David Norris

February 2nd, 1983 - January 12th, 2023

Biography


David Philip Norris, aged 39, was killed by a hit-and-run driver early Thursday, January 12 as he walked around Lake Nokomis. Born in Alexandria, VA on February 2, 1983, David grew up in West Chicago, IL, Sterling, KS and NE Minneapolis, later living in St. Paul, Uptown Minneapolis, Bloomington, and SE Minneapolis. A 2017 graduate of St. Catherine University’s Master of Library and Information Science program, Norris worked most recently as a Cataloguing and Metadata Librarian at St. Kate’s. A pianist, singer, and composer who earned a B.A. degree in music composition at the University of Northwestern, St. Paul, in 2004, Norris was active in musical, library, and humanist circles in the Twin Cities. He is survived by his parents Phil and Julie Norris; his sisters, Abbie (Marco) Montermini and Hannah Norris; his niece and nephews, Matteo, Gianna, Joseph, and Benjamin Montermini; his found family, Matthew, Jason, and Avalon Bribitzer-Stull, Jane and Walt Stull, Anya Klaassen, Emily, Mark, and Liam Miller, and Erin Sibley; and the many friends, acquaintances, and professional colleagues who will keep his memory alive in their hearts.

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Family

About

Name David Norris
Date of Birth February 2nd, 1983
Date of Death January 12th, 2023
Home Town Alexandria, VA, US 
Other City Minneapolis, MN, US 
Interests Tabletop gaming, Theatre, Hiking
Favourite Saying Nice is different than good
In Memoriam Donation Quatrefoil Library
Milestone

Milestones

2015 - 2017 St. Catherine University, MLIS
2018 - 2019 Digital Librarian, Toro
2019 - 2023 Cataloging and Metadata Librarian, St. Catherine University

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Sarah Lysaker published a tribute .

There was a time when David was just about the only friend I had. I sought him out when I left fundamentalist Christianity. I didn’t know anyone else who had left the faith. He made me feel like things were going to be okay. He was incredibly patient in listening to me process. He helped me rethink how to live my life after religion. We fell out of touch some years back, but the time I spent with him was deeply meaningful to me.

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Leah Thomas published a tribute .

I met David back in 2003. We immediately got on quite well, both being slightly musically 'other' in the Midwest. I loved chatting 20C composers, composition, expression and creativity. It did also help that he was a massive Anglophile, and I was a Londoner in MN for the year. We stayed in touch via the gift of social media, chatting music, faith, work, librarian life, identity and all the bits in between. I always loved his honesty and genuine interest in so many things. I am thankful that during times of much change, our connection remained. This news came as such a shock and brought true sadness at such life lost. I pray for his family and found family during this time. You were loved, friend. X

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Emily published a tribute .

If you were facebook friends with David, you know he was very open about being an introvert, posting memes and statuses about it almost every week.
He lived with me for about a year as my roommate/tenant, and I restrained myself from talking to him too much; I thought I would only overwhelm him, chronic introvert that he was. Of course now I’m second guessing that choice. I wish I had more stories about him.
Once, when I passed by him in the kitchen, he was prepping something, he told me he was taking things a little too seriously, and the recipe said to make one and a half inch pieces. He showed me a cutting mat with a couple of rows of carrots, along with… a ruler? That man used a ruler to cut his carrots to length! He was such a nerd, which I appreciate, being one myself. Once he posted on facebook about how it had been a while since his last romantic relationship, he also included a screenshot of a timeline illustrating the gap. David had created this summary of his major life events… in Microsoft excel. I loved it.
A couple of times I heard him cooking at midnight, which made me laugh. I was about to fall asleep, but in the room below me a neurotic gay man was putting together a paleo style fatty egg bread. He made a neat and orderly ratatouille, each zucchini slice arranged in a perfect spiral. He liked cold brew coffee.
I think he used headphones when arranging music, which is a shame. I would have liked to overhear the process of orchestrating a song. When I have a question about music theory, I think, “David would know this.”
When he first moved in, we set some of his stuff onto the porch as a transition... I realized this was not the most secure location, so I said we need to bring the keyboard inside. The keyboard, in my mind, had to be one of the most valuable things he owned. David told me the most valuable thing was his books.
He moved out of my place to be closer to the St Kate’s job. Obviously I was a little sad over it, but his new place was a one bedroom apartment- his introvert destiny!

