GOBLES, Mich. — Wonderful. Its the word Charles Norton kept using over and over again to describe his sister Crystal whose life was tragically cut short last Saturday. Dozens of family and friends gathered at D.L. Miller’s Funeral Home in Gobles to lay her to rest.
“She was a wonderful person, very smart, kindhearted,” said Charles. “She was a very free spirit.”
Portage police said Norton, 33 of Paw Paw, was killed when a teenager crashed into her car on Oakland Drive. He was driving 80 miles per hour and leading police on a four-mile, high speed car chase that began in Kalamazoo. Since then, police said he’s been charged with two felonies. Norton died the day after her daughter’s ninth birthday.
“She loved her daughter with all of her heart,” said Charles of his niece Asia. “I miss her. I miss her a lot.”
Charles' 13-year-old daughter Ilene misses her too.
"I remember the very last song we all listened to was House Party by Sam Hunt," said Ilene. "I personally never thought that a song could have so much sentimental value as it does now. But now I realize that’ll always be in a special part in my heart."
Charles said the funeral was full or people sharing stories just like this one. The family hung a large, handmade peace sign while the Beatles song All You Need Is Love played on the speakers overhead. Charles joked that she was born in the wrong decade because she was such a free thinker but that’s what everyone loved about her. She loved to laugh, have a good time and made friends with everyone.
“She was not only my sister,” said Charles. “She was my friend too.”