Chiquita pero picosa was how many knew Irma Florence Marquez Norris. Born and reared in Los Pachecos, a hamlet in Rio Arriba County, Irma was the youngest of four children, three daughters and a son born to Anita Bustos Marquez and Jose Marquez, on January 11, 1932.
Irma died at her Santa Fe home on Wednesday, February 8, 2023. She was 91.
Fond memories of growing up in Northern New Mexico, hard work on the family homeplace, a profound sense of community and a deep love of her extended family were always guiding principles in her life. As a child she enjoyed weekends at her neighbor Covito’s orchard picking fruit and daydreaming. She spent countless hours with her best friend, her brother Willie. Always at his side, she frequently served as his “marble caddy” so he could focus on the game; he was frequently referred to as the “marble champ” with a beaming Irma beside him.
As a young girl, Irma contemplated becoming a nun. She thought this would be a wonderful life. That dream was interrupted when the Lord had other plans for her. Always a spirited and independent soul, Irma left her family home at the age of 16 for the big city of Santa Fe. Soon, she met her first husband, had four children, and eventually was divorced. While out with a group of girlfriends commemorating the end of her first marriage, Irma met a strapping hazel-eyed former Marine at the popular Adobe Club in Pojoaque, N.M. On this auspicious night, William D. Norris, Sr., was on an outing with his brother Jim at the popular club. Bill frequently recounted that he asked Irma to dance, she laid her head on his chest, and the rest was history.
A loving and devoted mother, Irma took great pride in raising her six children. She was known for her soft and gentle hands, championing and defending her children, and for being the first to correct their devious behavior with a flying foot slipper. She was always on target.
A devout Catholic, Irma leaned on her faith to help guide her throughout her life, and to shepherd her family through life’s twists and turns. Bill and Irma were married on January 10, 1959. They made their home in Santa Fe for two years, then in 1962, Irma and Bill moved their family to Los Alamos where Irma continued her life's passion as a homemaker. As empty nesters, Irma and Bill returned to Santa Fe where they lived until their passing. After Bill's passing in 2020, Irma's health rapidly declined.
Irma is also pre-deceased by her parents, sisters: Maria A. Diaz and Mary Lou Trujillo, Santa Fe; her brother Willie Marquez, Santa Fe; daughter Gloria Allen, Los Alamos; grandson Nathan Lee Norris, Albuquerque; brothers-in-law: Horacio Trujillo, Santa Fe, Lester Norris, Michigan; Jim Norris, California; T.R. Hardin and Bill Banks, both of Texas; John Dunaway, New Mexico; and sister-in-law Norma Norris, California.
Irma is survived by her children: Danny T. Norris (Tina), Los Alamos; James Norris (Lorella), Albuquerque; Jeanette Machesic (Dan), Colorado; Deborah A. Norris Sparks (Gary), Santa Fe; William D. Norris Jr., Santa Fe; sisters-in-laws: Maureen Marquez, Santa Fe; Margaret Hardin, Groves, Texas; Mary Lou “Louie” Banks, Dallas, Texas; Martha Dunaway, Roswell, New Mexico; thirteen grandchildren; thirteen great-grandchildren; four great-great-grandchildren; and numerous nieces, nephews and friends.
The family thanks Linda Ross, P.A. for her friendship and the years she cared for Irma, and the Ambercare Hospice team: Lynn Simmons, Jerah Sherman, and Dr. Karin Thron.
Funeral services for Irma Florence Bustos Marquez Norris are a viewing and rosary at 5:30 p.m., Thursday, February 16, at Berardinelli Funeral Home (1399 Luisa Street); a mass at 10 a.m., Friday, February 17, at the Santa Maria de la Paz Catholic Church (11 College Avenue); and a reception following mass at The Santa Fe Country Club (4360 Country Club Road). Committal services will be at 12:30 p.m. on Thursday, February 23, 2023, at the Santa Fe National Cemetery (501 N. Guadalupe Street). Honoring the family as pallbearers will be Danny T. Norris, James W. Norris, William D. Norris, Jr., Gary L. Sparks, Michael W. Sparks and Samuel D. Norris.