Two Sisters, Janet at Mountain Eagle Books, The Dze L K’Ant Friendship Centre for coffee and fellowship, over to the Broadway Shelter for coffee and a sandwich and more fellowship, a stop at Home Hardware, the PLN (Positive Living Northwest) for fellowship, soup or coffee or a snack, the Salvation Army Soup Kitchen for fellowship and lunch and then into the S.A. Thrift Store for her most favourite past time, shopping, connecting and visiting with the patrons and staff.
Usually, the last stop, the Smithers Public Library to spend the afternoon with her sister choosing and downloading her (Eliz’s) daughter’s (Teresa) and grandchildren’s (Willow and Archer) latest photos off the internet.
Elizabeth had a gift of knowing exactly what others would enjoy. She was generous to a fault. She would run errands for her Meadows neighbours picking up milk, juice, fruit and various other items for them, and never failed to bring them back a special thoughtful gift especially with them in mind from the change she was meant to keep in payment for the errand.
On Sunday mornings she would join with friends to attend the Salvation Army Services given by Rick and Sarah Apperson.
The S.A. Thrift Store was a touch stone for Elizabeth to an amazing amount of connections she developed with countless people from all walks of life, from the distant and far edges of the Hazletons at one end to beyond Telkwa at the other.
She was a naturally gifted, talented artist.
She also would express herself by bursting freely and spontaneously into song renditions according to whatever topic was being discussed.
Elizabeth is survived by her daughter Teresa Deck, grandchildren Willow and Archer, brother Gerry (Tina) Norton, neices Dione (son Evan), Amie and Cara, sister Aileen Norton-Swift, neices Katharine Bell (children Kaedan, Avery, and Rowan) and Nadine Johnson (children Ava and Mitchell), nephew Richard.
She will be greatly missed. She impacted and touched so many lives.
One of Elizabeth’s numerous, countless friends, Brenda, has suggested that, in lieu of flowers, art supplies be donated in Elizabeth’s name to a non-profit. I know Elizabeth would be honoured by that. Rick Apperson is agreeable to this and for the Salvation Army Drop In Centre, workshops will be planned and put in place for the homeless using these art supplies. Thank you.
A Memorial, Sharing Circle & Celebration of Elizabeth’s life will be held at the S.A. Drop In Center, adjacent to the S.A. Thrift Sore.
Open Door Drop In Memorial Service for Elizabeth Norton, Thursday, March 24, 2016, 10:00 AM to 1:00 PM.
Rick and Sarah Apperson will do a short informal service. Please join with us to share some photos and memories and stories of Elizabeth.