Porter County Sheriff's Department

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Rodney Norton "Unsung hero"

'Unsung hero' served community
Date posted online: Friday, August 10, 2007

Porter County Sheriff David Lain called Rodney Norton an "unsung hero" for his contributions to public safety as a member of the sheriff's police force, a deputy emergency management director and volunteer firefighter.  "Rod was an unsung hero and someone who deserved and earned the utmost respect because of the exemplary services he gave back to Porter County," Lain said. "Everything he did was always a selfless act. Nothing he did was ever for personal gain."  Lain said he also admired the way Norton managed his terminal illness for the past three years.   "We learned a lot from Rod how to deal with personal tragedy," Lain said of Norton's indomitable spirit.  "The diagnosis was made three years ago. Doctors at that time only gave him six months to live, but he outlived the prognosis."  Lain said Norton got his wish to participate in his last Fourth of July parade.  "He rode with us in a sheriff's car and was throwing candy out to the kids. Despite his illness, he still tried to enjoy the day," Lain said. "Volunteering was his life and second nature."  Phil Griffith, emergency management director in Porter County, said he had been a close friend and co-worker with Norton for 40 years.  "Norbert, that's what I called him as long as I knew him, was truly dedicated to the betterment of his community," Griffith said. "He wanted it to be the best place to live, work and raise a family and through many of his services to Porter County, he became that valuable link that worked toward making that positive difference."  Norton, who also served in the National Guard, and Griffith traveled together for many years attending parades where they could show off their restored and original model fire trucks.  Norton's children said their father was always there for them.  Monte Norton and his sister, Belinda, said they had a wonderful dad.

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