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Jackie Sommers published a comment .

These stories made me smile! Thank you for sharing!!

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Amber Billey published a tribute .

David was early in his career as a cataloger when we first met in 2019 at the MiniTex Conference. I didn't recognize him, but once I put it together that he was the "NightCataloger" - I knew exactly who he was and I was so happy to meet him IRL! Since then, we kept in touch via Twitter. I was happy to see him again IRL at the most recent Core Forum in Salt Lake City. We shared meals and saw the Tabernacle Choir together. During the Forum, I put a call out for folks interested in forming a formal social justice in cataloging Interest Group, and his is the first name on the sign-up list. I was so looking forward to getting to know David better and working with him in ALA. I was hoping to mentor him into leadership roles within the organization. I was hoping to have a new conference buddy and friend. He was taken too soon. He will be missed.

The next Que(e)ry Party (https://www.queeryparty.org/) at the ALA Annual Meeting in Chicago will be a benefit for the Quatrefoil Library. And all funds raised at that party will be donated in honor of David's memory.

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Salie Olson published a tribute .

I was lucky enough to be a classmate of David's, and I especially remember him from Cataloging Class. David was amazing! Brilliant and passionate about social justice. He was willing to help at the drop of the hat, was funny, and always awesome! I hadn't talked to him much since graduation, but followed him and his adventures (and amazing beard) on social media. He was an amazing person, and this is a tremendous loss. My heart goes out to his family. He will be greatly missed!

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Sharon Radd published a tribute .

Sending heartfelt condolences to the St Kate's library staff, David's family and friends, and all whose lives he touched. What a tremendous loss! We grieve with and for you.
Sharon Radd, Program Director, MAOL, St. Kate's

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Lynne (Dice) Hines Swider published a tribute .

Hello Phil, You may not remember me but I’m sure you will remember my parents, Roy and Faye Dice. I have memories of you visiting them on occasion throughout the years and I’m sure they would want me to contact you at this difficult time to provide you with some comfort. Of course, the best anyone can do for you and your family is to pray for you all which I most certainly will do. God bless you and bring you peace. He is the only One who can truly love and guide you through this terrible time. Prayers are with you. Very sincerely, Lynne (Dice) Hines Swider

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Jackie published a tribute .

I met David 20 years ago when my roommates hosted a bunch of music friends at our home. I remember him "conducting" the music at the party!! He called me Jav and I called him Dav. In more recent years, our conversations were about cataloging and books and justice. He had the most tender, seeking heart, along with being tremendously self aware and thoughtful. I miss you, friend.

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Stacy published a tribute .

I knew David from the St. Kate’s MLIS program. We had a lot of classes together and worked on group projects together. I was in awe of his cataloging knowledge and admired his passion for making subject headings inclusive and for using his position to make a difference. We kept in touch over the years and were in the library honor society together. He gave a wonderful speech at our graduation that I will never forget. I will always remember his kindness, his laugh, and his caring nature. He will be greatly missed.

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Christy published a tribute .

My first encounter with the legend known as David Norris was at my very first collegiate student recital. David was playing an original composition on the piano, and I sat in complete awe as he moved from tonal to atonal to aggressive fistfuls of keys. I thought to myself, "I'm in over my head. I can never succeed here. I'm in the presence of a genius." Later on, this musical madman would confess through sly giggles that he added "all that banging mostly to annoy the professors."

