WILLIAMSBURG — Retired U.S. Army Col. Stephen Ross, 76, died peacefully Tuesday, Aug. 10, 2021.
Col. Norton was a career Army soldier, Vietnam veteran, foreign area officer (FAO) specialist, member of the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) Senior Executive Corps, member and compatriot of the Sons of the American Revolution, and a true American patriot.
Col. Norton was born in Evanston, Ill., to Ross and Hazel Norton in 1945. He considered himself fortunate to attend Our Lady of Perpetual Help Grade School in Glenview, Ill., and Notre Dame College Preparatory in Niles, Ill. In 1968, Col. Norton received his commission as a second lieutenant from John Carroll University, Cleveland, Ohio, thus launching what would be a remarkable and unprecedented 30-year Army career.
Highlights of Col. Norton’s military service include: combat tour with the 25th Infantry Division in Vietnam; member of the Army’s elite Foreign Area Officer Program with over 17 years overseas; assistant Army Attaché, Ankara, Turkey; Politico-Military Planner, Joint Chiefs of Staff, J5; Defense Attaché, Nicosia, Cyprus; special assistant to the Supreme Allied Commander Europe, Mons, Belgium; division chief for Europe, Defense HUMINT Service, DIA; Chief Defense and Foreign Liaison Office, DIA; and Defense Attaché, Athens, Greece. He is credited with lowering the potential for conflict several times in the Aegean Sea between Greece and Turkey.
After retiring from the Army, Col. Norton worked briefly at the Western Policy Center, then served as the senior policy advisor for National Security to Senator Saxby Chambliss (R, Ga.) on Capitol Hill. Shortly thereafter, Col. Norton was selected into the Senior Executive Corps as director of the Defense HUMINT Management Office (DHMO), DIA and subsequently, as director of Security, DIA.
His awards include the Defense Superior Service Medal (two awards); Legion of Merit (two awards); Bronze Star Medal (two awards); Defense Meritorious Service Medal (three awards); Joint Service Commendation Medal (two awards); Army Commendation Medal; Joint Service Achievement Medal, DIA Director’s Medal (two awards); Greek Medal of Honor and Merit and is a member of the Defense Attaché Service Hall of Fame.
He was preceded in death by his first wife, Gillian; and daughter, Stephanie, who died in infancy.
Col. Norton is survived by his wife, Nancy; sisters, Jill and Nancy; twin aunties, Kay and Corky; a multitude of loving nieces and nephews; and a small army of amazing and prayerful cousins.
Col. Norton will be buried in Arlington National Cemetery at a date to be determined.
In lieu of flowers, your donation would be welcome at the Williamsburg House of Mercy, or one of your favorite veteran organizations. Please pray for our country.
Share online condolences with the family at Bucktrout of Williamsburg Funeral Service.