Sterling Ernest Norris


Sterling Ernest Norris, known to his friends as “Ernie”, passed away on 28 Dec. 2017 in his home in Northridge, Calif., with his wife Yolie at his side.

Ernie was born in Newcastle, Wyo. on 25 April 1939.  He attended grade school in Manville, Wyo. in a class of six students.  His mother, Beulah Norris, moved the family to Lusk in 1954 and Ernie attended Lusk High School as a Freshman, and then Niobrara County High School, graduating as Class Salutatorian in 1957.

Ernie shared, along with several other friends from his class, a love of camping, hunting, and exploring the hills, prairies, and woodlands in the isolated, high-plains environs of Niobrara County and surrounding areas of eastern Wyoming.  He was an avid and skilled basketball player, became the leading scorer on the Lusk team in his senior year, and set records that lasted many years.

After a year of college, Ernie enlisted in the Marine Corps, andwent through Boot Camp at Marine Corps Recruit Depot, San Diego.  He then served the remainder of his three-year enlistment at Camp Pendleton, California.  After his discharge he entered the University of California, Los Angeles where he completed an undergraduate degree in Political Science.

Ernie and Yolie were married in 1965.  He went on to earn a Juris Doctorate Law Degree at UCLA, and as a Lawyer, joined the Los Angeles District Attorney’s Office where he served until his retirement.  Ernie prosecuted numerous high-profile cases and proved to be one of the District Attorney’s leading prosecutors.  The current Chief Deputy District Attorney remarked that “Norris is a legend in the Office,” and a United States District Judge said, “He loved justice, loved his country, and loved the law.”

Following retirement, Ernie was active in Judicial Watch, an American conservative activist group that files Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuits to investigate alleged misconduct by government officials.

Ernie was an active outdoorsman all his life.  He loved fishing, hunting, hiking, boating – anything that was outdoors and active.  He loved to be with his family, especially doing something with them outdoors.  And, he loved Wyoming.  He and Yolie built a beautiful log home high on the mountain side in Star Valley.  They enjoyed a beautiful view of the valley to the west and enjoyed watching many sunsets while sitting on their deck, together and with family and friends.  Ernie also loved Lusk, and he made an effort to return every year to celebrate with his friends and classmates at the annual Niobrara County High School Reunions.

Ernie is survived by Yolie, his loving wife of 53 years; his four daughters, Rebecca, Rachel, Jennifer, and Ashley; his brothers Jim and Bob; and his sister Jeannie.  Ernie was a wonderful husband, father, brother, a great friend to those who knew him, and a great American.  

He will be missed.

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