Thursday, June 13, 2013
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ROY 'MIKE' NORCROSS

Roy "Mike" Norcross of Islamorada, Fla., passed away Saturday, May 18, 2013, at 89 years "young" after sustaining injuries while doing one of the many activities he enjoyed, bicycling. Mike was born in Miami, Fla., on Aug. 15, 1923.

Many of us think of a "Bucket List," few of us actually fulfill it. He was one of the few!

Mike served in the Army from 1943 to 1946, where he served as a fireman and construction machine operator with the Aviations Unit in the construction of air bases. Following his military service, Mike worked as a pressman for the Miami Daily News, The Miami Herald, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution and the Washington Post.

Upon retiring from his work with the newspapers, Mike volunteered four hours a day, five days a week at Florida State Parks simply to stay in shape and to enhance the natural beauty for everyone to enjoy. He was the recipient of the Irene DeLaby Award in 2011. He also received the "2012 Positive Living Award" from the Alliance for Aging in Miami. The award recognizes individuals who demonstrate exemplary energy, stamina, dedication and effort through everyday life. Mike donated more than 10,000 volunteer hours at various Florida State Parks, a noteworthy achievement, and he loved every minute of it. Mike was also recognized on the Governor's List of Top Volunteers in the State of Florida.

Mike went skydiving twice at age 72, and again at 73. At age 73, he completed a nine-day, 107-mile bicycle trek around Lake Okeechobee. At 74, he raised $300 for the National Multiple Sclerosis Society by bicycling 70 miles from Jacksonville, Fla., to Jekyll Island, Ga., on Route 17 through the rain. When he was 80, he had the opportunity to drive Richard Petty's NASCAR at the Homestead track and took the car to speeds in excess of 129 mph. At 88, he made his 29th blood donation; since one donation can help three patients, Mike has helped 87 patients.

Mike had a tender side as well. He was crowned World Champion for his talent and grace at ballroom dancing, winning 23 national titles. He traveled around the country twice to the Bahamas, Las Vegas, Tampa, Orlando, and Hollywood, Fla., in competition with dance partner Ganine Derloth, winning dozens of competitions along the way. While at home, you could always find him at Lorelei's (local Cabana Bar) twice a week, where he would light up the dance floor with a cha cha, foxtrot, samba, tango, rumba, or a beautiful waltz.

Mike was a loving father to his four daughters, Patty Downing of Conyers, Ga., Deborah Walters of Mechanicsville, Md., Kathy Norcross of Atlanta, Ga., and Chris Norcross of Boston, Mass.; his stepdaughters, Loretta Brehm of Tavernier, Fla., and Shaundra Cernier of Arizona; several nieces, nephews, six grandchildren, eight great-grandchildren and one great-great-granddaughter. He was predeceased by his wife, Marge Norcross, and son, Michael Norcross.

Mike accomplished and experienced more than many of us ever dream of in a lifetime. He made a promise to himself that he "would try and experience as much life as possible before I die." This is the greatest legacy Mike leaves to his children and friends to live by.

A celebration of life will be held in Mike's honor from 5 to 7 p.m. Monday, June 24, 2013, at Lorelei Cabana Bar & Restaurant, 81924 Overseas Highway, Islamorada, Fla., Mile Marker 82, bayside.

"May His Memory Be Eternal"