It will forever be my joy and honor that I got to be friends with that genius. David and I bonded over a shared love of poetry, literature, great music, and musicals, especially that of Stephen Sondheim, and we had the privilege of collaborating not once but twice on my favorite musical, Into the Woods. The first time, as I played the Witch and transformed out of being an ugly hag onstage, my fake warty nose landed in the bell of his tuba. The second time, he directed an orchestra outdoors as I stood on the roof of a house, singing, "Sometimes people leave you halfway through the wood. Do not let it grieve you; no one leaves for good. You are not alone. No one is alone."

So much of the richness of our friendship is lost to my inadequate memory, but what I'll never forget is his fierce dedication to artistic excellence, his willingness to talk through the hardest stuff of life, and his undying generosity toward his friends. Dav, I hope I was able to offer a fraction of that back to you.

With all the admiration and gratitude this heart can offer,
Fritters

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Jiselle published a tribute .

I knew David as our Music Director from the Fringe Festival, for the 2018 show An Odyssey Backwards and in Heels. He was such a smart, talented, unique person, and so very kind. He is greatly missed.

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Brian Huffman published a tribute .

I never met David but his work was very important. I appreciate the compassion and energy he put into supporting access to the LBGTQ+ and disabled communities. I wish I had met him but know many benefit from his work at St Kate's and Quatrefoil.

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Sara Schliep published a tribute .

David was a wonderful classmate in the St. Kate's MLIS program. His passion for cataloging and reparative description were inspiring. And while his time here was cut short, the work he did lives on (as will his memory) and that work will continue to have a positive impact on those who use the collections he cataloged. <3

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Jason Buchanan published a tribute .

We only met last year at the Quatrefoil, where I met him at game night. He was so cute and nerdy that I knew I wanted to get to know him better. we spent the better part of a mere two months together, and I'm still feeling all the things that could've been. But neither of us could communicate our needs in a way the other understood, and we went our separate ways.

This picture was taken in my living room the morning after he first spend the night at my place. When I showed him the picture, he was shocked to see how genuinely happy he looked in it. He told me was confused by how anyone could like him so much that they'd be inspired by him to make art. Silly fool. I'm so sorry. There are too many things I wish.

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Tom Sullivan published a tribute .

celebrating David’s birthday at Psych Suzi’s

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John Quant published a tribute .

I met David around 1991 or 1992 after his family moved to the Twin Cities from Kansas. He was one of my closest church friends from 3rd grade through the end of high school. We performed on the same drama team for years, had Chemistry lab and creative writing together in high school, and shared a lot of life. He used to record Bach's Tocatta and Fugue in D minor on our electric keyboard, he introduced me to PDQ Bach, Fiddler on the Roof, and What about Bob? (among others), and he sang at my wedding in 2006. On February 12, 2000--twenty three years before he died, to the day--we spent a weekend together with other friends at Seth's farm playing games and watching Holy Grail. We also wreaked the bottom of my snowboard pulling me with a waterski rope behind Seth's car down the road, and we wreaked almost everyone's jackets that night when roasting marshmallows turned into a spontaneous flaming stick fight. As sparks and spirts rose, I narrowly avoided a firebrand to the face when David got a little too into it and hurled one end-over-end in my direction.

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Dan Lejeune published a tribute .

I'm very sad to hear of David's sudden passing. He made a big impression on me many years ago and helped me with a project that came to life because of his excellent skills and work ethic. Back when David was studying music composition in college, I met him and learned about his interest in orchestration. He was such a personable young man and he was a wonderful listener. At my request, he took a piece written by Henry Purcell for treble voices and piano and created a masterful orchestration. I conducted the 2003 Norman (OK) All-City 5th grade choir singing that piece, accompanied by the Norman High School orchestra playing David's orchestration. It was an incredible collaboration and performance that David made possible. May David's positive spirit and love of learning live on in the hearts of all who were fortunate to know him.

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Aj published a tribute .

David was an important part of my college and post-college life. His talents and creativity as a musician brought joy to everyone around him. His deep thoughts and perspectives always gave me something to think about, deeper. I will never forget the sound of David’s laugh that could fill up a room.

