(The following was written by James Hohenzy in an email to several others who knew Norris and was provided by Norris’ wife Shelley for publication on the McK and ThunderCals website.)
Norris Graser passed about 3 AM, April 16, 2023 AD, Eastern Orthodox Easter Sunday, of a heart attack. Earth has lost one of the most interesting, interested, knowledgeable, pensive, capable, multitalented, moral, decent human beings (with an active, sometimes sardonic sense of humour) it has ever been this writer’s honour to know, much less having been granted the privilege of calling, “close friend.”
Norris remained an active, competent, artful scale modeler, interested in the hobby since single-digit age, especially 1/48 WW II and Post- aircraft and of “recent,” dinosaur kits.
Norris had worked up until the companies’ end with Monogram and (US) Revell and had done consultation, kit-box-buildups and markings research for them.
Norris was a very capable (electric) guitarist with a splendid stable of high quality instruments and possessed a wide knowledge of brands / instruments histories, players, variations.
Norris owned a model decal company (ThunderCals) devoted to his passion; Republic P-47 Thunderbolts. No doubt, he was one of the planet’s authorities on the aircraft, markings and kits thereof. He also acquired a large number of other discontinued decals and maintained a casual business, selling them on the cosmicnet and at modeling events.
Norris was a master aviation photographer, historian and historiographer; he maintained relationships where he was able, as recent as last month, travel to military bases and take photos. No question, he has ten or more thousand images.
Norris’ depth of knowledge of and vast, repeat, vast library of “classic” popular, especially guitar-oriented music was whelming.
Norris was a devoted husband to Shelley and father to his son Dave.
Norris was a staunch lover of this country and the best of it and visibly, greatly pained by its decline.
Norris and James shared a love of our canine friends, in his case, “Lil’ Ed”, a big, black lap-Lab who is anything but little. Named for the founder of the Blues Imperials band.
Norris was “dad” to a number of turtles and tortoises and knew a small library about them…Shelley and his son have a serious maintenance job, there.
Norris’ “reptiles” interest was further evident in his knowledge of and skillful, imaginative modeling of, dinosaurs and kits.
Norris had a phenomenal memory and was super-well-versed on old TV shows / series and campy “monster / space movies” as well.
Norris competently wrote the IPMS McKinstry newsletter as well…for a long time.
Ralph, ‘gotta stop now. Please pray Norris’ soul is now in the eternal keeping and care of The Almighty. May he remain fondly in our memories and check in on those of us who valued him, from The Beyond.
PS If any of this is does not strike as truly dotted i-s / crossed t-s accurate to any of you who also knew Nor well, please excuse and forgive; it’s only this writer’s POV…as he remembers a cherished pal.