It is with broken hearts and unwavering love that we announce that our daughter and one sister passed away on Friday 7th October 2022 at the age of 26.
Kira Yuja Norton was born on March 3, 1996 in Arcata to parents Jack and Kim Norton. Her birth was followed 18 months later by a brother, Jack Norton IV.
Kira was loved dearly by her family and friends. She was a proud member of the Hoopa Valley Tribe, including her ancestry from the Yurok, Karuk, and Cherokee tribes. She was just as proud of her Korean heritage. Kira enjoyed participating in our spiritual and cultural ceremonies upstream and downstream, from Sumeg to Ta’k’imil-ding to Katimin; flower dances, brush dances and jumping dances.
Kira had a passion for learning and reading. Before preschool, Kira studied the alphabet and taught her younger brother to count to 10. She attended Hoopa Valley Pre-School and Hoopa Valley Elementary through first grade. She then attended Morris Elementary, McKinleyville Middle School, and McKinleyville High School, where she enjoyed cheerleading and volleyball through middle and high school. Then he also joined the track and field team in high school. She always lived the good life and enjoyed playing sports. She was keen to take part in running group fitness classes, yoga, strength training and cross-fit.
In May 2018, Kira received her Bachelor of Arts in Public Health Administration from UC Merced. While attending college with a busy schedule, she also worked two positions on campus. One was at the research center where she enjoyed the opportunity to deepen her professional experience with her degree. Her second job was at the activity center, where she helped set up sports venues, collected tickets at the front entrance, and cheered with the mascots. This job, she said, is just for fun as the people in this group are exciting and outgoing and would always make her laugh. She had the best of both worlds with these positions.
After graduating, Kira enjoyed working at the Humboldt Independent Practice Association’s Priority Care Center. She learned many good work habits, especially from Rosemary, who modeled her. A few years later, she was recruited by the Blue Lake Rancheria to oversee their health benefits program and learn how to administer workers’ compensation claims. This allowed her to add another layer of a fantastic working family working with her mother Kim; father, Jack; Grandmother, Arla and Uncle Art.
Kira participated in local and national committees. About two years ago she was recruited by John McGuire to serve on the board of Changing Tides Family Services. And almost a year ago, she was nominated and appointed to the Native American Advisory Board for the Health Resources and Service Administration, an agency of the US Department of Health and Human Services. Kira wanted to help improve everyone’s health and quality of life.
She joined the Six River Running Club and ran various venues around town, along the beaches, and through the redwood forests. She would run at the Relay for Life, gather a group of people to support the cause, and run for it all day and night. She was always jogging around the neighborhood or working out with her father at the gym.
Kira had an amazing group of positive, supportive and loving friends. Just know that she loved all her friends very much. From her longest friendship with Shayna since kindergarten, to school friends Stephanie and Tristan, her energetic college friends Amber, Nia, Isaura and Daisy, her professor Sidra, to her work friend Lili.
At church she could praise Jesus and go to the house of the Lord, and she always wanted to tithe and pray with hope. Every Sunday after church, Kira liked to find a place for the family to have breakfast. Kira also enjoyed reading; since middle school she tried to read as many classic books as possible, from Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice to fun, lighthearted books like Princess Dairies. Other pastimes Kira enjoyed were spinning her Disney music or The Big Bang Theory and working on basket weaving projects with her mentor Denise. She enjoyed collecting wicker materials with her father throughout the year. She appreciated her family’s support in working with her native american dress, Mom Kim, Dad Jack, Brother Jack, Grandma Jana and Grandpa Jack. Her grandfather Jack sang for her since she was a baby until the last time he was with Kira.
Kira’s grandpa and grandma Harris have been incredibly supportive. They would often drive over from Ohio for weeks to help out where they could, like driving to appointments, cooking, cleaning, or playing board games. Her grandmother Yuja was the best Korean chef ever. Kira would say she loved how her Grandpa Bud made her smile with his jokes and always wanted to sneak out to get her donuts before Grandma woke up. Grandpa’s first words to her were always, “Hello, my beauty.” Which made her happy.
A prominent family relationship with Kira was with her Aunt Katie, where they frequently spoke and spoke to each other on the phone. Kira recently told a nurse, “Apart from my mom, dad, and brother, I’m probably closest to my Aunt Katie because she reminds me so much of my mom.” She was grateful for her Aunt Katie’s comfort and love. From then on, she developed a close friendship with her cousin Dominic. Kira recently shared that she dreams of sitting comfortably with her cousin Dominic, just talking and enjoying each other’s time together.
He held her hand whenever he could and loved making her smile, she said. There was no limit to what her amazing family would not do for her.
Disneyland and Hawaii were her two favorite places. We told her to go again with her friends. But she said these are places I always want to visit with my family and bring her friends so they can experience the kind of family vacations she loves. Kira would say her most comforting time was spending quality time with her family, whether they were sitting together in the living room, going to dinner, going to the ocean or river, shopping in town, or sightseeing.
