Dennis Patrick Norton, 53: A champion for workers rights

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YARMOUTH – Dennis Patrick Norton, 53, died surrounded by his family at home on March 28.

He was born August 2, 1958 in Portland, to Barbara and Edward Norton. He was educated at Holy Cross Elementary School and graduated from South Portland High School. He attended Maine Maritime Academy before enlisting in the U.S. Navy.

After his enlistment, he worked as a commercial fisherman and then went to work at the Hannaford Bros. Distribution Center, where he became active in the labor movement. He was elected president of the local union for 10 years before moving on to his most recent position as union business agent for United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) Local 1445 in Dedham, Mass. He loved working for workers rights and the fair treatment of the working class. To Norton, the union was a community of people working together for the benefit of everyone.

He was president of the Southern Maine Labor Council, Maine AFL-CIO executive board, United Way of Greater Portland Union Liaison and was active in various other community and church organizations.

On Sept. 22, 1985 he and Linda Milton were married and together they had five children. His family meant everything to him and was what he was most proud of.

Norton will be remembered for his kindness, sense of humor, loyalty and compassion. He often said, “Keep the dream alive and go with your heart and the rest will follow.”

He is survived by his wife of 27 years, Linda; children Jason Stuart and his wife, Darby, of Hampden, Jesse Norton of South Portland, Stephen Stuart of Portland, Cody Norton of Yarmouth and Erin Norton of Yarmouth; grandsons Kalvin Costa-Vogel and Brady Stuart of Hampden; siblings Kevin Norton and his companion, Mary Rust, of Lexington, Ky., Brian Norton and his wife, Brenda, of Dandridge, Tenn., Karen LeGage and her husband, David, of South Portland; and many aunts, uncles, nieces and nephews. He was predeceased by his parents.

Visiting hours were held on April 1 at Lindquist Funeral Home, One Mayberry Lane, Yarmouth. A Mass of Christian Burial was held on April 2 at Sacred Heart Catholic Church followed by burial in Holy Cross Cemetery.

Donations in Norton’s memory may be made to the American cancer Society Relay For Life, New England Division, 1 Bowdoin Mill Island, Suite 300, Topsham, ME 04086.