VIENNA - Thelma B. Norton, 92, passed away peacefully at dawn on Tuesday, Jan. 22, 2013, surrounded by all her children and granddaughter, Laura Norton Mosch.
Thelma was born Dec. 17, 1920, in Louisville, Ky., to Lawrence and Eva Coffman Bennett.
During World War II, Thelma was a "Rosie the Riveter.'' Thereafter, she joined the Women's Army Corps, where she was a recruiter and a poster girl for the Women's Army Corps and secretary to the base commander in Zanesville.
She met her husband, Ernest N. Norton Sr., whom she would marry on May 7, 1944, while he was stationed in Zanesville. In 1951, Thelma and Ernest moved to Vienna to raise their children.
One day, a pilot at the nearby Youngstown Air Base stopped to see if he could park his trailer behind their house and hook up to their utilities. These young airmen desperately needed a place for their family to live as there was a severe housing shortage after the war. They immediately said yes and this was the start of what would become "Jet Acres" and it is now known as Midway Mobile Homes Park in Vienna.
Thelma and Ernest built and managed Midway together, and upon Ernest's death in 1996, she then managed it alone until her retirement in 2004.
Mrs. Norton was active in her local Women's Veterans Auxiliary as well as the Girl Scouts. She and her husband sponsored several Vienna athletic teams and built a baseball field on the Midway property. They were also longtime supporters of the Vienna Volunteer Fire Department and the Vienna Kiwanis Club.
Thelma is survived by her four children, Ernest (Linda) Norton of Vienna, Beverly Grant of San Diego, Larry (Lynda) Norton of Champion and William Edward Norton of Girard; four grandchildren, Stacy Norton Westbrook, Laura Norton Mosch, and Dana and Cara Norton; and three great-grandchildren, Ian Edwards, and Olivia and Quinn Mosch.
She was preceded in death by her parents; her husband; brother and sister-in-law, Edward and Ann Prezelomski; and by her brothers, Melvin and Buddy Bennett.
Calling hours for friends and family will be held 5 to 7 p.m. Thursday at the Madasz Chapel of Lane Family Funeral Homes, 6923 Warren Sharon Road, Brookfield, OH 44403; 330-448-6969. A funeral service will follow beginning at 7 p.m.
Burial will take place at Green Haven Memorial Gardens in Canfield on Friday.
Memorial donations may be made to either Hospice of the Valley or the Vienna Township Fire Department.
Family and friends may view this memorial tribute and send condolences to www.lanefuneralhomes.com.