Joel was born and raised in southern Utah, including Monticello. He then attended Brigham Young University for one year. After serving a Spanish-speaking mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in the San Diego area, he moved to Logan, Utah, and entered the ROTC program at Utah State University.
He married Ruthe Clark in 1963 and raised four daughters: Leigh (Wally) Loughney, Daira (Steve) Evans, Ruthe (Val) Esplin, and Tristi (Matt) Pinkston. Joel and Ruthe were later divorced.
Joel worked for many years as a field technician for Xerox. His church service was extensive and included such callings as ward missionary, high priest group instructor, and physical facilities representative. He loved participating in ward choirs wherever he lived.
In 1994, Joel married Barbara Haymond Spotts and gladly took on the role of stepfather to her children: Deborah (deceased), Brent Spotts (deceased), Bradley (Marycel) Spotts, Brian (Michele) Spotts, and Daresa (Russ) Sneddon.
Joel and Barbara enjoyed square dancing together and shared common interests in family and the gospel.
Joel is remembered for his kindness, generosity, dedication to the gospel, and his sense of humor. He enjoyed reading, working crossword and jigsaw puzzles, and had a great love for family history work and history in general. He had a particular fondness for John Wayne movies, peanut butter, ice cream, and getting together with family.
He will be missed and lovingly remembered, especially by his grandchildren: Laryne (Raman), Dawna Leigh, Britnee, Chelsey, Garrett, Zachary, Colton, Kayla, Mattie, Mariah, Caryn, Ammon, Joseph, Benjamin, Allysyn, Savannah, Gabriel, Loramae, Vincent, Jory, Juston, Kaya, Jessica (Parker), Alicia, and Russell.
He is preceded in death by his parents, Wesley and Thora Norton, his sister, Nadine Norton, his brother, Thell H. Norton, and two children, Joel Cameron and Dana Reye.
He is survived by his sisters Velva Williams and Audra (Ferris, deceased) Anderson, and his brother, Gerard (Malinda) Norton. Joel and Barbara’s first great-grandchild is due this August, and another grandchild is due as well.
Funeral services were held on June 8. Interment took place in the Springville Evergreen Cemetery.
Condolences may be sent to the family at: www.walkerfamilymortuary.com