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Private Family Service

Ernest Ross 'Nick' Norton

October 6, 1932 - February 7, 2020

NORTON- After a courageous battle with cancer, the family of Ernest Ross (Nick) Norton of Williamsford, sadly announce his passing at Chapman House Owen Sound, on February 7, 2020 at age 87. He is survived by his dear wife of 68 years, Teresa (nee Quibell), and their sons Richard “Rick” (Lois) of Jackson's Point, Jeffrey (Diana) of Stouffville, Bruce (Lynn) also of Jackson's Point and daughter Terry McDeivitte (Scott) of Horseshoe Valley. Loving grandpa to Nicole (OJ), Victor (Sydney), Alex (Sheena), Andrew, Anthony, Cameron (Bonnie), Deanna, Joshua (Michelle), and Sydney (Andrew). Great grandpa to Anna and Gabriel. Nick is also survived by his siblings Jean Lister, Betty Holden, Ruby Burbine, and June Hansen (Ray)  and in-laws Ruby and Georgina Norton. Predeceased by his parents Ross and Gladys Norton (nee Pugh), siblings Hazel Fleming (Al), Ronald (Bessie), Gordon, Bert (Shirley), Dave, and Donna Norton, and brothers-in-law Edward Lister and Darryl Burbine. Fondly remembered by many nieces and nephews. Nick was a proud lifetime member of The Shriners, serving for over six decades.

Nick Norton was born to humble surroundings in Unionville Ontario, in October 1932 (Great Depression years) one of five boys and 6 girls in an 11 children family.  Nick was always caring, generous, and loved to make his friends laugh, always telling a good story. His minor hockey pals gave him the name “Nick” and it stayed with him for  his entire life. In 1948 Nick left home with a buddy, headed for northern Ontario to cut lumber. After a year in the forest they decided to move to Sudbury in search of nickel, but after realizing mining was not in his blood, Nick came home to Unionville and started a plumbing apprenticeship with local plumber Olli Baxter. In 1950 he met the love of his life, Teresa, while working in Lindsay. They married in May 1951 and together built their first home in Unionville and brought into the world 4  beautiful children: Richard, Jeffrey, Bruce and little Teresa. The 50’s and 60’s were family and career building years for Nick. In the early fifties Nick worked for Bruce K Robinson Mechanical Contracting in Thornhill, later becoming the sole owner.  In 1969 Nick purchased a 5-acre plot of land in downtown Unionville with a toy pistol cap factory, which he later moved to Markham Ontario and operated it until the late 1970’s. By this time Nick was  recognized as a respected businessman and tradesman with great integrity and a firm handshake. The family empire consisted of a mechanical contracting company, the cap factory, a sewer and water main construction company as well as land holdings in the Grey Bruce Area. In the 1980’s Nick and Teresa sold all of their assets and moved up to Williamsford, where Nick was able to concentrate all of his entrepreneurial skills on the newly acquired Confederation Log Home business. He was a visionary and pioneer of land and business development; he had a gift for visualizing where a home would ideally be suited to its landscape. He was a risk taker and often said “ You can't reap what you don't sow”.  Nick continued to passionately operate this business until this past December, when he completed 2 more homes, bringing the total to approximately 50. 
Foremost though, Nick was a devoted and loving family man.  He adored his children, taking pride in their accomplishments and he beamed with joy as the family grew to include nine grandchildren and two great-grandchildren. Fishing for suckers  in the  nearby stream, with the grandchildren, provided an opportunity to become a  mentor and teacher. In quiet times, he and Teresa enjoyed travelling and cruises; Hawaii, Brazil, and the Caribbean were among their favourites. There was always time for a social drink with good friends and neighbours where a story about local hunt camp or the Maple Leafs was shared. He loved his deer hunting crew and was instrumental in the start up and building of 2 hunt camps; this last November was his final visit to the Rockwood deer camp. Nick had a strong community spirit; he was not only a mentor and confidant, but he was also a Mason of 50 plus years and a Shriner for those many years as well. Nick leaves behind a legacy not only of remarkable log homes, but of the many friendships he built along the way. He will be lovingly remembered by his family  and friends and never forgotten.

Arrangements have been entrusted to GARAFRAXA HILL FUNERAL HOME, Chatsworth, where a private family service will be held. If desired, donations to Chapman House would be appreciated by the family. Condolences may be expressed online at

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