He left a mark on my life and I will always cherish the memories we shared. I can hear him delivering a punchline of a joke, or a simple “oh, Antoine…” like it was yesterday. David will be deeply missed, but his spirit will live on through the music he created and the people he touched.

Rest in peace, my friend.

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Paul Kaefer published a tribute .

I got to know David through volunteering together at Quatrefoil Library. He did so much for the library in terms of cataloging, adding and enhancing metadata, and seeking new items for our collection. He was also instrumental from the beginning with our scholarship that we launched in 2019.

As a friend, I appreciated David's insight into life, philosophy, and politics. We also enjoyed playing board games together.

I am deeply shaken that you died far too soon, David. You will not be forgotten.

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Violet Fox published a tribute .

I am so very sorry that we've lost David. He and I presented together in 2021 and 2022 on one of his projects, about providing accessibility information in library records. The topic is a new one, and David helped many librarians see our work in a different way, helping prioritize the needs of disabled people.

David cared deeply about the people around him and making the world a better place. I'm angry that his radiant future has been cut short, angry for all of us in libraries to miss out on what he would have made happen. I promise I'll find ways to honor his legacy and make sure people know what a phenomenal person he was.

Thank you, Hannah, for coordinating the efforts to memorialize David. I'm sending all my love your way.

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Tasha published a tribute .

I was lucky enough to start grad school with David and really see how his devotion to learning impacted his life. He did not just learn to learn, he would immerse himself in new ideas while assessing how new ideas worked with his view on life and impacted those in his community and beyond.
His ability to see the often unseen, listen to the often unheard and invigorate the often forgotten made him a true bright spot in both librarianship and our lives.
And such a great beard! And laugh! I am thankful for the time I was able to spend with him.

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A Stranger published a tribute .

I never knew David, but I just wanted to send my deepest sympathies to his family and friends. May you remember him always.

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Larisa Netterlund published a comment .

Where to begin? David had a gift for really seeing people. He would ask deep questions and be curious about the answers. He gave me one of the best gifts I ever received: an illustrated picture of the character Liz Lemon haha. Every time I would move to a new office I would send him a picture of her new home. It is still in my office today. After college we spent so much time together, he lived in the apartment next to mine and we would wave and yell out the window at each other. We would get annoyed with each other. As he struggled to live into himself, I worried about him. And I have been so proud of him, seeing how he has built support systems for himself, been vulnerable and honest. David was one of the bravest people I knew. He inspired me more than I can really say. In ways I wanted to tell him. I wish I could tell him. I love you, Dav and miss you deeply.

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Tasha published a comment .

I was lucky enough to start grad school with David and really see how his devotion to learning impacted his life. He did not just learn to learn, he would immerse himself in new ideas while assessing how new ideas worked with his view on life and impacted those in his community and beyond.
His ability to see the often unseen, listen to the often unheard and invigorate the often forgotten made him a true bright spot in both librarianship and our lives.
And such a great beard! And laugh! I am thankful for the time I was able to spend with him.

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Larisa published a tribute .

Where to begin? David had a gift for really seeing people. He would ask deep questions and be curious about the answers. He gave me one of the best gifts I ever received: an illustrated picture of the character Liz Lemon haha. Every time I would move to a new office I would send him a picture of her new home. It is still in my office today. After college we spent so much time together, he lived in the apartment next to mine and we would wave and yell out the window at each other. We would get annoyed with each other. As he struggled to live into himself, I worried about him. And I have been so proud of him, seeing how he has built support systems for himself, been vulnerable and honest. David was one of the bravest people I knew. He inspired me more than I can really say. In ways I wanted to tell him. I wish I could tell him. I love you, Dav and miss you deeply.

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Memorial Celebration for David Norris

February 3rd, 2023 at 11:00am
Rauenhorst Ballroom
Saint Paul,
Event Details & RSVP

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