George Norton was a lifelong farmer with a passion for sports

Friday, July 4, 2014 | 5:57 p.m. CDT

MACON — George Norton was never far from an athletic field.

As a student, he played the trombone for Marching Mizzou. As a father, he coached Little League Baseball for his three sons and many other boys for more than a decade. And over the years he also refereed high school, college, and American Athletic Union basketball games, including a league's national championship game.

George D. Norton of Anabel died Thursday, July 3, 2014. He was 75.

He was born Sept. 13, 1938, in Kirksville to John and Ada Margaret (Holman) Norton. He married Marlene Maddy Aug. 23, 1958. They had three sons together. Mr. Norton later married Ruth Cordle on Sept. 13, 1998.

Although his education began in a one-room schoolhouse in Anabel, Mr. Norton graduated from Macon High School as valedictorian in 1956. He spent years on the board for Macon County schools.

Mr. Norton farmed in Macon County for most of his life. He was the runner-up for Outstanding Young Farmer in Missouri. His family's farming operation was featured in Missouri Life magazine in 1978.

Outside of his love of sports, he was also active in multiple barbershop choruses, including one that performed at Carnegie Hall in New York City.

In his later years, Mr. Norton and his wife Ruth began golfing. The two were active in the Grenelefe Golf Association near Haines City, Fla. He was a golfing champion in the club's senior division.

Mr. Norton is survived by  his wife, Ruth Cordle; three sons, Glenn Norton and his wife, Colleen Dolan, of Ellisville, John Norton of Columbia, and Bob Norton and his wife, Jana Schelle Norton, of St. Louis; two step-children, Brad Cordle and Angie Cordle; six grandchildren, Julia Norton Dotson, John Robert Norton, Jessica Norton, Shane Norton, Zac Norton and Zane Norton; six great-grandchildren; a sister, Mary Lee Harding; a nephew, Rick Moore; a niece, Susan Caton; and many cousins.

His first wife, Marlene, died earlier.

Visitation will be from 5 to 7 p.m. Sunday at Hutton and McElwain Funeral Home, 301 N. Rubey in Macon. Services will be at 11 a.m. Monday at the Bethlehem United Methodist Church, on Missouri PP in Macon. Burial will follow at Bethlehem Cemetery.

Memorials can be made to the Bethlehem United Methodist Church, 905 Sunset Drive, Macon, MO 63552.

Condolences can be posted at

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