Norris Adam Dearmon passed away peacefully at his home on May 22, 2023. He was 100 years old. He is survived by his four children – Mark Dearmon of Raleigh, Teresa Erwin of Concord, Connie Long of Durham and Eric Dearmon (Cheryl) of Kannapolis, his five grandchildren – Adam Erwin, Andrew Erwin, Chris Dearmon, Bryan Long and Kevin Dearmon and six great-grandchildren. He was predeceased by Dorothy, his wife of almost 74 years, his parents, W.O. Dearmon and Carrie Epsy Nicks Dearmon, his stepmother Pearl Dearmon, his brother Howard Dearmon, his sisters Betty Fuller and Mary Walker, his stepbrother Millard Alexander and stepsister Wilma Sells.
Norris was born on August 7, 1922, in Statesville, NC. His family moved around until the summer of 1935 when they settled down in Kannapolis. He graduated from J.W. Cannon High School in 1941.
Norris married Dorothy Peck Pethel on April 4, 1942, at Kimball Memorial Lutheran Church. In November, he was drafted into the armed service. After medical and dental training, he was shipped to Iceland where he served as a dental assistant, He was discharged from service on January 22, 1946.
In 1946, Norris enrolled at Lenoir Rhyne College in pre-dental courses which he completed in the summer of 1949. Later that summer, he applied for a position in the tabulating department at Cannon Mills in Kannapolis. From that point on, he introduced the office to computers and was instrumental in leading Cannon Mills into the computer age as a programmer, systems analyst and supervisor. In 1985, he retired from Cannon Mills.
To help pay for college, Norris opened Quick Stop, a convenience store, in 1971. All of his children graduated from college debt free and with a new car.
Throughout his life, Norris was active in his community. He was very involved in Kimball Memorial Lutheran Church, serving on most of the committees and as president of the Church Council for three terms. He sang in the choir for over 50 years and worked with his son Mark to put together multi-media presentations to celebrate Kimball’s 75th and 90th anniversaries.
Norris will probably be most remembered for his love of history and genealogy. He served on the committee to organize the Cabarrus Genealogy Society and served as president and treasurer of the Rowan Genealogy Society. He wrote articles for the Salisbury Post and was interviewed by many newspapers and television stations about Kannapolis. He was known as the Kannapolis historian.
In 1992, he was instrumental in opening the GI House Museum and conducted tours most Saturdays during the summer and on request until the pandemic. In 1998, he opened the Gertrude and Foy Hinson History Room at the Kannapolis library and served as a volunteer most Saturdays. He taped oral histories of WWII veterans and notable Kannapolis residents. He and his wife were two of the founders of the Kannapolis History Associates. His dream was for a standalone Kannapolis history museum in downtown Kannapolis.
He was honored for his many years of service. In 2007, he was the Grand Marshall of the Kannapolis Christmas parade. In 2009, he was chosen for the WWII Veterans Honor Flight to Washington D.C. In 2010, he published his autobiography fittingly named My Life Story.
Norris was a lifetime member of the VFW and Post 115 of the Kannapolis American Legion. In 2011, he was elected Commander of the Post for two terms.
In 2016, he was presented with the Order of the Long Leaf Pine Award, the highest civilian honor presented by the governor.
In 2018, he was named the Legionnaire of the Year by Post 115. In 2021, he was inducted into the N.C. Military Veterans Hall of Fame.
On August 7, 2022, Norris celebrated his 100th birthday. Over 100 people attended his party at Kimball where he was presented with a proclamation by the mayor of Kannapolis and a certificate in celebration of his centennial birthday from Governor Cooper.
Norris gave so much to so many during his 100 years and will be remembered and missed by us all.
Funeral services will be held at 12:00 PM Saturday, May 27th at Kimball Lutheran Church officiated by Rev. John Futterer. Burial will follow at Carolina Memorial Park. The family receive friends from 10:00 AM to Noon on Saturday, May 27 in the church Commons.
The Dearmon family would like to thank Cabarrus County Hospice Home Care for their support of Norris and his family during his final months.
In lieu of flowers, donations to the Kannapolis History Associates, P.O. Box 21, Kannapolis, NC 28082 or Kimball Lutheran Church, 101 Vance Ave., Kannapolis, NC 28081 would be appreciated.
Online condolences may be left at www.whitleysfuneralhome.com
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