Erich Norris

Erich Robert Norris

Wednesday, April 2nd, 1952 - Wednesday, March 4th, 2020
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Erich Norris, 67, of Benton Harbor passed away Wednesday evening, March 4, 2020 at the Hanson Hospice Center in Stevensville.

A Celebration of Life Service will be held on Monday, March 9, 2020, at 11 AM at Zion United Church of Christ, 3001 Veronica Dr., St. Joseph, with Pastor Adam Bohland officiating. Burial will follow the service at Mission Hills Memorial Gardens in Niles. Friends may visit with the family on Sunday, March 8, 2020 from 2 PM until 4 PM at Starks & Menchinger Chapel, 2650 Niles Rd., St. Joseph. Memorial contributions may be made to the Berrien County Youth Fair, Zion United Church of Christ – St. Joseph or the Berrien County Cancer Services. Thoughts may be shared with the family online at

Erich was born on April 2, 1952, in Niles, to Robert & Irene (Kerlikowske) Norris. He started his education at National School, a one-room schoolhouse in Berrien Center. He attended with his sister, Connie Hughey, until the school closed in 1964. It was the same one-room schoolhouse his father attended through 8th grade. He went on to graduate from Berrien Springs High School. Erich continued his education by earning his bachelor’s degree in Animal Nutrition from Michigan State University. He was a huge supporter and fan of the school. He also had a graduate degree from North Dakota State University. He loved the Dakotas and enjoyed a few years as a cowboy there.

Erich was a farmer and cowboy at heart. He spent most of his life on his family farm with his father, Robert Norris, in Berrien Center raising cattle, hogs, grains and Michigan certified seed. He was one of the very first breeders of Chianina Cattle in MI. In addition to his career as a farmer, Erich was also a realtor in Lansing and Southwest Michigan and truck driver with Tri-Campbell Trucking in North Dakota.

He shared his farming knowledge as an agriculture teacher for eight years at Southwestern Michigan College, was a professional livestock & horse judge, and was always active in the Berrien County Youth Fair and 4-H. He won many awards including outstanding 4-H leader and was the Chairman of the Handicapped Riding 4-H program.

In addition to his love for animals, Erich was a history buff and avid reader. He had a passion for the Civil War, Abraham Lincoln and Native American history, specifically the Pokagon Band of the Potawatomi Indians. He also enjoyed hunting deer and turkey and fishing the inland lakes. He volunteered at the Heddon Museum in Dowagiac, which celebrates the sport of fishing.

Erich was an active lifelong member of Zion United Church of Christ - St. Joseph, a Commander with the American Legion Post 85 in Berrien Springs and an active member of the D.A.N.K. Chapter 13 Club in Benton Harbor. Erich had many passions, but nothing was more important than family.

Erich is survived by his father Robert; sister, Connie (Richard) Hughey of Niles; niece, Alison (Dennis) Clifford and their children Kellan, Hugh and Shane of Chicago; nephew, Richard (Kirsten) Hughey of Niles; and many cousins and close friends. He was preceded in death by his mother, Irene Norris, in 2012.
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Service Details

  • Visitation

    Sunday, March 8th, 2020 | 2:00pm - 4:00pm
    Sunday, March 8th, 2020 2:00pm - 4:00pm
    Starks & Menchinger Chapel
    2650 Niles Rd.
    St. Joseph, MI 49085
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email
  • Service

    Monday, March 9th, 2020 | 11:00am
    Monday, March 9th, 2020 11:00am
    Zion Evangelical United Church of Christ - St. Joseph
    3001 Veronica Dr.
    St. Joseph, MI 49085
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email
  • Interment

    Mission Hills Memorial Gardens - Niles
    61453 M-51
    Niles, MI 49120
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email


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tamara walton

Posted at 10:22pm
I'm so sorry to hear of Erich's passing. He always had a smile & a chat with my mom at the Antiques on the Bluff events she loved to walk through. Connie, you and your dad are in my prayers.

Barbara (Brown) Halll

Posted at 07:00pm
Eric always had a smile and kind word for everyone. He will always be remembered and missed. My sympathies to his family.

Joyce Finlay

Posted at 11:14pm
I’m so sorry for your loss. Erich and my mom loved to talk about history. Having Erich as a neighbor really enriched her life

Jeanne Musgrove Armstrong

Posted at 09:17pm
Mr. Norris and Connie- My deepest sympathy to you. I remember Erich from the fair days and the kindest you and Erich shared with us during our times of sorrow. You will be in my thoughts and prayers.

Jon Kerlikowske

Posted at 05:29pm
Uncle Bob & Connie we were saddened to learn of Erich's passing. Some of my fondest memories are of our family gatherings. The kids, led by Erich, playing outside till we could go no more. The card tables with euchre and bridge were both fun and competitive. We were a lucky group. Please know we are thinking of you in this difficult time, but also thankful for the joy Erich brought to our lives. Jon, Denise, Keenan & Rebecca Kerlikowske.

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