Janet “Jann” Norris

Janet “Jann” Gail Norris, 62, died peacefully Wednesday, February 12, 2014.  She was born March 5, 1951, in Lexington, Ky., to educator Dr. Thomas Joseph Norris, Jr. and Edna “Red” (Lester) Norris, an R.N. She inherited her father’s love of the water and her mother’s spirited nature. Her first attempted sentence was an emphatic, “Do by self.” She had a vivacious personality and delightful sense of humor.

Her family moved in 1958 to Sedalia, Mo., where she graduated from Smith-Cotton High School in 1969.  She enjoyed singing and studied music and liberal arts at what are now the University of Central Missouri and Missouri State University.

Her adventurous side led her to parasailing in Jamaica and yachting in Sydney Harbour. A retired restaurant manager, she lived at her longtime Columbia home until shortly before her death. She is survived by her son, Colin Aldrich Downey, and grandchildren Abbygail and Arick Downey of Tulsa, Okla. Also surviving are her brother Charles Norris of Fountain Hills, Ariz, and sister Ann Norris Riegl of Seattle.

Jann’s friends are encouraged to celebrate her life in a way that honors her and comforts each other.


  1. Chris Chapman on February 17, 2014 at 8:55 pm

    My thoughts and prayers go to Charlie and Ann and all of Jann’s friends. I remember her as a delightful girl in high school, and part of a wonderful family.

  2. Debra (Lyles) Werneke on February 18, 2014 at 9:44 am

    Jan, was a friend and classmate of mine. I remember sleep overs at her house, when we were in high school.
    We talked at our last high school reunion. She will be missed by many. My thoughts and prayers are with you during this sad time.

  3. Connie Koering on February 18, 2014 at 12:25 pm

    So sorry to hear of Jan’s passing, she will be missed by many! Prayers go out to her family.

  4. Donna Leiter on February 18, 2014 at 1:43 pm

    Jann and I were in the same graduating class. While I had not seen her since our last reunion I was sorry to hear of her passing. Sending thoughts and prayers to her family

  5. Debbie Tray on February 18, 2014 at 7:51 pm

    So sorry to hear of Jann’s passing. She was a sweet classmate. With great sympathy to her friends and family.

  6. Glenn Lane on March 16, 2014 at 8:59 pm

    Gees Jann, I’ll so miss seeing you at our 45th high school reunion. There were so many fun times growing up with you in Sedalia. I remember hanging out with you at the swimming pool in the summer. And one of my favorite memories is when we were in elementary school you had a birthday party, and your dad showed cartoons backwards on an 8mm projector! What great memories. Peace be with you…..

  7. Melissa Fisher Stephenson on September 18, 2014 at 6:03 pm

    Jann and I ran together in Springfield Mo in the ’70’s – then in Columbia. We lost touch over the years and I have looked for her many times. She and Colin were joined at my hip for a long time. Colin- your mom was a hoot and I still miss seeing your smiling face. Jann was smart, funny, adventurist and a pure joy to know- May she Rest in peace, and know Colin, that she is watching over you always.

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