Cover photo for Esther Marie Norton's Obituary
Esther Marie Norton Profile Photo
1935 "Re-Re" 2024

Esther Marie Norton

January 29, 1935 — February 17, 2024

Okolona, Arkansas

It is with heavy hearts yet fond memories that we gather today to celebrate the life of Esther Marie Norton, known affectionately to many as "Re-Re." Esther's journey began on January 29th, 1935, in Nevada County, Arkansas, born to Clint and Arizona Norton, alongside her siblings Dorothy, Roy, Bobbie, and Roger. She grew up in Okolona, Arkansas, where she found her faith early in life, being baptized at Okolona First Baptist Church.

Esther's devotion to her faith and community was unwavering. She served as an usher at her church and was an active member until her health declined. Her involvement extended to the Order of the Eastern Star, where she exemplified service to others.

In her union with Samuel Lee Gill Sr., Esther found love and companionship, and together they raised two children, Sammy Gill Jr. (Gloria) and Beverly Gill Coleman (Calvin). Esther's professional life was diverse, spanning over 60 years, where she showcased her talents as a caterer, caretaker, seamstress, and funeral assistant. Her career included nearly thirty years with Levi Strauss and Company until she retired. (Although those that knew her know that she never retired from actively work in her community, in her church, and serving her family and friends). 

Esther's true gift, however, lay in her culinary skills and nurturing spirit. Her handmade quilts, hats, and home-cooked meals were testaments to her boundless love and generosity. She found joy in baking, feeding her loved ones, tending to her many cats, and watching Pastor Jimmie Swaggert’s church services on television (24/7). Esther’s home cooked meals, cakes, pies, and famous brittle were made with insurmountable love that overflowed and filled stomachs and hearts alike. 

On February 17th, Esther transitioned to be with our Lord and Savior surrounded by family. Esther transitioned with her two children and daughter-in-law by her side while hearing songs of praise and worship and the voices of her cherished grandchildren, great-grandchildren, nieces, and nephews. Esther Marie Norton was preceded in death by her parents Clint and Arizona Norton, and her three siblings: Dorothy Norton, Roy Norton, and Bobbie Norton Adams. While she is preceded in death by her parents and siblings, her memory lives on in the hearts of her surviving family and friends. She is survived by one brother Roger Norton (Delores), her children: Sammy Lee Gill Jr. (Gloria), Beverly Gill Coleman (Calvin), her grandchildren: Markeil Gill, Shayla Hammons (Shan), Taylor Marie Coleman, Miles Anthony Coleman (Brittney), great-grandchildren: Samuel Gill, Malik Gill, Shyanne Hammons, Jase Hammons, nieces and nephews Patsy Gatlin, Jason Gatlin, Justin Gatlin, and Diane Rogers and many more nieces, nephews, great-nieces, great-nephews, and cousins. Esther is also remembered by her beloved friends Sara Cox, Francis Johnson, Gracie Smith, Marie McMaster, Della Horton, Rhonda Collins, Sue Muldrew, Leon Stitt, Eddie McMillian, Rosie Gill, and Carlos.

Esther Marie Norton's legacy is one of strength, resiliency, courage, and love. Her impact on those she encountered will forever be remembered, and her spirit now rests in the presence of the Almighty, welcomed with the words, "Well done thy good and faithful servant, enter into your rest."

As we honor Esther's life today, let us carry forward her legacy of kindness, compassion, and service to others. May her memory be a source of comfort and inspiration to us all.


Public visitation will be from 1:00 p.m. until 6:00 p.m. on Friday, February 23, 2024, and the family will receive friends from 6:00 p.m. until 7:00 p.m. at the funeral home. A celebration of her life will be at 11:00 a.m. on Saturday, February 24, 2024, at First Baptist Church in Okolona, Arkansas, with Pastor John A. Hill, eulogist. The interment will be at First Baptist Church Cemetery in Okolona, Arkansas.

Sammy Lee Gill, Calvin Coleman, Markeil Gill, Miles Coleman, Samuel Gill, and Malik Gill will serve as active pallbearers. Honorable to mention are Roger Norton, Sr., Roger Norton, Jr., Jase Hammons, Jason Gatlin, Justin Gatlin, Shannon Hammons, Dante “Buddy” Norton, Shaunn Piggee, Chris Piggee, Tariq Hill, Zachary Reeves, and Chris Norton.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Esther Marie Norton, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services

Public Visitation

Friday, February 23, 2024

1:00 - 6:00 pm (Central time)

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Family Hour

Friday, February 23, 2024

6:00 - 7:00 pm (Central time)

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Celebration of Life

Saturday, February 24, 2024

Starts at 11:00 am (Central time)

First Baptist of Okolona

735 Layne St, Okolona, AR 71962

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