A long life well-lived

Most of us won’t live to be 96 years old. Even fewer will accomplish as much as Mr. Griffin Norquist did during his long and useful life. Norquist, who died Wednesday at his home in Yazoo City, was one of the most productive people we have ever known. He was a hero in World War II, leading soldiers in heavy action in a critical battle. He was decorated with the Silver Star in Butzdorf for “disregard for personal safety in the conduct of the attack,” the Bronze Star and the Purple Heart, received for a serious wound that ended his service. That service alone would be more than enough to secure his place in history as one of Yazoo’s greatest citizens, but Norquist still had years of service ahead of him in his career in law. Norquist served as County Attorney, and served as the attorney for the Yazoo County Board of Supervisors for six decades. At the time of his retirement in 2010, he was the longest serving board attorney in the country. Norquist always had a good working relationship with both the board he served and the public. Like his father, Judge R.R. Norquist, and his son, Griffin Norquist Jr., Mr. Norquist had a long history of civic service and was a community leader. It wasn’t hard to find someone to talk about what a great citizen Norquist was, but one person who you would never hear speak of it was Mr. Norquist himself. He was one of the most humble people we have ever known. We remember when we attempted to interview Norquist after he retired as the attorney for the Board of Supervisors about his successful career. He politely declined, stating that he wasn’t comfortable talking about himself. His answer was the same when we attempted several times to do a feature about his war service. That was just his style. He always put his faith, his family and his community first. Mr. Norquist didn’t need to talk about his accomplishments. His actions spoke for him, and our community is a much better place because of his many years of service.