George Truman Norrie – 82, North River, Colchester County. We are saddened to announce that our father, grandfather, brother, uncle and friend to many, George Truman Norrie, passed away peacefully early on Monday, April 17, 2023.
Born in Toronto, Ontario, he spent the first few years with his family in the gold-mining town of Amos, Quebec. Dad lost his father at an early age and the family soon moved to the current family home in North River.
He spent his life as a well-known member of the Truro community, attending both Alice Street School and Colchester County Academy. He attended Mount Allison University and Nova Scotia Tech, earning his Civil Engineering degree. He worked for Latimer Construction for several years but moved to Toronto in 1963 with CA Pitts construction, helping construct the Don Valley Parkway. He left Toronto to return to Nova Scotia in 1965, to take over management of the family farm (Fundy Farms) in North River. He started SkyHook limited, a construction company, with his brother Roddie in the early 70s and also became a productive and well known "gravel farmer" in North River. One such crater, "Lake George", serves as a lasting home to many Canada Geese!
Dad married Karen Latimer and had three children. Although divorced many years ago, they rekindled their friendship in recent years. He later married Ann MacKinnon and had another son in the late 80s. A passionate and enlightened speaker, George ran for the Colchester Liberals in 1970, losing by a very slim margin, after which he occasionally dabbled in municipal politics. He was a strong advocate of social conscience in business and politics. After Fundy Farms ceased operations in the early 80s, he worked in the insurance industry in Halifax, and later joined Day and Ross as a Transportation Manager. He retired in the mid-90s and thus began his second career as a prolific writer. Over the past 25 years, he produced three books: one based on his Mother, Margaret, one on his father JP, and one on his personal studies and theories on cancer. He was in the process of collecting family stories for another book when he passed.
Dad was an Old Truro guy and so loved his community. An imposing 6’1", 230 pound thirteen year old, he could be hard to handle in most sports. His life-long love of sports led to longtime playing and coaching. Although he enjoyed minor sports as a youth, he really found his stride with the Main Brace Hockey in the Commercial League in his 30s. He was thankful to Ritchie Crowell for inviting him to play, and to Paul Crossman and Gordie Blair for being his linemates. He was overjoyed to find himself amongst the leaders in league scoring at one point! He often talked about the "characters" on that team providing more than a few laughs in and away from the rink. His trips to Florida with Barry Clark, Randy Crowell, Steve Johnson and the boys were especially memorable. He also spent years coaching minor baseball and softball, in North River and in Town, often with old friend Ralph Willis. He played baseball with the Cougars in the District League, and coached hockey with the Bible Hill Dairymen. He was a Mason, served as President of the Truro Junior B Bearcats Hockey Club, the Truro YMCA, and tutored many students on mathematics over many years. His time with Hughie Matheson’s Bearcats and trips to the Canada Games gave him stories that lasted a lifetime. He was an occasional golfer in his younger years with old friends Tommy Stanfield, Dale Sproule, and Dave Gilroy, and played lots of Hearts with Hanes, Hawk and Buddy Audis. Buddy is a great friend who kept an eye on "Grumpy" George during adventures over the past few years!
Dad was indeed a complicated and interesting character. A great story-teller and prolific reader, he was comfortable debating politics, social issues, family, the weather, or any other subject. Although it often went unspoken, he was immensely proud of his children and grandchildren, sisters and brother, and his nieces and nephews. His pride displayed by a good argument or more advice than one could handle. He adored coffee breaks with fellow Truro alumni such as Kenny Starrett and Lloyd Cavanaugh at Tims, McDonalds, or other watering holes. Often warned (and sometimes shown the door) for his colorful language, he was undaunted in peppering his comments with his favorite naughty words. Despite his boisterous and sometimes belligerent exterior, he was a principled man, honest, sincere, loyal, and immensely proud of his friends and family.
George was predeceased by his father, noted Mining Hall of Famer, James Paul Norrie; mother, Senator Margaret Rosamund (Fawcett) Norrie; sister, Judith; half-brothers, Harry and James; half-sisters, Pauline and Virginia; brother-in-law, Wallace McCain; grandson, Brandon Norrie. He is survived by his sister, Margaret Norrie McCain; brother, Roderick Norrie (Eleanor); children, Jeffrey (Lisa, sep.), Susan (Gary Kaplan), Andrew (Laura) and James. He is also survived by grandchildren, Kelsey Kaplan, Madison Kaplan, Jarrett Norrie, Shawn Norrie, Lindsay Norrie, Hunter Norrie, Blake Norrie. He is also survived by many adoring (and adorable) nephews and nieces. We are especially grateful to Rhonda Adams for stepping in over the past few years to serve as his caregiver. She is an adopted member of the family and a true friend. Thanks also to Marie Lewis with the VON for her incredible patience and personal attention to "Grumpy" during his recent health struggles.
Dad also loved painting as well as old movies, especially those with profound messages. Captain’s Courageous with Spencer Tracy was a particular favorite. Maybe they resonated with him in some unexplained way, but he longed to share those messages with friends and family. His passing leaves a tremendous hole in our hearts but we remain thankful for his life, his time with us, and his peaceful passing.
A Celebration of Life will be held 3 p.m., Friday, July 7, 2023, at First United Church, 711 Prince Street, Truro, Reverend Glenn MacLean officiating. Reception will follow at the Norrie Family Home in North River. Everyone is welcome. A private family interment will take place at Onslow Island Cemetery at a later date. If so desired, donations in George’s memory to Victorian Order of Nurses (Colchester East Hants) or Heart and Stroke Foundation are welcomed.
Arrangements have been entrusted to Mattatall – Varner Funeral Home, 55 Young Street, Truro. Private messages of condolence may be sent to the family by viewing George’s obituary online and selecting "Send A Condolence" at: www.mattatallvarnerfh.com
"Songs about the sun and the sea. Songs about the clouds.
Big songs - about the wind
and the storms.
And little songs too - about the tip on my mother's nose.
Oh, my father, he feel beautiful inside."
Spencer Tracy as Manuel, in Captain’s Courageous,
talking about the songs his father used to sing