Williams Don Norris Death, Obituary – William Donald “Don” Norris, also known as Papa Don, passed away on November 29, 2022 at the age of 84 and resided in West Columbia, South Carolina. He was the son of the late Col. Ray L. Norris and Reba Cox Norris, who passed away before his birth on September 12, 1938 in Columbus County, Tabor City, North Carolina. Don’s cherished son, Troy, as well as his sisters Wendell and Sue, brother-in-law Bob, and daughter-in-law Yvonne, all passed away before him. He is survived by his devoted wife of 56 years, Marilyn; sons, Brian and Dondi; brother, Lavern (Gail); sister-in-law, Deloris; daughter-in-law, Bridget; grandchildren: Mercedes, Ryan (Madison), Caylin, Aly & Nicole; great grand-twins, Isla and Luka; and a devoted niece who was like a daughter, Crystal.
He passed away on September 15, 2018. (Michael, Nicole). Other members of the family include Jamie (Kari, Patrick, and Bailey), Buddy (Gale), and Reba, as well as nephews and nieces (Tony). Don comes from a long line of tobacco farmers. When he was a young boy, he picked up very quickly the lessons that his Christian family had to teach him about love, labor, and humility. Due to the fact that he had three uncles who were Wesleyan Methodist preachers, he was well aware that if he disobeyed authority, the consequences would be severe. He learned the difficult work of growing tobacco and plowing with mules, both of which require a lot of physical labor. He had hopes for a more successful future. After his mother passed away in 1958, he decided to leave Tabor City in search of a fresh start, but he never forgot his origins or his family’s history.
Don immediately enrolled in the Barber College after moving to Columbia. 1960 was the year that he opened the doors to his first business, which was a barber shop located in the Parklane Shopping Center in Cayce, South Carolina. In 1961, he was notified that he would be subject to the draft, and he moved quickly to put his life in order before reporting to serve his country in the United States Army. In Germany, he served with the 19th infantry, 2nd battle group, 24th division during the Berlin Crisis. His duty station was in Berlin. Don was injured during his third year of active duty, during which he participated in combat training. Upon his return to the United States, he was first treated at Womack Hospital in Fayetteville, North Carolina, and then transferred to Fort Bragg. After that, he was a member of the 321st Reserve Unit at Fort Jackson for a period of four years. He continued to serve for quite a few months after his ETS had passed.
In 1964, Don and his brother opened a barber shop together under the name Norris Brothers Barber Shop. It was in 1970 when he opened The Rogue in Dutch Square, and he continued to serve residents of Columbia for the next 45 years before moving the business to Colonial Village (2015 to present). Because of the hair salon’s incredible level of success, it was recognized as The State Newspaper’s Best Hair Salon for a number of years. During this time, his customers started to feel more like family to him. He established a friendship with each customer that lasted for many generations and grew stronger over time.
Don was known for his hilarious stories and jokes, which contributed to his reputation as a gregarious and outgoing person. In addition to that, he relished the opportunity to terrify his sons, nieces, and nephews with a variety of terrifying myths and legends from long ago. It was his quick wit and hilarious sense of humor that made him famous. In addition, Don recognized that numerous laws and licensing regulations needed to be addressed, so he took it upon himself to improve the barbering profession. This was a challenging task. Because so many people had faith in his abilities, he was chosen to lead the South Carolina Barber Association as President. In 1987, Governor Riley recognized his contributions to the community by bestowing upon him the prestigious title of “Barber of the Year.” The year after that, he received an appointment to the South Carolina Barber Board, where he served for a total of 4 terms, including 2 terms as chairman.
These appointments came from his fellow board members. During this time, he was a significant force in the passage of legislation that would have been beneficial to the barbering profession as a whole. Don was described by Senator Joel Lourie as having “a wealth of knowledge” in a letter that he wrote to Governor Riley. The letter was intended to govern and guide the barbers of South Carolina. Don was given a position on the Oversight Committee of the South Carolina Department of Labor, Licensing, and Regulation, which he held until his health began to deteriorate. In addition to that, he was given a position on the West Columbia Planning Commission, where he was responsible for the planning and zoning ordinance for two terms.
In addition to this, he was a member of the advisory board for Roffler Industries in New York City. In this capacity, he assisted his industry in rewriting the National Testing Examinations for the entirety of the country. In addition to this, he had been a member of Our Saviour Lutheran Church continuously since the year 1966. Don was a very busy man, so he always looked forward to spending long weekends at his lake house, which was also his best-kept secret. He fished all the time and loved to watch the sunset from the front porch swing while doing what he did best: thinking about what he did best! Along with his many words of wisdom, he had a strong commitment to the importance of family. His childhood laid the foundation for the kind of man he would become later on.
He had a strong foundation that included the knowledge of family, humility, strength, and respect for other people (always remember to be humble and kind). The family is extremely appreciative of the kind and compassionate care that he received. A special thank you goes out to Dr. Korrapati, who is an oncologist, Paige Tomlinson, who works as an infusion nurse at Lexington Oncology, and the following individuals from Amedisys Hospice: Deborah Cook, R.N., Jerrie Fanning, R.N., Michelle Floyd, who is a registered respiratory therapist, and Jacob Shaw, who is a nurse practitioner.
The funeral services will be held at Our Saviour Lutheran Church in West Columbia on December 3, 2022 at noon. Visitation will begin one hour before the service is scheduled to begin. Immediately following the conclusion of the service, the interment will take place at Southland Memorial Gardens. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions can be sent to Our Saviour Lutheran Church, which is located at 1500 Sunset Boulevard, West Columbia, South Carolina 29169. The family is receiving assistance from Barr-Price Funeral Home’s Lexington Chapel at this time.