Jack Taylor Norris

Jack Taylor Norris, 56, passed away on May 29, 2011 at Providence St. Peter Hospital in Olympia, Washington.

He lived life fully, conquering lymphoma for the past 16 years.

Jack was born on September 14, 1954 in Oakland, California. Jack’s father was a professor of marine botany and so he spent his early years traveling with his family, living in Minneapolis/St. Paul, Minn., Wellington, New Zealand, Pacific Grove, Calif., and Bombay (Mumbai), India, before settling in Seattle and Friday Harbor, Wash., in 1963.

Summers were spent at the University of Washington Friday Harbor Laboratories and the family’s Cady Mountain property. The family moved to Friday Harbor year-round in 1969.

Jack graduated from Friday Harbor High School in 1972 and earned a B.A. in Southeast Asian Studies from the University of Washington, specializing in Hindi and other Indian languages. Jack worked for the Children’s Home Society of Washington and it was there that he became interested in the field of psychology, which would become his life’s work. He went on to earn a B.S. in Psychology from the University of Washington and a Ph.D. in Psychology from Indiana University in 1984.

After completing his studies, Jack worked as an intern at the Portland Veteran’s Association Medical Center, Ore., and performed post-doctoral work at the VA Palo Alto Health Care System, Calif., and the VA Sepulveda Ambulatory Care Center, Los Angeles, Calif. In 1986 he was hired by the VA Puget Sound Health Care System, American Lake Division in Tacoma, Wash., where he specialized in neuropsychology and geriatric psychology, studying Alzheimer’s disease.

In 1992 he accepted a position as neuropsychologist at Madigan Army Medical Center at Joint Base Lewis-McChord, Wash., where he specialized in the study of HIV/AIDS and the diagnosis of traumatic brain injury. He worked there until he retired due to illness in 2008. Recently, he returned to part-time work as a disability consultant for the Washington State Department of Social and Health Services.

Jack was a loving husband to Terilee and a devoted and involved father to his son, Michael. He was an avid student of life, a musician, a voracious reader and a connoisseur of word play. He was passionate about all things related to travel and collected maps and atlases.

An active outdoorsperson, Jack enjoyed backpacking, cross-country skiing and golf. He followed team sports and was known to memorize volumes of baseball statistics and recite them effortlessly.

In his last years, Jack became an expert Sudoku player and liberal political junkie. He was appreciated for his exuberance, sharp intellect, dry wit and straight-faced, off-the-wall comments. Jack was also a master of free-association and delighted his many friends with his superbly unique, agile and irreplaceable sense of humor.

He is survived by his wife, Terilee Wingate of Olympia, Wash.; his son, Pvt. Michael Norris of Fort Benning, Georgia; his mother, Louisa Nishitani, his father and stepmother, Richard and Fiona Norris, his sister, Laura Norris and her husband, Ken Crawbuck, his niece and nephew, Claire Taylor and Graham Crawbuck, all of Friday Harbor, Wash.; and his brother, Richard Norris and partner Wendy Dernbach of Dublin, Calif.

A celebration of Jack’s life will be held in late August.

Jack was proud to run (not walk) a half-marathon in 2006 with the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society’s Team in Training, of which he was an active member. The family requests that donations in memory of Jack be made to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society or the LLS Team in Training program.

— Family of Jack Taylor Norris