Whenever Kira needed a stone, she always asked for her brother Jack. When she was going through extremely difficult situations, she would tell her family that her brother Jack’s face would appear in her head and tell her, “You can do this, Kira. You can do this.” When Kira was a little scared, she would ask about her brother Jack first; the sibling relationship was unique, supportive, strong, and loving. She was so proud of her brother and their relationship was unbreakable. Kira spoke frequently to others about it her family. We all knew that her father, Jack, was the one who always made the family laugh and always had their back. There was nothing her dad wouldn’t get, buy, or do for her.
Kira’s mother, Kim, was the super mom, the mama bear, the strongest advocate who always wanted to constantly care for and love her, praying prayers and scriptures of faith, and brushing her beautiful long shiny hair. Her brother, Jack, was her confidant, her person to talk to and bring her peace of mind, her body to lean on, and her brother to persuade her to trust. She told her aunt Katie: “Her brother Jack was her favorite person in the whole world. And I feel better when he’s by my side beside me.” She often told us, “I couldn’t have been blessed with a better father, mother, and brother.”
Kira Yuja Norton is survived by her parents, Jack & Kim Norton; her brother Jack Norton IV; Grandparents Jack & Jana Norton, Elbert (Bud) & Yuja (Mia) Harris, Arla Ramsey, Marcellene Norton; her aunts and uncles, Jerry & Katie Benoit, Loren & Patty Norton, Kenny & Eddie Norton, Pauli Carrol and Valerie Blevins. Her First Cousins Dominic Benoit, Alexis Swatack, Dana Norton, Damien Norton, Cheyenne Norton, Sherman Norton, Tasha Norton, Sophia Swatack, Ava Swatack and Lyla Swatack, Suzanne Chang, Danny Knox, Leilani Jones, Sam Jones, Louisa Jones, Carina Carrol, and Lily Carol. Her friends Amber Labra, Shayna McCollough, Lili Chen, Stephanie Bailey, Nia Jones, Isaura Macias, Daisy Pineda, Andrea Munoz, Jaime Reeves, Kim Perris, Jessica Jones, Emily Stokes, Tiffany Huff, Mellanie Gomes, Itzel Garcia-Ocampo, Faan Chan, Tristin Timm, Kara Forbes, Courtney Wilson, and Yvette Garcia. Special thanks to the Blue Lake Rancheria Tribal Council and in particular Claudia Brundin, Arthur Ramsey, Jason Ramos, Phil & Judy Aycock and Stacey Edgmon.
We will miss our “Princess Princess” forever until we are together again in heaven with God and our Lord Jesus Christ provided we live a good life in our thoughts, reactions and deeds as you have done.
A funeral service will be held on Saturday, October 15 at 11am at St Mary’s Catholic Church in Arcata. A funeral service will follow at St. Bernard – Ocean View Cemetery in Eureka.
Pallbearers: Jack Norton III, Jack Norton IV, Jerry Benoit, Dominic Benoit, Kennedy Poston and Marques Mathes.
Honorary Pall Bearers: Jack Norton Jr., Elbert (Bud) Harris, Loren Norton, Kenny Norton, Dana Norton, Damien Norton, Cheyanne Norton, Sherman Norton, JJ Swatack, John Lee, Ben Lee, Kwon Lee, Calvin Lee, David Chang, Phil Aycock, Jason Ramos, Arthur Ramsey, Jim Poston, Jake Poston, Kasey Poston, David Stiles, Ramiro Melecio Sr., Abel Melecio, Dillion Calvert, Ryann Bauman, Quinten Steele, John Milender, Logan Bailey, Kyb Fugfagosh, Robbie Harrison, Bruce Ryan , Todd Greenwood, Jim Bell, Danny Sanchez, Don Knox, Danny Knox, Danny Cota, Ethan Cota, David Huff, Jed Huff, Mike Bailey, Brandon Bailey, Rocky Colegrove, Jake Colegrove, Everett “Must” Colegrove, Tyrin Stevenson, Randy Cox, Whelan Gilkerson, Jaime Osorio, Faan Chan, Robert Pollard, Tim Hadley, Josh Reed, Gary Stubbs, Jimmy Midtun, John McGuire, Orion Cosce, Norman Lewis, Clarence “Slinger” Lewis, Matthew Lewis, Sam Jones, Samuel Jones , Salich Jackson, Nah-Tes Jackson, Thomas Joseph Jr., Carlo Migulena Sr., Carlo Migule na Jr., Roger H ouston, Virgil Pole Jr., Aaron Pole, Nathan Pole, Ames Pole, Virgil Moorehead Sr., Boyd Ferris, Arnold Deacon Ferris, and Joe Davis.
The above obituary was submitted on behalf of Kira Norton Lover. That Lost coastal outpost conducts free obituaries for Humboldt County residents. See guidelines here. Email to email@example.com.