Cover photo for Michael Elwyn Norris's Obituary
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1927 Michael 2024

Michael Elwyn Norris

October 19, 1927 — January 2, 2024

Michael Elwyn Norris, 96, passed away peacefully in hospice care at Hoosier Village with his wife by his side on January 2, 2024. Michael, an only child, was born in Oakham, England on October 19, 1927. His childhood memories were filled with life in small English towns, cottages without electricity, heated with coal, lamp lighters who lit the gas street lights at dusk, iced fruit cake at Christmas, WW2 rationing, victory gardens, memorizing war planes and steam trains, sleeping in air raid shelters, wearing the same corduroys for three years, listening to BBC radio, and attending boarding school with strict discipline and challenging studies.

These experiences served him well when he joined British Army, Royal Armored Corps 17th/21st Lancers from 1945-1948. Private Norris was a tank driver/mechanic and also served as radio instructor. An avid runner during school and the Army, he held the record for the 7-mile cross country course over hilly terrain and won the Garrison Athletic Championships, finishing one mile in 4:25 in 1948.

His time in the Army garnered free tuition at the College of Automobile Engineering, London from 1948-1951 where his love of cars and motorcycles grew. He married a beautiful English girl, Joan Gwillim, from Chelmsford in 1952 and their exciting life in the Grand Prix world of racing unfolded. As chief mechanic for driver Roy Salvadori, they traveled across Europe transporting and maintaining his cars, racing in prestigious races, keeping company with many of the top drivers and owners of the time, including John Cooper, Stirling Moss, and Jack Brabham.

In 1957, they emigrated to the United States where Michael started at Midwest Jaguar as a mechanic and joined the Sports Car Club of America, 1957-1966.  During that decade, he established relationships with many car owners, driving their sport cars and winning several classes at Road America, Sebring and Indianapolis Raceway Park, to name a few.

Michael worked with Indiana Wheel and Rim / Power Train Company for thirty-nine years, retiring 1999 as product manager and director of marketing. He became an American citizen 1968. Michael was a great lover of dogs, coffee and cookies! He played tennis, racquetball and represented Indianapolis in the Scarborough Peace Games on the badminton team. He was a voracious reader, a prolific writer, a skilled trip planner, and a great public speaker despite being a wall flower in social situations. Michael loved annual trips to Sanibel and the countryside in Devonshire where his family resided. He sent hundreds of amusing emails to his family, particularly his grandchildren, and followed their travels with keen interest.

Michael is survived by his wife of 71 years, Joan Norris; daughter, Lisa Hurst (Rick); son, Cameron Norris (Suzanne); grandchildren, Samantha Larkins (Chris), Brittany Hurst (Breeze), Ben Hurst (Amrita), Charlie Hurst (Loraine), Brie Davis (Austin), Zoe Norris, and Gavin Norris; and five great grandchildren with another one on the way.

The family will honor and celebrate his life privately. Please visit arnmortuary.com to leave condolences. Contributions can be made to The Holliday Park Foundation where he loved to walk his dogs or Indy Humane .

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Michael Elwyn Norris, please visit our flower store.

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