Cover photo for Ira Norris's Obituary
Ira Norris Profile Photo
1938 Ira 2021

Ira Norris

February 1, 1938 — October 12, 2021

Ira “Wayne” Norris, 83, of Converse, TX, passed away peacefully on October 12, 2021 surrounded by his family.  Born in Waterview, Kentucky on February 1, 1938 to Clarence Ewing and Anna Jewell Norris, Wayne spent his younger years on his grandparents, John & Vianna Owens’ farm on Little Renox Creek before moving to Chesterfield, IN where he grew up and graduated from Daleville HS in 1956.  As a HS basketball player, he developed a love of the game that led him to being a loyal Spurs Fan.  He enjoyed football and was an avid fan of the Cowboys, and later an undivided fan of the Longhorns and the Aggies, following his grandchildren’s attendance at UT and A&M.  He learned how to build from his father, who was a Master Carpenter, and he became an expert carpenter in his own right.  Wayne was also a masterful cook thanks to his mom.

Having joined the US Air Force in 1960, Wayne served the Security Service branch of the U.S. Air Force for the majority of his career with tours in Turkey, Japan, and Thailand.  He had an analytical mind, loyally served his country as a highly decorated and valued analytical security specialist, and rose to the rank of Master Sargent before retiring in 1984.  Following his years of service, Wayne tinkered as a handy-man, gardener and cook, but his role as a family man was where he dedicated himself fully throughout his life.

Wayne was a loving husband, father, grandfather & great-grandfather who is best described as a down to earth, hard-working, kind-hearted, patient, loving man who was devoted to his family and would do anything for them. He loved a good joke so he could laugh along with you.  He was a great mentor and teacher who would listen patiently, provide wise advice and teach whenever possible.  He could build or fix anything, and he had a green-thumb and love of gardening that enabled him to plant and grow vegetables and flowers that most would envy.  Wayne loved tinkering in the kitchen and was an incredible cook who made holidays special staying up half the night preparing the holiday ham with its red-eye gravy.

It was in Turkey, in 1962, where he first met Colleen & her daughters, and upon returning to the U.S. in 1963, the two began dating and were married on October 5, 1963.  Having already been a father to Kevin, upon their marriage Wayne instantly became ‘Daddy’ to Tammi and Sallie and later to Howard Wayne and Shelly.

His wife, Colleen, was drawn to the caring man who went to cook for the poor on his time off; the masterful Pinochle (cards) player and avid bowler who enjoyed spending time with friends and always found time to help others; the courageous man who willingly embraced his role as father to her two fatherless daughters; the husband who wasn’t afraid to work multiple jobs to provide for his family; and the music lover who enjoyed Johnny Cash-recalling how they would listen to him endlessly.  Together they traveled the world, moving to Japan and back twice, and enjoyed long car rides together, traveling through twenty-three states on their last road trip.  They had just celebrated their 58 th anniversary one week before his passing.  Wayne was always the encourager-the one who advised his children and grandchildren to do their best and to think for themselves, regardless of what others did or said they could or couldn’t do-the standard he held for himself.  As a strong-minded man, the moment he made the final decision to “go home” he was ready, passing from this earth to his heavenly reward within a few hours of that decision.

His children benefitted from a father who was larger than life—“the Dad of all Dad’s”--who could, and did, build or fix or do anything and everything and who took the time to teach them and their children the same.  They are grateful for a Dad who drove them across town to attend church with family on Sunday mornings so they grew up knowing the Lord; that despite a humble upbringing every Christmas and birthday were celebrated in abundance and they never felt a lack of anything—especially his love for them; that he taught them to appreciate the value of a dollar or even a penny saved; that he displayed a love of learning and a voracious appetite for reading; that he always disciplined with love; that he showed them that real men show up in the kitchen and make amazing cooks; and that they never doubted that he would and did always drop everything to show up and come to their rescue in times of need or crisis.  They are most thankful for their Dad who loved all his children equally well--those of his own blood and those who became his beloved daughters through marriage--the Dad who taught them that family is created through a love of the heart.

His grandchildren were the joy of his life and they recall a Grandpa who was a gentle-giant; their go-to advisor and supporter; a consummate story-teller and jokester; the patient teacher of life skills; the one who would sneak them all the treats; the welcoming lap that they could fall asleep on listening to his heartbeat; an ever present source of comfort and security; their dearly-loved Grandpa who always had time for them, and always welcomed them with a huge hug and a loving smile.

Having been preceded in death by his parents and grandparents, Wayne is survived by his brother Phillip Norris & wife Judy; his loving wife, Mary “Colleen” Norris; his children Tammi White, Kevin Norris, Sallie (White) & husband Glenn Opel, H. Wayne Norris & wife Stephanie, and Ann “Shelly” (Norris) & husband Clyde Stanley, Jr.; his grandchildren Vonnie Norris, Duran Norris, Mariah Stanley & husband Brandon Williams, Regan (Opel) & husband Lee Moran, Kendall Gunter and wife Lauren, Jourden Stanley, Landon Opel, and Brandon Stanley; and his two great-granddaughters Ellianna and Ryleigh Williams, along with numerous other beloved family members in Indiana.

His legacy will live on in the hearts of his family-in the way they love and serve others, through the hard-working attitude he instilled in them, in the green thumb and life skills he passed on to his sons and grandsons, in the wisdom he imparted for life decisions, and in their devotion to love and care for and about family.

The family extends its heartfelt gratitude to the Doctors and Nurses who tenderly cared for Wayne on the 2 nd floor and in the ICU of North East Methodist Hospital, particularly ‘Nurse Daniel’; the caregivers of Kindred Hospice and Anew Health Care; the EMS teams of Converse Fire Stations #1 , and for the years of care and treatment by Dr. Alvarez, Dr. Burguette, Dr. Canales, and Dr. Garza.

A Memorial Visitation with family will take place on Thursday, November 18 from 5:00 to 8:00 pm at Schertz Funeral Home, 2217 Roy Richard, Dr., Schertz, TX.

A Celebration of Life service will be held in their chapel on Friday, November 19 at 11:00am officiated by Senior Pastor Reverend Cynthia Engstrom of Universal City United Methodist Church.  Graveside Service with full United States Air Force honors to follow at 1:00 pm at Ft. Sam Houston National Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, the family welcomes donations made to the American Diabetes Assn. at an association which was close to Wayne’s heart, having had a number of family members and a personal experience of living with diabetes.

To view Mr. Norris's Celebration of Life, please click on the link below:



Schertz Funeral Home
  • 2217 FM 3009
    Schertz, TX 78154

Funeral Service

Schertz Funeral Home

  • 2217 FM 3009
    Schertz, TX 78154

Graveside Service

Fort Sam Houston National Cemetery
  • 1520 Harry Wurzbach
    San Antonio, Texas 78209
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