It is with crushed hearts and unwaveringly love that we announce that our daughter and a sister passed away at the age of 26 on
Friday, October 7, 2022.
Kira Yuja Norton was born in Arcata to parents Jack and Kim Norton on March 3, 1996. Her birth was followed by a brother, Jack Norton IV, 18 months later.
Kira was loved deeply by her family and friends. She was a proud member of the Hoopa Valley Tribe, including her decendency of the Yurok, Karuk and Cherokee tribes. She was equally proud of her Korean heritage. Kira enjoyed participating in our spiritual and cultural ceremonies up and down river, from Sumeg to Ta’k’imil-ding to Katimin; Flower Dances, Brush Dances and Jump Dances.
Kira had a passion for learning and reading. Before preschool, Kira was learning the alphabet and teaching 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 while in middle school and high school. Then also joined the track team in high school. She always lived a good life and enjoyed exercising. She was eager to participate in running group fitness classes, yoga, strength training and cross-fit.
In May 2018, Kira received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Public Health Administration at UC Merced. While attending college with a full schedule of classes, she also worked at two jobs on campus. One was with the research center, where she enjoyed having the opportunity to engrain her work experience with her degree. Her second job was with the activity center to help set up sport venues, gather tickets at the front entrance, and cheer with the mascots. This job, she said, was purely for fun as the people in that group were exciting, outgoing, and consistently made her laugh. She had the best of both worlds with these positions.
Once Kira graduated, she enjoyed working at the Priority Care Center at Humboldt Independent Practice Association. She learned a lot of good work habits, especially from Rosemary, whom she modeled. A few years later, she was recruited by the Blue Lake Rancheria to oversee their health benefits program and learn how to administer worker’s compensation claims. This enabled her to build another layer of a fantastic work-family, where she could work with her Mom, Kim; Dad, Jack; Grandmother, Arla and Uncle Art.
Kira participated in local and national boards. About two years ago, she was recruited by John McGuire to serve on the board of directors for 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 within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Kira wanted to help improve the health and quality life of everyone.
She joined the Six River Running Club and would run a variety of venues through the town, along 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 all day and night for it. She would always jog in the neighborhood or exercise with her father at the gym.
Kira had a fantastic group of positive, supportive, and loving friends. Just know that she loved all her friends very dearly. From her longest friendship with Shayna since kindergarten to high school friend Stephanie and Tristan, her dynamic college friends Amber, Nia, Isaura, and Daisy, her professor Sidra, to her work friend Lili.
Church was where she was able to praise Jesus and go to the Lord’s house, and she always wanted to give her own tithing and pray with hope. Every Sunday after church, Kira liked to pick out a place for the family to eat breakfast. Reading was also enjoyable for Kira; ever since middle school, she was trying to recently read as many classical books as possible, from Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice to fun, lighthearted books like Princess Dairies. Other pastimes Kira enjoyed were putting on her Disney music or the Big Bang Theory and working on basket weaving projects with her mentor, Denise. She enjoyed gathering basket materials throughout the year with her father. She appreciated the support of her family in working with her Native American dress, Mom Kim, Dad Jack, Brother Jack, Grandma Jana, and Grandpa Jack. Her Grandfather, Jack, would sing to her from when she was a baby to the last time he was with Kira.
Kira’s Grandpa and Grandma Harris have been amazingly supportive. They often drove over from Ohio to help for weeks at a time to help wherever they could with driving to appointments, cooking, cleaning, or playing board games. Her Grandmother Yuja was the best Korean cook ever. Kira would say she loved how her Grandpa Bud made her smile with his jokes and always wanted to sneak out to go get donuts with her before Grandma woke up. Grandpa’s first words to her every time were, “Hello, Beautiful.” Which made her happy.
A standout family relationship with Kira was with her Auntie Katie, where they would talk and talk on the phone frequently. Recently, Kira told a nurse, “outside my Mom, Dad, and Brother, I’m probably the closest to my Auntie Katie because she reminds me of my mom so much.” The comfort level and love of her Auntie Katie made her feel grateful. From there, she built a close friendship with her cousin Dominic. Recently, Kira shared she would dream of sitting comfortably with her cousin Dominic just talking and enjoying each other’s time together.
He would hold her hand whenever he got the chance to and loved to make her smile, she would say. What her amazing family would not do for her was boundless.
Disneyland and Hawaii were her two favorite places to visit. We told her she should go again with her girlfriends. But she said those places I want to always go with my family and bring her friends along so they can experience the kind of family vacation she loves. Kira would say her most calming, an enjoyable time was with her family, whether sitting around the living room together, out to dinner, the ocean or river, shopping in the city, or site seeing.
When Kira needed a rock, she always asked for her brother Jack. When she went through extremely tough situations, she would tell her family her brother Jack’s face would pop up in her mind telling her, “You can do this, Kira. You got this.” When Kira felt a bit fearful, she would first ask for her brother Jack; the sibling relationship was unique, supportive, strong, and loving. She was so proud of her brother, and their relationship was unbreakable. Kira would frequently talk to others about her family. We all knew that her Dad, Jack, was the one that would make the family laugh all the time and always had her back. There was nothing her dad wouldn’t go get, buy, or do for her.
Kira’s mom, Kim, was the super-mom, the momma bear, the strongest advocate, always wanting to constantly care and love for her, pray faith-filled prayers and scriptures, and brush her beautiful long shiny hair. Her Brother, Jack, was her confidant, her person to talk to and bring her calmness, her solid to lean on, and her brother to talk confidence into her. She told her Auntie Katie, “Her brother Jack was her most favorite person in the whole world. And I feel better when he’s next to me by my side”. 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 Swantack, Dana Norton, Damien Norton, Cheyenne Norton, Sherman Norton, Tasha Norton, Sophia Swantack, Ava Swantack and Lyla Swantack, Suzanne Chang, Danny Knox, Leilani Jones, Sam Jones, Louisa Jones, Carina Carrol, and Lily Carrol. 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 especially Claudia Brundin, Arthur Ramsey, Jason Ramos, Phil & Judy Aycock, and Stacey Edgmon.
We will forever miss our “Precious Princess” 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 11 a.m., at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Arcata. Following will be a gravesite service 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 Pallbearers: Jack Norton Jr, Elbert (Bud) Harris, Loren Norton, Kenny Norton, Dana Norton, Damien Norton, Cheyanne Norton, Sherman Norton, JJ Swantack, 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 “Muss” 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 Migulena Jr, Roger Houston, Virgil Pole Jr, Aaron Pole, Nathan Pole, Ames Pole, Virgil Moorehead Sr, Boyd Ferris, Arnold Deacon Ferris, and Joe Davis.
The obituary above was submitted on behalf of Kira Norton’s loved ones. The Lost Coast Outpost runs obituaries of Humboldt County residents at no charge. See guidelines here. Email email@example.com.