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Stephen C. Norris, a lifelong resident of Nashua, New Hampshire whose selfless commitment and endless energy enriched his family and community as well as the lives of thousands of students during his 45-year career as a high school music teacher died on May 27, 2018 following a brief illness. He was 88.
Steve is survived by Stephanie Norris, his wife of 54 years. Additional survivors include their sons Geoffrey Norris and his wife Julie of Nashua and Gregory Norris and his wife Corinne of Portsmouth, NH, their grandchildren Alexandra and Stephen Norris of Nashua and Mitchell and Nicholas Norris of Portsmouth, Steve’s brother William Norris and his wife Phyllis of Folsom, California, and Stephanie’s sisters Alexis Hanson and Sally Paolini of Mashpee, Massachusetts and brother Harry Pappas of Webster, Massachusetts. He was predeceased by his parents Caliope and Nicholas Norris and his brother, James Norris.
“Mr. Norris” directed the band and chorus and taught music at Nashua High School from 1955 to 1998. He also taught and coordinated elementary and middle school music programs for many of those years and founded the city’s elementary instrumental program and first youth band. He earned numerous personal awards, including the NH Music Educators Association Distinguished Educator of the Year, but valued none more than the opportunities to encourage, challenge and provide positive learning experiences for his students. The Stephen Norris Music Rooms at Nashua High School South were dedicated in honor of his distinguished service in 2012 and he was inducted into the Holman Stadium Hall of Fame.
Under Steve’s direction and initiative, NHS band and choral groups were integral to the fabric and culture of the city, performing at thousands of football games, parades, concerts and other events. Those groups also represented the school and city throughout the Eastern United States on a regular basis, earning exemplary scores at competitions, festivals and parades from Maine to Florida, including first place at the prestigious Cherry Blossom Festival Parade in Washington, D.C.
Steve cherished spending time with family and friends, including during summers at the beach. He especially enjoyed cooking, yard work, painting and doing anything that helped others. He was a cook for many summers and met his wife while they were working at the same restaurant at Hampton Beach in 1961. For the past 30 years, they spent summers at their home in York Beach, Maine. Over the past two decades, they especially enjoyed spending time with their four grandchildren and attending their games, concerts and school activities.
Steve graduated from Nashua High School in 1947 and Boston University in 1952 and earned a Master’s Degree from Rivier University. He taught for three years in Ashland, New Hampshire before returning to Nashua. He was a parishioner, board member and a member of the committee that founded St. Philip Greek Orthodox Church and was a church organist for 70 years. He was also an active member of the AHEPA (American Hellenic Educational Progressive Association), Nashua Lions Club, and Nashua Actorsingers and a 32nd Degree Mason.
Visiting hours will be held Tuesday May 29, 2018 from 4 to 8 PM in the Anctil-Rochette & Son Funeral Home, 21 Kinsley St., Nashua. Funeral Services will be held on Wednesday May 30, 2018 in St. Philip Greek Orthodox Church, 500 West Hollis St., Nashua at 1:00 PM. Burial will follow in Woodlawn Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, memorial contribution may be made to St. Philip Greek Orthodox Church, 500 West Hollis St., Nashua, NH 03062.