William Norris Little, Sr.
William Norris Little, Sr. went to be with his Lord on October 1, 2022 at the age of 91.
Norris is survived by his loving wife Billie M. Little; his beloved children W. Norris Little Jr. (Francie), J. Alan Little (Cindy), Laurie L. Lokey (Bill); his grandchildren William N. Little, III (Sara), Henry S. Little (Dana), Esther L. Bratton (Ben), John A. Little, Jr. (Sims), Mark J. Little (Kaila), Stephanie K. Fennema (Mike), Brittany K. Same (Isaiah); his great-grandchildren Jack Halferty, Stella Halferty, Scarlett Halferty, Lucy Halferty, Lia Little, Lexie Little, Charlotte Bratton, Margaret Bratton, Rob Bratton, Jack Little, Luke Little, Hayden Little, Emery Little, Brooklyn Little, Elliot Fennema, Oliver Fennema, Mattie Grace Fennema, Abigail Fennema, Isaac Fennema, Liam Same, and Ellison Same; his sister, Sandra Lear; his sister-in-law, Mary M. Jones; and many nieces and nephews.
He is preceded in death by his parents, Ollie Meggs Little and Silas Judson Little; his brother and sisters, Bessie L. Hill, Lexie L. Hill, Silas Judson Little Jr., and Claire Little; his mother and father-in-law, John and Billie Mancin; and his brother-in-law, John Albert Mancin, Jr.
Norris was born on June 28, 1931 in Marshville, NC to Ollie and Silas Little. He attended the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and graduated from Georgia State College in Atlanta, Ga. with a degree in Business. He married Billie Marion Mancin in 1953 and they have been dancing together for more than 70 years.
The care and thoughtfulness with which Norris Little dealt with people was inspiring. His personal warmth and genuine interest in people just made you want to be around him. Even as he was advancing in his career in local industry where he rose to the pinnacle of Shaw Industries, Norris believed in teamwork and in getting to know the people he worked with. No one worked “for” him, he liked to say. They worked “with” him. “People have so much you can learn from them,” he said.
When Norris spoke to a senior leadership class at Dalton State College several years ago, he shared lessons with the students that he had always sought to live by. “Put God above all things, then put your family first. No one on his death bed ever wished he had spent more time at the office. Always ask yourself if what you’re doing is the right thing to do. Failure is not bad. You learn from it. Try things – without trying you’ll never know what works. Giving your best doesn’t cost any more than just doing enough to get by. Invest in your community. Community involvement is important for building a better place for your family.”
During six decades – nearly two-thirds of his life – Norris invested generously in his community as a board member, board chairman, strategic advisor, philanthropist, and cheerleader for many non-profit, including Boy Scouts of America, Carpet and Rug Institute, Community Foundation of Northwest Georgia, Covenant College Foundation, Creative Arts Guild, Dalton State College Foundation, Friendship House, Greater Dalton Chamber of Commerce, Hamilton Medical Center, Junior Achievement of Northwest Georgia, Salvation Army, and United Way of Northwest Georgia.
He even ran for public office, and Norris was elected as Alderman and served on the Dalton City Council in the 1980s. He was a leader in his church, and his Christ-centered faith guided him in all of his endeavors – personal, business, and volunteer. He once said that his community volunteer work “took a lot of time, but that is where we wanted to spend our time. It was not easy, but it was one of the happiest things we ever did.
A funeral is scheduled for 3 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 5, at ChristChurch Presbyterian in the sanctuary.
Visitation will be from 12-3 p.m. in the fellowship hall at the same location.
A graveside service will follow the funeral at West Hill Cemetery.
All are welcome to attend the worship service and celebrate Norris's life.
In lieu of flowers, please send donations to ChristChurch Presbyterian, at 510 S. Tibbs Road, Dalton, Ga. 30720.