Barbara Norris-Eckerle, formerly of Monrovia, MD, died Friday, July 16, 2021, at home in Manchester, TN. She is survived by four children, Leslie B. Fowler, Manchester, TN; Lorena Bredenberg (Greg) of Tullahoma, TN; Deirdre K. Perney (Billy) of Mt. Airy, MD; and Michael E. Norris (Lisa) of Chapel Hill, TN.
Besides her children, she is also survived by one sister, Julie (Jean) Marlow of Brigantine, NJ, as well as several grandchildren, including Amber B. Della Giustina (Bill) of W. Springfield, MA; Brook R. Wood, (Gretchen) of Charlottesville, VA; Paul N. Fowler of Nashville, TN; Lee D. Fowler (Tanya) of Louisville, KY; Amanda K. Brewer (Casey) of Antioch, TN; Christopher E. Norris (Kristen), NC; Barbara Norris, PA; Eric Norris (Erika) Frederick, MD; Angelia Taylor (MD); Madison Norris, Michael Norris, Jr., Mercedes Norris and Madden Norris, all of Chapel Hill, TN; as well as several great grandchildren.
Barbara was born on January 19, 1927, in Boston, MA, the daughter of the late Vincent F. Russo and Kathryn Cole Russo. She was a graduate of Girls' Latin School in Boston and was one of the first women to win a scholarship to MIT. In her early years, she was an avid sailor and also learned to pilot small planes. She met her late husband, Eric Norris, while at MIT in 1945. With him, she traveled extensively and spent several years living in Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo, Brazil. She spoke Portuguese fluently.
Barbara was also an avid skier and traveled all over the United States, Canada and Switzerland to pursue her skiing. She also pursued photography, painting and sewing, and she was proficient in all of these.
As a young adult, upon returning to the US from Brazil, Barbara went to work on Capitol Hill, working for three congressmen, and was actively involved in planning the Metro subway system in Washington, DC. On retiring from work as a legislative aide, Barbara became involved in breeding and showing pedigreed Persian and Himalayan cats. She was a member of several cat clubs, including the Hidden Peak Cat Fanciers Cub and the Mad Catter's Club. Her cats won several grand championships.
Later in life, after her husband Eric had passed away, she met and married the late Kenneth L. Eckerle in May of 1992, whom she met while taking ballroom dancing classes.
Barbara will be buried at Glade Cemetery in Walkersville, Maryland, beside her late husbands, Eric Norris and Kenneth Eckerle. A memorial service will be held at a later date to be determined.
In lieu of flowers, we request that donations be made to the American Cancer Society or the ASPCA.
Manchester Funeral Home is honored to serve the Norris-Eckerle family.