James "Jim" R. Norton, age 77, a resident of Bowie, Maryland since 1978, died on February 12, 2013.
James R. Norton was born in Moline, Illinois on June 29, 1935. His parents moved to Southern California in 1939. He spent most of his younger years in California, ultimately graduating from the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA) in 1958 with a bachelors' degree in Engineering and a specialty in Human Factors Engineering.
He entered the Air Force in 1958 where he attended the University of Texas for undergraduate studies in Meteorology. After his first assignment as a forecaster at Hamilton AFB in California, he was transferred to Yokota AFB, Japan. There he spent four years as a Weather Reconnaissance Officer flying into over 47 named storms both as a Typhoon Tracker and Hurricane Hunger in the Pacific and Atlantic oceans. Following his flying stint he attended the University of Utah, Salt Lake city, Utah. In June 1967 he received his Masters in Meteorology (with minor in Computer Science) degree. He was then assigned to the USAF Environmental Applications Technical Center in Washington, D.C. where he started as a programmer and later managed the computer facility. In June 1970 he was transferred to Vietnam where he served for one year as Scientific Services Officer for the USAF meteorological community in Southeast Asia. This experience was applied to his next two year assignment as Commander, Base Weather Station, Ching Chuan Kang Air Base, Republic of Taiwan. He finished his military career in the Washington, D.C. area as Deputy Commander and Operations Officer, USAF Weather Forecast Office, Andrew AFB, Maryland and later Interagency Liaison Officer between Air Force Global Central and NOAA National Environmental Satellite Service, Camp Springs, Maryland, retiring as a Lieutenant Colonel in 1978.
During his military career he was awarded: Bronze Star Medal, Meritorious Service Medal, Air Force Commendation Medal with one oak leaf cluster, Vietnam Service Medal with 4 battle stars, Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal, Republic of Vietnam Gallantry citation with device, Air Force Outstanding Unit Award with one valor device and 3 oak leaf clusters, Combat Readiness Medal, Armed Forces Expeditionary Medal with one oak leaf cluster, National Defense Service Medal, Air Force Longevity Service Award with 4 oak leaf clusters and Small Arms Expert Marksmanship Ribbon.
From October 1978 to July 1997 he was employed by Systems and Applied Sciences Corporation (SASC) which became SASC Technologies, Inc. (STX), which was bought by Hughes Aircraft Company and was then known as Hughes STX. During that time he worked as Executive Assistant to the President and Director of Program Development (Marketing).
While in Japan he met and married his beloved wife, Miyoko Matsumoto. Their marriage lasted over 42 years until her death in 2006. Although the marriage resulted in no living children the union was strong. They often joked that their marriage lasted so long because they were married three times, a Japanese Civil Wedding, the USA Embassy Wedding and finally the Lutheran Church Service.
Jim is survived by an "adopted" daughter, Meng Ye Gu and granddaughter Jessica Yi Gu. Although never officially adopted, Meng Ye became friends with Miyoko Norton in 2986. The friendship grew into a mother-daughter relationship, which later included Jim as a father figure for Meng Ye.
A visitation will be held Sunday, February 17, 2013 from 2-4 p.m. at the Robert E. Evans Funeral Home located at 16000 Annapolis Road, Bowie, MD. Internment at Arlington National Cemetery will occur at a later date.