Esther Frances Norton peacefully passed from this life in her home in Turlock on February 3, 2018, of natural causes. She was 97, having been born on August 19, 1920. She leaves a large loving family of daughters Berry A. Norton of Violet Hills, Arkansas, and Susan Hahn (John) of Plymouth, California, together with grandson David Hahn of Los Angeles (Micaela), and granddaughter Katherine Hahn of Santa Rosa, together with great-grandchildren, Sofia, William, and James Hahn and Alexandra, Isabelle, and Emily Wheat. Esther also leaves many nieces and nephews. She was especially close to Bruce Hotchkiss (Adrian) and Randy Norton (Lani). She was preceded in death in 2007 by her husband of 67 years, Quaile Rand Norton, and her sister Evelyn Hotchkiss and brothers Paul and Donald.
Esther was the daughter of immigrants. Her father Frank L. De Mark emigrated to the United States from Sicily, lived in New York and Wisconsin, and settled in Tracy. Her mother, Anna, was born in Sweden. Together they founded the De Mark Memorial Chapel in Tracy. Esther graduated from Tracy High School and attended the College of the Pacific, where she pursued her life-long interest in music. She met Quaile at Yosemite in 1940 and they were married two months later in Yuma, Arizona. During WWII Esther worked for Kaiser Shipyards in Oakland, recording any malfunctions in new Liberty Ships during trial runs into the Pacific.
In 1947, Quaile and Esther opened Norton Mortuary in Turlock, which they owned and operated together until 1982. She was very active in the community, being a member of Soroptimists, Eastern Star, and Pythian Sisters. She sang for Sunday services at the Presbyterian Church and for funerals and weddings. She was until recently a devoted and competitive bridge player. She and Quaile traveled all over the world and also across the United States in their motor home. In their later years they spent winters at their home in Palm Desert and summers at their cabin at Silver Lake.
She loved her family and always had time for them. They will always miss her. They thank Sandy Gossett for the wonderful loving hands on care that she provided Esther during her last years.
A service will be held on Saturday, February 10, 2018 at 11 AM at Whitehurst-Norton-Dias Funeral Service. Entombment will be by the family.