Charles (B.I.) W. Norton Jr. ’43

B.I. (he was never known as Charles or Charlie) came to the U of A via the University of Illinois-Chi Iota-in the fall of 1941. B.I. was pledged at Chi Iota in the fall of 1939 and he was initiated as a Brother in the spring of 1940. His brother Fred preceded him as Fiji at Illinois. While at Illi­nois, B.I was elected to that schools sophomore honorary – similar to the U of A’s Sophos. Brother Bob Vance, ’43, – a longtime friend – who had come to the U of A in 1940 from Illinois convinced B.I that Arizona was the place that he should transfer. In the fall of 1941, B.I. transferred to Arizona and Upsilon Alpha. He arrived as a transfer junior and enrolled in the College of Business and Public Administration in Marketing. He was also accepted as an advanced member of R.O.T.C. He won the pole vault championship for the Fijis in the U of A IFC athletic event. B.I. graduated in 1943 and was accepted in the U.S. Marine Corps as the designated second lieutenant of the ROTC program. (The Marines only selected one cadet per ROTC class.)

In 1943 B.I. was married to a lovely U of A Delta Gamma, De De Henger who was from California. They had four children – two of each variety (two boys, two girls). B.I. served in WWII with the Marines in the Pacific Theatre. He zigged when he should have zagged during a beachhead operation and was wounded in Guam on July, 1944. He received a Purple Heart – (that is for those who really bleed!).

Upon his discharge from the Marine Corps he joined the All American Manufacturing Co. of Vernon, California which had been established in 1938. All American did plating work for the plumbing industry. B.I. was hired as the plant manager. When he retired a few years ago, he had become president of All American Manufacturing Company.

B.I.’s wife De De passed away a few years ago and he still resides in the Flintridge, California home that they had lived in for many years. He is near his children and grandchildren. B.I. has made almost all of the U of A Homecoming football games and, obviously, he is a big supporter of Phi Gam and the U of A. The brotherhood of Phi Gamma Delta has meant to B.I. the setting of “a lifetime of standards of responsible con­duct.” He is mighty proud to be a Fiji!