Riley James Norris was a father, a brother, a son, a husband, a grandfather, an uncle, a cousin and a friend who, although pretty soft spoken, could tell you a great story or two. Now, 77 years after March 22, 1946, it’s our turn to reminisce, to retell those stories and to remember the beautiful life Riley lived. Beautiful doesn’t come without struggle or hardship, but through those moments is when we find the grace and the blessings of our unique individual story and Riley found his well.
He spent his years sleeves rolled up doing what he absolutely loved, what filled his soul with joy, working in nature. From farming his land, to raising cattle, and even working for the parks department right here in our city of Powell, Wyoming, he took the most pride in honoring the very thing God gave us to live on and from. He showed that dedication and love for what he did, so much so, that 12 years ago our mayor declared July 15, 2011, as Riley Norris day. Riley wasn’t just a hardworking man, but he was also a father to two girls and two boys. He spent 49 years with the mother of those two girls, and love of his life, Judy Lee Norris. They built a life together, a home together, raised children and grandchildren together, wrote a beautiful love story together, and when the moment came in 2012, hand in hand, they said goodbye to one another when Judy lost her battle with cancer. A love like that doesn’t come around often, and not every person is lucky enough to know what that kind of love feels like, but Riley was. He never once stopped talking about the moment he would get to see his beautiful wife again, and in the early morning of May 13, Riley got to go home to her. In honor of not only his memory, but the memory of the two of them together at peace, the family will be holding graveside services on Riley and Judy’s anniversary June 30, 3 p.m., at Crown Hill Cemetery in Powell, Wyoming. Riley was preceeded in death by his mother, father and siblings and is survived by his two daughters Cindy Ibarra and Julie Johnson, his two sons Scott Norris and David Norris, and his numerous grandchildren, great-grandchildren and other loving family. The family asks that if you would like to send your love, to please make a donation to Spirit Mountain Hospice House in Cody, Wyoming where Riley spent his last days.