In Memory of





Obituary for Carolyn Rae Bair Norton

Carolyn Rae Bair Norton, 88, of Salem, passed away peacefully on the morning of Saturday, May 14, 2022.

Carolyn was born July 3, 1933, in Arlington, VA, where she resided until she attended and graduated from James Madison University, in Harrisonburg, Va., from which she earned a bachelor’s degree. While at JMU, she served as the captain of her fencing team as well as President of the JMU Glee Club. Upon graduation, she moved to NYC to study Opera at the Julliard School of Music. While there, she met her (former) husband, Malcolm J. Norton, and together, they had three children.

Carolyn raised her family in Putnam County, NY, and was a CPS representative for Putnam County, with the Dept. of Social Services. Many years later, she moved to Fincastle, VA to be nearer her daughter and family in Salem, VA. She was then employed by the City of Roanoke, VA, Dept. of Social Services, in the Dept. of CPS. In her later years, she became the Activities Director and resident social worker for Woodhaven Nursing Home in Bedford County, VA, until she eventually decided to retire for good at age 82.

Carolyn loved physical activities (hiking & running), nature, and being outside -- so much so that she preferred clearing paths in the woods (which she did quite often), to tending to mundane indoor activities. She preferred to read from her library of books or listen to music rather than watch TV. She also loved to play the piano, sing, draw, paint, garden, and tend to her beloved fig tree. For several years, she shared her musical talents with Locust Grove United Methodist Church in Salem, VA, as their choir director. She also played piano and accompanied soloists at Roanoke Metaphysical Chapel in Roanoke, VA, for a few years as well. Carolyn was able to find her ‘peaceful place’ in this world as she shone brightly from her times of quiet contemplation, prayer, and meditation which were all very important to her during her life. She firmly believed these were essentials for self-care and spiritual growth.

Those who’ve awaited Carolyn’s arrival home again in spirit, are her mother, Rae Arant Bair; father, Robert Edward Bair, Sr.; son, Lee Edward Norton; daughter-in-law, Carrie F. Norton; son-in-law, Cameron W. West; nephew, Michael (Mike) Bair; and her brother, Robert (Sonny) Edward Bair, Jr.

Carolyn is survived by her sister, Judith Ann Bair of Daleville, VA; son, Jody Norton of Ithaca, NY; daughter, Rae Norton West of Salem, VA; eight wonderful grandchildren, three beautiful great-grandchildren, and one beloved nephew.

A memorial service in remembrance of Carolyn will be held on Sunday, July 3, 2022, at Roanoke Metaphysical Chapel, located at 1488 Peters Creek Road, Roanoke, VA 24017, at 1:00 p.m., with Rev. F. Reed Brown officiating. A luncheon reception in the chapel library will commence immediately following the memorial service. Carolyn will be interred at Sherwood Memorial Park, Salem, VA, in their peaceful Crematory Garden.

Online condolences may be expressed to the Norton family by visiting