After serving his country during World War II, Charles Norton returned home to serve his community through a variety of charitable works. He has now been honored with the Book of Golden Deeds for his efforts.
“Mr. Charles Norton has been a true servant to the people of Warren County,” said McMinnville Evening Exchange Club past president Mary Jane Bell in presenting the annual award that celebrates a lifetime of achievement.
Bell revealed Norton came to McMinnville by way of Ripley, Ms., when he was transferred here by Genesco in 1952.
A member of First Methodist Church, he has served in numerous offices at the church and has also worked with the Good Neighbors Program, where he continues to cook and deliver meals to shut-ins.
A veteran himself, Norton has served with the Honor Guard, which provides graveside services for veterans. He has participated in around 600 services, folding the flag and presenting it to the next of kin. He has served as secretary for many years and as post commander for American Legion Post 173. He has also been elected District 5 Commander and Division Commander, as well as being State Commander and on the National Executive Committee.
He and his wife, Pauline, prepared many meals for the patients at the VA Hospital, amassing 1,450 hours of service for the hospital.
Along with his service to veterans, Norton has worked at the election polls for many years, giving up the service when his wife was confined to a nursing home before her passing in 2014.
Norton has talked to many organizations about Americanism and has placed flags on veterans’ graves at Gar-dens of Memory and several other small cemeteries. In 2016, he finished his book, “The Life and Times of Charles Norton” and had it published. He was recently recognized in the Noon Exchange Club 2017 veteran calendar.
Along with Norton taking honors, the Evening Exchange also gave out its annual Community Service Award, this year citing Carol Ann Richardson for her work.
“She is an amazing person,” said Exchangite Leda Roberts, noting she works with the Hope Center as well as leading her church. She has also worked with Wings Ministry.
Roberts pointed out Richardson began her work to help the community after emigrating here from Scotland.
“She received her citizenship about two years ago so she was making this a better place to live before she was even a citizen,” said Roberts, noting she moved here in 2005 to take a job with Security Equipment.
In another annual award, Evening Exchange honored one of its own, recognizing incoming president Neva England as its Exchangite of the Year.