My oldest brother, Norris Lynn, has always been special. He is 5 years older than me and was my idol growing up (still is). He had a vision very early of what he wanted to be when he grew up – he wanted to be a mechanical engineer. His determination and laser focus kept him on track to his goal.
Although we were born into a family of wealth – wealthy in love and support that is, there was no money to pursue his dreams. That did not stop him – he did not even consider the lack of finances an obstacle. Instead, he worked jobs from fuller brush salesman to carpenter helper. During the summer after his high school graduation, he was working when he became very ill. It was 1952 when polio was rampant and he contracted the disease. He was in the hospital for several weeks and the polio affected his respiratory system and his right arm. Since he was right handed, he learned to write with his left hand and although he lost a year of school, he never lost his vision.
He rode the bus to Tyler Junior College and back (about 60 miles away)everyday for two years, working at night and on weekends. He always made excellent grades and wanted to pursue his education at Texas Tech University in Lubbock after completing the 2 years at Tyler Junior College.
His halo was tarnished a little in my sight when he fell in love with our preacher’s daughter and married before he left for Lubbock. I loved his wife but I missed his attention – yes, I was jealous. Things were never the same again but as I grew up, I found out that life is constant change. In my little sheltered world at that time, I did not want it to change.
None the less, Norris and Phyllis went to Lubbock. He found work with an engineering firm and worked his way through Texas Tech. He later bought one of the companies he worked for during those years and now has a thriving business- Fanning and Fanning Consulting Engineers with our brother, John, as a partner and his two sons as engineers. He has held many positions in the civic community and has received many awards for his service. http://www.fanningfanning.com
He has always been active in his church and God has been his strength and guide throughout his life. He is a living example that with God anything is possible.
Norris had a dream and in achieving that dream, he taught me a valuable lesson – keeping God in the center, anything is possible if you want it bad enough and are willing to work to make it happen.
I love him – he is my idol. I honor him as my angel here on earth.