A fourth generation Texan, Norman Goree Kittrell III, age 93, passed peacefully into eternal life on July 31, 2019. He was born in Houston, Texas, on August 26, 1925, to adoring parents Maidel Baker and Pleasant Williams Kittrell. Beloved husband, father, and grandfather, he will be greatly missed. Always loving, always giving, and always patient, he was an outstanding role model for all who were blessed to love and know him.
Trinity Episcopal Church in downtown Houston was a huge influence on his life for a large part of his early years through high school at San Jacinto High and after retirement. The Kittrell family were founders of Trinity (the family home was close by), and he carried on this legacy. He held various church positions from serving weekly breakfasts to the homeless through his work with “Lord of the Streets” to President of the Trinity Church Endowment for a number of years. His last volunteer ministry at the church was helping church members plan their loved ones’ funerals and memorial services. He faithfully attended church every Sunday until recently when he was physically unable to do so.
A graduate of the University of Texas in 1948 with a petroleum engineering degree, his 45 year long career with Texaco brought him and his young family to Denver, Colorado, for 16 years, then to Texaco’s offices in the Chrysler Building in New York City, and later to the company’s new headquarters in Harrison, New York. He became President of Texaco International Exploration and traveled for business extensively overseas. He and his wife Joy enjoyed their travels abroad and also their vacation home in Breckenridge, Colorado, where they spent summers for many years. As late as his early 80’s, Norman could be found snow skiing with his children and grandchildren. During their time in Breckenridge, he and Joy were active at St. John’s Episcopal Church.
He loved the Colorado Rockies and was an avid fisherman, hiker, and mountain climber. He was able to hike and backpack all over Colorado and the United States with his son Norman and his son’s wife Frances. In his 60’s, he began hiking and climbing overseas. He completed a memorable hike with his friend Jack Baldwin to the base camp of Mt. Everest.
A World War II veteran, he enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps at age 17. He said that his time in the military for him was a short period of real danger and a time to gain both experience and education on which he built the rest of his life. He lived his life humbly and gratefully. Many people, strangers included, often remarked on his generous, kind, and helpful spirit.
He is survived, in his words “best deal I ever made”, by the love of his life, Joy Joyce, his wife of 70 years; his son, Norman Goree Kittrell IV and wife Frances of Houston; his daughters Kathy Tally Schweiger and husband Paul of Austin; and Susan Kittrell Engelstad of Denver, Colorado. He is also survived by five grandsons, one granddaughter, and two great grandsons; Blake Kittrell Tally and wife Brooke and their son Jaden (Austin); Layne Russell Tally and wife Abby (Santa Monica, CA.); Norman Goree Kittrell V and wife Kate (Wash D.C.); Jeffrey Lyall Engelstad and wife May and their son Teddy (Denver); Erik Monroe Engelstad (Denver); and Samantha Joy Engelstad (Denver). He is also survived by his sister, Lida K. Barrett; his cousin Charles Giraud and wife Pamela; and numerous nephews and nieces.
A Memorial Service and Celebration of his life will be announced at a future time. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests memorial gifts be made to Trinity Church Endowment, 1015 Holman, Houston, Texas 77084.
Trinity Church Endowment
1015 Holman, Houston TX 77084