Jane W. Norris, Wife of Robert C. Norris, Dies

Jane W. Norris, wife of AQHA Past President Robert C. Norris, died at age 89 on January 12.

The American Quarter Horse Association

Jane W. Norris, wife of AQHA Past President Robert C. Norris, dies at age 89.

Jane W. Norris, wife of AQHA Past President Robert C. Norris, passed on peacefully in the care of Pikes Peak Hospice January 12, surrounded by her family. Jane was born April 28, 1927, in Tacoma, Washington, to parents Robert and Caroline Wright. She attended DePauw University's Asbury College of Liberal Arts in Greencastle, Indiana, graduating in 1950. She would later earn the Women's Alumni Award from DePauw University. Less than two months after graduating, she married Robert C. Norris on June 24, 1950, in Elgin, Illinois. Bob and Jane moved to northern Colorado in 1953, living on a ranch in Rist Canyon in the Fort Collins area, where Jane enjoyed riding her favorite mare, Sun Arrow. As their family grew, the couple moved to Black Forest in 1957. Later they moved to the Broadmoor area, where they have lived ever since, and they also maintained a winter home in Paradise Valley, Arizona. The Norrises also channeled their lifelong passion for American Quarter Horses into their T-Cross Ranch, which is a member of the AQHA Ranching Heritage Breeders program and located in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

Known in both her home cities for her incomparable beauty and elegance as well as for her legendary entertaining, Jane will also be missed for her tender regard for those in need, and her sometimes piquant sense of humor. She enjoyed many close friendships of long duration, and was kind and imaginative in her generosity. If Jane had a slogan, it was "love is all that matters." A devoted wife, Jane accompanied her husband on extensive travels throughout the United States for business and philanthropic projects. Equally devoted to her four children, her 13 grandchildren, and her 18 great-grandchildren, Jane enjoyed to the fullest her family life.

She and her husband were members of Chapel of Our Savior in Colorado Springs. Possessing a keen interest in medicine and eager to support medical research, she served on the boards of Children's Memorial Hospital in Colorado Springs, the Mayo Clinic in Scottsdale, Arizona, the Arizona Heart Institute in Payson, Arizona, and the Women's Board of the Barrow Neurological Foundation in Phoenix. Her love of the arts also prompted her to accept a seat on the board of the Colorado Festival of World Theatre. Among the many charities she supported, the organization that topped her list was Roundup For Autism, founded by her son Bobby in honor of Jane's granddaughter Audra. Included in the long list of organizations to which Jane lent time and support are Baker Memorial United Methodist Church, Barrow Neurological Foundation, Chapel of Our Savior, Cheyenne Mountain Zoo Endowment Fund, Children's Memorial Hospital, Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center, Colorado State University, Dellora A. Norris Cultural Arts Center, Elgin Academy, Fox Valley Volunteer Hospice, Goodwill Industries of Colorado Springs, Humane Society of the Pikes Peak Region, John B. Norris Recreation Center, Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation International, Lake Forest Academy, Mayo Clinic Arizona Department of Development, MS Cure Fund, Penrose St. Francis Health Foundation, Philharmonic Center for the Arts, Phoenix Art Museum, Phoenix Symphony Association, Poudre Valley Hospital Foundation, Rocky Mountain Bird Observatory, Salvation Army, and St. Charles Historical Society.

In addition to the DePauw University Women's Alumni Award, Mrs. Norris was named one of five Distinguished Women of Scottsdale in 1983, and was recognized for her leadership by the Women's Board of the Barrow Neurological Foundation. Jane was preceded in death by her parents Robert and Caroline Wright, her brother Bob Wright, and sister Annie Schultz. She is survived by her immediate family including her husband of 65 years, Bob Norris, and their four children: Steve Norris; Carole Sondrup and son-in-law Ron Sondrup of Windsor, Colorado; Leslie Penkhus and son-in-law Bob Penkhus of Colorado Springs; and Bobby Norris and daughter-in-law JJ Norris of Fort Worth, Texas. She is survived by 13 grandchildren including (children of Steve Norris) Shada Brazil, Steven Norris, and Kayla Norris; (children of Carol and Ron Sondrup) Ryan Sondrup, Jennifer Dunn, and James Sondrup; (children of Leslie and Bob Penkhus) Robbie Penkhus, Jamie Cohen, and Chad Penkhus; and (children of Bobby and JJ Norris) Ashley Norris, Audra Norris, Gates Norris, and Rhett Norris. Jane is also survived by 18 great-grandchildren; and by her beloved little dog, Cricket.

A celebration of life will be held at 2 p.m. on Tuesday, January 19, The Shrine of Remembrance Funeral Home, 1730 East Fountain Blvd., Colorado Springs, Colorado. Entombment will follow at The Shrine of Remembrance, Gate of Heaven Mausoleum. A private gathering will follow. In lieu of flowers, the family is requesting donations be made to the Roundup for Autism www.roundupforautism.org. See more at www.legacy.com.