Wesley Delano Norton, 84, Bismarck, passed away peacefully July 8, 2018, at Missouri Slope Care Center. Services will be held at noon Thursday, July 12, at McCabe United Methodist Church, 1030 N. 6th St., Bismarck, with The Rev. Mark Ehrmantraut officiating. Visitation will be held from 4:30 to 7:30 p.m. Wednesday at Parkway Funeral Service, 2330 Tyler Parkway, Bismarck, where a masonic service will begin at 6:30 p.m. Graveside services will be at 3 p.m. Thursday at the North Dakota Veterans Cemetery, Mandan.
Wes was born on Jan. 30, 1934, to William and Mary (Amundsen) Norton in Mandan. He was raised on a farm and graduated from Mandan High School in 1952. He received a B.S. degree in petroleum engineering from the University of North Dakota. He was an active member of the National Guard from 1955 to 1961.
Wes married Myra “Micki” Stowman, in 1959, in Valley City. He began his career working for the Geological Survey for the State of North Dakota in Williston, then in Grand Forks and Bismarck. In 1980, he was appointed director of N.D. Oil and Gas (now the Department of Minerals). Wes was an active participant in the Interstate Oil and Gas Commission, IOGC, and served as chairman. He received the Marlin award for the Outstanding State Regulator of the Year in the U.S. in 1986. Prior to his retirement in 1998, after serving under five different North Dakota governors, he predicted that North Dakota would become a top oil producing state with horizontal drilling technology. He received the ND Petroleum Council award in 2004, a lifetime achievement award for his years of public service.
He continually promoted the state he loved. Combining his passion for basketball and the community, Wes became owner of the Dakota Wizards after retirement. He enjoyed boating with family on the Missouri River and deer hunting on his land with lifelong friends. He was an active member of the Bismarck Masonic Lodge, El Zagal Shrine Dusters, Jesters, and a life member of the Elks. His greeting with a joke, acumen for numbers, and songs for the grandchildren he adored will be missed.
Wes is survived by his wife, Micki, of 58 years; daughters, Tracy (David) Kaluzniak, Plymouth, Minn., Loree Norton, Bismarck, and Nancy McCarrell, Lake Elmo, Minn.; grandchildren, Kassie and Heather Kaluzniak, Daniel and Addy McCarrell; sister, Betty Whitney, Dexter, Maine; brother, William (Shirley) Norton, Lawrenceville, Ga.; in-laws, Jan Stowman, Valley City, and Faye (Ed) Hasche, Bismarck; and many beloved nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by brothers-in-law, Robert Whitney and Charles Stowman.
In lieu of flowers, memorials are preferred to carry on his benevolence to the Dakota Zoo, Theodore Roosevelt Medora Foundation, UND Foundation, U-Mary Foundation, or McCabe United Methodist Church.
Go to www.parkwayfuneral.com to share memories of Wes and sign the online guest book.