Landmarks 02
Official Obituary of

Stanley J. "Buzz" Norton, Jr.

March 26, 1953 ~ December 24, 2022 (age 69) 69 Years Old

Stanley Norton, Jr. Obituary

Stan Norton was born on March 26, 1953 in Brooklyn, NY to Stan and Noreen (Murphy) Norton. He and his sister, Noreen, were raised in the small town of Smokerise, a lakeside community in the north woods of New Jersey. As a child, Stan was nicknamed Buzz for his inexhaustible curiosity and insatiable hunger for learning.

At ten years old, the school bus in which Buzz was riding began a backward slide on a steep, snowy hill. In a panic, the driver opened the door and yelled JUMP —while SHE DID! Buzz took the wheel and brought the bus to a stop. Later, when asked what compelled him to take action, he said I didn't want to die. His first lesson in politics followed soon after as the powers-that-be in the school district were uncomfortable with this story during an election cycle. The schoolchildren were interrogated and several emerged convinced that they had invented the incident. The scandal was covered in the local paper for weeks, and the importance of integrity was cemented for Buzz as he witnessed the ease with which adults could lie.

Buzz attended Kenyon College for two years cultivating deep and lasting friendships there. Upon leaving, he spent several years exploring Morocco, Europe and Alaska and hitchhiking through parts of the US and Canada. He found jobs as needed, including commercial fishing in the Bering Sea and piano moving, as well as goldsmithing; technical prototype and model building.

He returned to college in 1983, working for four years in ICUs at New England Medical Center and graduating with a BS in Biology from UMASS Boston. While typing his resume, he chose to drop the Buzz moniker. 

Soon after, Stan was hired by a healthcare analytic company, setting in motion a career which lasted nearly four decades. His passion and focus were in the use of data to improve healthcare outcomes. An accomplished technologist, innovator and executive, he served as Chief Technology Officer (CTO) in pioneering healthcare companies. Several of these became leaders and standards in the industry. He was a trusted leader whose unique perspective and provocative questions engaged and inspired those around him. In recent years, Stan committed himself to serving as an advisor to several companies, coaching and mentoring the next generation of healthcare technologists. He was admired for his integrity, his instincts and remarkable insight, particularly his ability to perceive the motivation behind a question or proposal. When Stan was involved, his colleagues felt protected. He was deeply valued for this and deeply loved for his transparency, humor and warmth.

Stan was most at home in nature which fed him physically and spiritually. He loved to hike, paddle and camp and he walked daily in the woods with his German Shepherd, Inga. He welcomed human companions on the trail but preferred to walk in silence. 

Stan was a storyteller, a feminist and a great host. His brilliant wit could either be wildly funny or terribly confusing. He was quietly generous with his resources whether giving to a stranger on the street or to a cause dear to his heart. 

His knowledge and insight were often in demand, and Stan’s guidance would not so much come in the form of advice. Rather, he had a unique way of guiding people to their truth through thoughtful, probing questions. 

He enjoyed riding and rebuilding motorcycles and was known for a time to ritually attend a Vermont New Years Eve party by motorcycle, regardless of the weather. 

He was a loving and proud uncle. He saw children as individuals and gave them his full attention when they spoke. He did not engage with them through a lens of adorable innocence, but rather through a genuine interest in their thoughts. 

Stan’s love for his daughter astounded him. She was his sun and moon. He beamed in her presence and lived to watch her grow, and to support her passions. In recent years, Stan insisted on driving Miss Una at every opportunity. He cherished their forty-minute school commute, often making his car his office for the day in order to be there for dismissal. They laughed uproariously and poked fun at each other. Had things gone according to plan, Stan and Una would have enjoyed their 11th annual Boston Ballet Nutcracker last month.

Being the wife of Stan Norton, has and will always be the greatest honor of Kirsten’s life. Stan won her heart in their first encounter in 1996. She was dizzied by him and found herself questioning everything she thought she knew about love. They were married a year later, on three days notice, atop a fire tower on Plum Island.

Kirsten and Una’s bond was a comfort to Stan, and in his final weeks as the deep love of family and village flowed in through every door, window and seam, Stan’s agony over abandoning them finally lifted. He was full of gratitude and completely at peace. He felt lucky and he followed his own advice: Hold on tightly, let go lightly. 

Stan will be deeply missed by his family: Jerry and Bette (Hanlon) Lischke, Lela (Lischke) and Mark Wright, Dean and Amanda (Belanger) Lischke and his adoring nieces and nephews.

Join us for a Celebration of Stan’s Life: January 28, 2023 at 1pm at St Paul’s Church, 166 High Street, Newburyport, MA. In lieu of flowers, please consider donating to Lucy’s Love Bus, at

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Celebration of Life
January 28, 2023

1:00 PM
St. Paul's Episcopal Church
166 High Street
Newburyport, MA 01950


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