Photo courtesy of Norman family
Photo courtesy of Norman family

In attending the service at the Moravian Cemetery for Morris Norman, I was surrounded by many, including past and present Hauser athletes with their letter jackets.

I know all of us felt as if we had just lost a family member. Morris was uniquely special and endured physical challenges all of his life. If given a chance, he would certainly speak his piece, in particular about local sports and spots around town, but you knew his heart was Hauser sports and Hope.

It was not all that long ago I was eating lunch at WILLow LeaVes with Morris. I tried to let him know of his importance, that Hope just would not be the same without him. As typical of Morris, he just shrugged it off.

I did not know he would soon be in the hospital and within days no longer among us.

I was sitting at his table at WILLow LeaVes a day before his graveside service. There, on the end, was a candle appropriately placed in his spot. Not long afterward, I stopped in at Corner Cafe. I looked toward his table to see a small memory booklet passed out during the service, a candle, a college basketball shirt, and a name plate that will soon be put on a chair that reads as: “In Memory Of Morris (MO) Norman.” Undoubtedly, a little of Morris will remain with all of us who really knew him.

None of us could say it better than a poem by Suzie “Suzie Q” Norman that follows:

Morris had a good life, though he may not agree,
disgruntled at times, saying “Just let me be.”

Morris loved his sports, especially the Jets,
but a win was a must or a shake of his fist
the team would get.

Cruising the town up and down every street,
giving hand gestures to friends he would meet.

He would say in a rage, “I gotta get out of
this town, you people are crazy, and you're
wearing me down.”

Morris would yell, then put a smile on his face,
I think the town would agree, he should have been
Mayor of this place.

Morris would rant and get himself in a stew,
but he was the grumpiest, sweetest man
we ever knew.

Morris regularly attended the Cross of Hope. He probably had the best attendance. I never asked why he liked it so much, but I suspect one of the reasons was the music with the goodies offered not far behind.

As Pastor Andy Kilps and Pastor Steve Bell shared, there is a better place, a place where Morris no longer must struggle in getting around, a place with much music and the sweetest melody for the “grumpiest, sweetest man we ever knew.”

If you have not already, then one of the best ways to remember Morris is by donating to the Hauser Athletic Department. I don't know of too many fans, if any, who attended more Hauser sporting events, even traveling many miles for several, than Morris E. Norman.