Bud was born Feb. 23, 1940 in Knoxville, Tenn., to Wylie Norton Sr. and Edith Long Norton. He grew up in the mountains of North Carolina in a home his dad built for his family. Bud graduated from Miami Edison High School in 1958, where he enjoyed extracurricular life as a thespian, and like his father, had a passion for carpentry and auto mechanics. Although Bud attended Mercer University in Macon, he soon grew restless and craved adventure, so in May 1959, he joined the U.S. Air Force. Throughout his 20-year military career in the Security Service, Bud was stationed in San Angelo, Texas, Darmstadt, Germany, Iraklion, Crete, Karamursel, Turkey and lastly his beloved Anchorage, Alaska. After retirement from the Air Force, Bud attended and graduated heavy duty mechanics school in Seward, Alaska. In 1980, Bud started his second career as an auditorium manager at West High School. In his new endeavor, Bud not only had responsibility for the sound and light operations of school events but also managed the stage operations of the bands that toured in Alaska, such as The Grateful Dead, Blue Oyster Cult, the Bee Gees, Ray Charles and Ozzy Osbourne. Bud retired from his position with the Anchorage School District in August 1994. Bud enjoyed his retirement in Eagle River and Wasilla, where during the final years of his life, Bud’s dearest friend, Mike Stephan, took care of him until his passing. Bud was a generous man who was eager to laugh and extremely loyal to his friends and family. He lived life on his terms, and he will be missed. God’s Speed to you Bud. We love you.
He was preceded in death by a son, Steven, who died shortly after birth in 1964 from complications associated with cystic fibrosis.
Bud is survived by: his son, Bill and wife Uni Norton and their children, Brandon and Weston, of Reston, Va.; his son, Brian and wife Tara Norton and their children, Blake, Seth and Jake of Laguna Niguel, Calif.; a sister, Rehette and husband Willard Smith and their children, Rhonda, Greg and Jennifer of Fort Lauderdale, Fla.; and his ex-wife, Joanne Norton of Sun City, Ariz.
The family received friends Saturday at Newman’s Chapel in Otto, N.C. A memorial service followed visitation, and committal with military honors followed at Newman’s Chapel Church Cemetery.
Beck Funeral Home was in charge of arrangements. An online guestbook is available at http://www.beckfuneralhome.com.
The Clayton Tribune, Nov. 10, 2011