Cover photo for Carolyn Norris's Obituary
Carolyn Norris Profile Photo

Carolyn Norris

January 19, 1948 — November 6, 2015

Carolyn Norris

Carolyn Louise Means Norris began her life's journey on January 19, 1948, in Bessemer, Alabama, when she became the oldest child born to Deacon Willie Means and Leola Ravizee. At an early age, she confessed Christ and joined New Zion Missionary Baptist Church where her mother was the church organist, and her uncle Reverend S. H. Ravizee was the Pastor. She was very active in the church participating in the choir and Sunbeams. Embracing her family's rich legacy of music and Christian service, she began singing in her mother's gospel ensemble, The Spirits of Harmony. At the age of fifteen, she began working as a church musician at the Sixth Avenue Beulah Baptist Church in Bessemer. She also worked with the various choirs at First Baptist Church, South Bessemer for more than two decades. She worked faithfully in these roles until her health began to fail in June 2014. A proud product of the Bessemer City School Systems, she attended Paul L. Dunbar Primary School and graduated from Jackson S. Abrams High School in 1965. With recommendations from her teachers and neighbors, she attended Talladega College where she flourished on campus and became a member of the Alpha Zeta chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Incorporated. Finishing in 1970, she earned her Bachelors of Music and Education. She was active in the music department and also played for chapel services. She began her career in education in Greene County, Alabama teaching Elementary Music for three years. She returned to her hometown to continue the profession she chose in the second grade. Carolyn served the Bessemer City School System for twenty-nine years. She worked throughout the school system and at Greenwood Elementary School. Her tenure was spent at Charles F. Hard Elementary School where she taught music to K5-6th grades as well as, working with the recorder, ORFF, and choir ensembles. She was selected by her peers to be the school's 1996 Teacher of the Year. After teaching hundreds of Bessemer's students, she retired in 2003. Carolyn is predeceased by her sisters: Willie Arthur Long, Willa Jean Washington and Deborah Means. Carolyn departed this life on Friday, November 6, 2015 after a courageous battle with brain cancer. Carolyn leaves to cherish her memories: two daughters; Ashley and Jasmine Norris, step- son, Orlando (Salonya) Howard, granddaughter; Cailyn Alexander, grandsons, Kingston and Camden Norris- Rowser, sister, Erma Davis, mother in love; Mattie Ware; sisters in love; Jacqueline (Steve) Watkins, Carolyn Smith, Tonette Ware, brothers in love; Rev. Larry (Linda) Norris and Rev. Tony (Sylvia) Ware; a host of nieces and nephews; special cousins, Dr. Isaac (Winsome) Ravizee, Jr., Sherlene Ravizee Speed, Lennett Ravizee Brownlee, and Kathy McDaniels; adopted sons; Keishawn Rowser, Sr. and Macqueline Tyler, Sr.; lifelong friends; Marjorie Wrench, Betty Edwards, Ruby Shack, Wiletha Jean Webb, Donna Wilson and Dasie Brewer- Norris; Sixth Court and Seventh Avenue neighbors; New Zion Baptist Church and Sixth Avenue Beulah Church family; faculty and staff of Charles F. Hard Elementary; her beloved students from the classroom and music lessons and other relatives and friends.
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Past Services

Visitation

Friday, November 13, 2015

1:00am - 8:00 pm (Central time)

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Second Visitation

Saturday, November 14, 2015

11:30am - 12:30 pm (Central time)

New Zion Missionary Baptist Church

1026 24th Street North, Bessemer, AL 35020

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Service

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Starts at 12:30 pm (Central time)

New Zion Missionary Baptist Church

1026 24th Street North, Bessemer, AL 35020

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

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