School 07

Julia Byrd (Bennett) Norris

November 24, 1943 ~ January 1, 2024 (age 80) 80 Years Old

Julia Norris Obituary

Julia Byrd Bennett Norris, born November 24th,1943, passed away peacefully on January 1st, 2024, at Smoky Ridge Nursing Center after an extended illness. A native of Yancey County, she was the daughter of the late Mark W. Bennett, Sr., and Elizabeth (Lib) Bennett. She was also preceded in death by her brother Dr. Mark Bennett, Jr.

Julia received her undergraduate degree in Elementary Education from Florida State University and a Masters in School Administration from Western Carolina University. She was a lifelong educator serving the children of Yancey County for 36 years as both a classroom teacher, assistant principal, and principal. She retired in 2006 after being principal at Burnsville Elementary School for 10 years. She served for many terms as a Trustee for Mayland Community College and on the Mayland Community College Foundation Board. She was a member of the local chapter P.E.O., International whose primary purpose is to help women pursue higher education.

She is survived by her husband of 59 years, Staunton Norris, and her children Heather Hockaday (Danny) of Jupiter, NC; and Staunton Norris III (Carrie) of Etowah NC. A sister, Bunny Bennett, sister-in-law Patricia Bennett, sister and brother-in-law, Kitsy and Bill Nagle all of Burnsville. Survivors also include two nephews and numerous cousins. 

Her pride and joy were her seven grandchildren who she was known to as “Ma Julie” - Jackson Bennett Hockaday, Brennan McCall Hockaday, Yates Byrd Hockaday, Thomas Daniel Hockaday, Harper Elizabeth Hockaday, Caden Richard Norris and Bennett Staunton Norris. She never missed a sporting event or school function in support of them and loved them all dearly.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Burnsville Elementary School, Attention Burnsville Media Center; 395 Burnsville School Road, Burnsville NC, 28714. The family will hold a private ceremony at a later date.

Holcombe Brothers Funeral Home is respectfully serving the Norris family.

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