April 3, 2009

Former Mayor Stretch Norton died today

Former Mayor J. Harwood "Stretch" Norton, one of the nicest people I've known in politics, died today after a long illness.
Norton has been a key part of the community for so long that it's hard to imagine it without him.
A former owner of Lake Compounce, former mayor, longtime city councilor, Navy veteran of the Okinawa campaign, carousel fan, music lover and so much more, Norton sought to make Bristol better in countless ways over many years.
He'll be missed by many, including me.
I'll have much more to say in the days ahead, of course. Stretch was never a man of few words and, well, it doesn't seem fitting to limit ours now.
The wake is Tuesday evening and the funeral service is at 11 a.m. Wednesday.

If anyone would like to contribute memories of Norton for a story, please send them to me at scollins@bristolpress.com. Be sure to include your name and phone number.

1922 – Born in Willimantic
1944 – Earned B.S. in engineering, Yale University
1945 – As a U.S. Navy sailor, fought in the Battle of Okinawa
1949 - Became plant engineer for Wallace Barnes Steel
1951 - Married his wife, Carolyn
1952 – Took over organization of Crocodile Club dinner
1959 – Won City Council seat
1969 – Won election as mayor
1974 – Served as manager of Lake Compounce
1985 – Lake Compounce sold by Norton family
1986 - Served as director, state Transportation Accountability Board
1997 – Lost his final City Council race
2002 – Last Crocodile Club dinner at Lake Compounce
2009 – Died April 3rd

Copyright 2009. All rights reserved.
Contact Steve Collins at scollins@bristolpress.com


Anonymous said...

They just don't make them like Stretch anymore. Rest in peace, my friend.

Concerned Conservative said...

What a great loss. What a great guy.

He is now certainly in a better place.

Anonymous said...

If the citizens of Bristol had listened to Stretch in 197 and brought the pulverizor at the Landfill, the city would not be paying the millions of dollars it is today for a leaky landfill.

God Bless Stretch.