Colonel Stephen Ross Norton, USA, Retired, 76, died peacefully in his Williamsburg, VA home on 10 August 2021. Colonel Norton was a career Army soldier, Vietnam veteran, Foreign Area Officer (FAO) specialist, member of the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) Senior Executive Corps, member and Compatriot of the Sons of the American Revolution, and a true American Patriot.
COL Norton was born in Evanston, IL to Ross and Hazel Norton in 1945. He considered himself fortunate to attend Our Lady of Perpetual Help Grade School in Glenview, IL and Notre Dame College Preparatory in Niles, IL. In 1968, COL Norton received his commission as a 2nd Lieutenant from John Carroll University, Cleveland, OH, thus launching what would be a remarkable and unprecedented 30-year Army career.
Highlights of COL Norton’s military service include: combat tour with the 25th Infantry Division in Vietnam; member of the Army’s elite Foreign Area Officer Program with over 17 years overseas; Assistant Army Attaché, Ankara, Turkey; Politico-Military Planner, Joint Chiefs of Staff, J5; Defense Attaché, Nicosia, Cyprus; Special Assistant to the Supreme Allied Commander Europe, Mons, Belgium; Division Chief for Europe, Defense HUMINT Service, DIA; Chief Defense and Foreign Liaison Office, DIA; and Defense Attaché, Athens, Greece. He is credited with lowering the potential for conflict several times in the Aegean Sea between Greece and Turkey.
After retiring from the Army, COL Norton worked briefly at the Western Policy Center then served as the Senior Policy Advisor for National Security to Senator Saxby Chambliss (R, GA) on Capitol Hill. Shortly thereafter, COL Norton was selected into the Senior Executive Corps as Director of the Defense HUMINT Management Office (DHMO), DIA and subsequently, as Director of Security, DIA.
His awards include the Defense Superior Service Medal (2 awards); Legion of Merit (2 awards); Bronze Star Medal (2 awards); Defense Meritorious Service Medal (3 awards); Joint Service Commendation Medal (2 awards); Army Commendation Medal; Joint Service Achievement Medal, DIA Director’s Medal (3 awards); Greek Medal of Honor and Merit and is a member of the Defense Attaché Service Hall of Fame.
COL Norton is survived by his wife, Nancy; his sisters, Jill and Nancy; his twin aunties, Kay and Corky; a multitude of loving nieces, nephews; and a small army of amazing and prayerful cousins. He is preceded in death by his first wife, Gillian; and his daughter, Stephanie, who died in infancy.
COL Norton will be buried at Arlington National Cemetery at a date to be determined. In lieu of flowers, your donation would be welcome at the Williamsburg House of Mercy or one of your favorite veteran organizations. Please pray for our country.