Death – Norton, Johnny Lee (Cleveland) –

Death – Obituary

Johnny Lee Norton, 82, of Cleveland, passed away on December 22, 2021. He was born on Oct. 9, 1939 to the late Clifford and Kathleen Norton. Johnny was a lifelong resident of this area. He was an avid NASCAR fan and especially loved cheering for Kyle Busch. He loved being on the water, spending time at the lake and on the beach. Johnny never met a stranger and could strike up a conversation with anyone. He was a hard worker, owning various businesses throughout his life, and he also loved working on his farm. Johnny was also very proud of his Cherokee heritage. Above all things, he loved his family and was extremely proud of his children.

In addition to his mother and father, he is preceded in death by his sister, Lillian Chambers and son-in-law, Grady Jenkins.

He leaves behind to cherish his memory, his loving wife of 44 years, Shanda Norton; four children, Debbie Jenkins, Sandra Knight-Helms (Tucky), Ronnie Norton (Rhonda) and Bartlee Norton (Deborah); sister, Margaret Hayes (Wayne); grandchildren, Selena, Amy, Tacia, Michael, Alicia, Daniel, Trace, Tripp and Tenslee; eight great-grandchildren; and three great-great-grandchildren. In addition to these, he leaves behind numerous nieces, nephews, extended family and friends.

A celebration of Johnny’s life will be held on Monday, Dec. 27 at 6 p.m. at New Salem Baptist Church, 175 Ladd Springs Road, Cleveland, Tn. 37323. His family will receive friends at the church on Sunday, Dec. 26 from 2-7 p.m. and on Monday at the church from 4 p.m. until the service at 6 p.m. Johnny will be laid to rest at 10 a.m. on Tuesday, Dec. 28. George Longmire, Terry Chambers, Jerry Chambers Jr., Greg Shaw, Nicholas Smoot, Tom Bandy, Tukey Helms and Wayne Hayes will serve as pallbearers. Jerry Chambers will be an honorary pallbearer.

Share a personal memory of Johnny or your condolences with his family at his online memorial at 

The family also asks that if you feel comfortable, please write a memory that you have of Johnny and place in a box provided at the funeral, so that it may be shared with the family. 

Companion Funeral & Cremation Service and the Cody family are honored to assist the Norton family with these arrangements.

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What Is An Obituary

In national newspapers an obituary (obit for short) is a news article that reports the recent death of a prominent person. Although it tends to focus on positive aspects of the subject’s life this is not always the case. According to Nigel Farndale, the Obituaries Editor of The Times: “Obits should be life affirming rather than gloomy, but they should also be opinionated, leaving the reader with a strong sense of whether the subject lived a good life or bad; whether they were right or wrong in the handling of their public affairs.”

In local newspapers, an obituary may be published for any local resident upon death. A necrology is a register or list of records of the deaths of people related to a particular organization, group or field, which may only contain the sparsest details, or small obituaries. Historical necrologies can be important sources of information.