Elizabeth Norris
Elizabeth Norris
Elizabeth Norris
Elizabeth Norris
Elizabeth Norris
Elizabeth Norris

Obituary of Elizabeth Jean Norris


Elizabeth Jean “Betty” Norris passed away peacefully on June 9, 2024. She was sharp of mind until the end of her life’s journey, even as physical illness took its toll.

Betty lit up any room she entered with her big personality and her cackle of laughter. She was amazing. A true trailblazer. She conquered cancer multiple times. She raised three daughters and nurtured countless more people into adulthood as an aunt, neighbor, wise elder, grandma, and trusted confidant.

She spent 30 years working as a clerk for the US Postal Service where she helped elevate and streamline standards. Most of those years were spent on the overnight shift so she would be at home by the time her three daughters returned from school. A lover of books, she talked her supervisors into creating an on-site library in that massive art deco main post office building at the edge of the Mississippi River—an oasis for people like her who worked odd hours and couldn’t always or easily use traditional public libraries.

Betty was a natural teacher. A loyal friend. A fantastic cook. An avid explorer. A passionate fan of the Vikings, the Twins, golf and horseracing. Those who were close to her sometimes called her “Offtrack Betty.”

Betty was born in Duluth on March 2, 1931 to Ione and Jinx Brown. She lived in Minnesota all her life other than a few years during early childhood when the Brown family lived in Spokane, Washington with her uncle who ran a popular restaurant there named The Harlem Club. She graduated from South High School in Minneapolis.

She is preceded in death by her parents, Jinx and Ione Brown, two daughters, Marguerite McGraw and Catherine Rucinda “Cindy” McGraw Haffa, former husbands, Donald McGraw and Belvin Norris and her three siblings, Jimmy Brown, Doris Christopher, and Leah Cole.

She is survived by her daughter Michele Norris; sons-in-law, Tim Haffa and Broderick Johnson; grandchildren, Dwight McGraw, Broddy Johnson (Stephanie), Aja Johnson, Norris Johnson, and Olivia Keenan; great-grandchildren, Tatiana Webb, Malik Robertson, and Carter Johnson; and a great-great-grandson, Kaiser Henry.

“Grandma Betty” as she was known to all also had several nieces and nephews, and a host of cherished friends.

Betty’s family wishes to express heartfelt gratitude to all those who loved her so deeply — especially toward the end of her life when it meant so much as people checked on her with calls, notes, food, visits, love taps, and simple check-ins to provide her with companionship, even on the toughest days. Special appreciation goes to nieces Tracey Newberry and Christine Braziel, and to the team of angels at Park Nicollet Hospice.

The service for Betty Norris will take place on Saturday June 22, 2024 at 10 am at The Cremation Society of Minnesota. 7110 France Ave South Edina, MN 55435. A reception will follow at the same location.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made in Betty’s name to the Sabathani Community Center: secure.givelively.org


Memorial Service

10:00 am
Saturday, June 22, 2024
Cremation Society of Minnesota - Edina
7110 France Avenue
Edina, Minnesota, United States
Reception to Follow.
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