The very Rev. Edwin Arter Norris, Jr., D.D. Protodeacon Gregory St. Catherine of Siena said, “All the way to heaven is heaven.” Edwin, whose religious name was Gregory, was born September 4,1929 in Akron, Ohio to Elizabeth Palmer Chappell and Edwin Arter Norris.
He died June 25, 2020 in Mesquite, Texas. Edwin was baptized into a nominally religious family and while serving in the army during the Korean War he rediscovered his religious roots and became intimately involved in the Episcopal Church.
After graduation from the University of Denver, he entered St. Gregory’s Benedictine Monastery in Three rivers, Michigan. The Abbot sent him to finish his priestly studies at Nashotah House, after which he was ordained at Three Rivers taking the religious named of Dom Gregory Norris, named after the famous English Benedictine, Dom Gregory Dix.
After 13 years, he was released from his vows and shortly became Rector of Church of the Ascension in Chicago, one of the great Anglo-Catholic parishes in the Episcopal Church. He served there for 24 years. He served with distinction in many capacities in the Episcopal Church.
Following retirement, his spiritual pilgrimage led him to the Orthodox Church of America where for the last 24 years he has served faithfully as a Deacon and recently has been elevated with the honor of Protodeacon. He was a renowned spiritual advisor, and director.
A violist by avocation, he played for many years in both the Irving New Philharmonic Orchestra and the Mesquite Symphony Orchestra. He was deeply compassionate and socially conscious as reflected in his marching with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in Selma, Alabama.
He is survived by several brothers: Clifford, John and Phillip Norris, numerous nieces and nephews, God-children, devoted friends, and his best friend of many years, The Rev. Canon George W. Monroe. His beloved brothers William and Michael predeceased him.
Services will be graveside due to covid-19 pandemic at Grove Hill Cemetery, 3920 Samuell Blvd. Dallas, Texas, Wednesday, July 1, 2020, 10:00 a.m. the Very Rev. Archpriest Father Gerasim officiating. Memorial gifts may be made to St. Seraphim Orthodox Cathedral, the North Texas Food Bank or a Charity of your choice. A Celebration of Father Gregory’s life will be announced post-pandemic.