Friday, October 27, 2017

Robert W. “Dobro Bob” Norton

Whitesville, NY - Robert W. “Dobro Bob” Norton, 85, of 2062 Route 248A, passed away unexpectedly on Thursday, October 26, 2017 at home. He was born February 13, 1932 in Jasper, NY, the son of the late Chester and Katherine (Mattison) Norton. On November 27, 1954 in Whitesville, he married Lucy Ray who predeceased him on December 26, 2000.

Dobro was a 1950 graduate of Wellsville High School. He was initially employed at General Motors Corporation in Tonawanda and later for the Town of Willing. In 1966, he joined Dresser-Rand Corporation, where he was employed until his retirement in 1994. He was a lifelong member of the Southern Tier Bluegrass Association, and was well known for his Dobro and yodeling skills. He and his wife Lucy, hosted the infamous “Norton Leek Dinner” every spring for 50 years. He will be fondly remembered by family and friends as a caring, hardworking man who loved life, his family, and an occasional beer.

He is survived by four children, Kitty Pratt and her husband Richard of Whitesville, Chester “Chet” Norton and his wife Susan of Whitesville, Michele Norton and her husband Steven Weisman of Williamstown, New Jersey and Lewis “Louie” Norton and his wife Karen of Whitesville, five beloved grandchildren, Xandria, Lily, Ian, Grace and Chloe Norton, three step-grandchildren, Jason and Matthew Burns and Richard Pratt III, as well as several nieces and nephews. He was predeceased in addition to his parents, by a brother, Hoyt Norton and two sisters, Lena Madison and Lila Johnston.   

Friends are invited to a Memorial Mass on Friday, November 3, 2017 at 11:00 am, at Sacred Heart Church in Genesee, PA, with Rev. Joseph Dougherty as celebrant. Please consider memorial donations to the Hart Comfort House in Wellsville, the Genesee Emergency Squad in Genesee, PA or the Battleship New Jersey Museum and Memorial, 62 Battleship Place, Camden, NJ 08103, or visit To leave online condolences, please visit 


  1. marianne taylor schurgOctober 27, 2017 at 3:30 PM

    you were a dear sweet man,i enjoyed the reunions so much,i will miss you ,give my gramma taylor and daughter a hug.and your mom i remember going to her house as a child.prayers and love to you all

  2. We will miss him so much. See you on Friday.

  3. Prayers to the family during this difficult time. So many memories from my childhood... My parents, Joe and Loretta Zwack, spent many hours at the Norton house playing guitars, calling square dances, and of course the Ham and Leek Dinner. Great steel guitar player and yodeler. Much love and prayers to all from our family to yours. Roberta Palidar Stickles

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  5. Deacon Frank PasqualeOctober 28, 2017 at 10:55 AM

    My thoughts and prayers are sent out on this day for Bob and all his family. May you now now be singing and playing before God our Father in Heaven with all those who have gone before you. Kitty and I will miss your presence at the gathhering you gave us on this earth. You have left this world to be a better place in the blessings you poured upon us in family and friends.You taught us what family is about. Let us remember you by continuing through your spirit of life as lived as we go forth and share it those lessons you taught so well.