John Berkman Norris, Jr., 75

May 15, 2019

John Berkman Norris, Jr., 75, of Leonardtown, MD passed away on May 13, 2019 at his home surrounded by his loving family. He was born on October 7, 1943 in Leonardtown, MD to Loretta Beaven Norris and the late John Berkman Norris, Sr. both of Leonardtown, MD.

John is a lifelong resident of St. Mary’s County. He is a 1961 graduate of Ryken High School and a 1966 graduate of University of Maryland, College Park, (Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering). He earned his Professional Engineering (PE) License in 1969. In December 1966, he enlisted in the United States Army and served his country until his honorable discharge in 1968.

In October 1967 he married his beloved wife, Mary Helen Lee Norris in Fort Meade, MD. Together they celebrated over 51 wonderful years of marriage and raised a beautiful family. He began his career as a test engineer for E.I. duPont in Waynesboro, VA in 1969. In 1972, he took the position of County Engineer in St. Mary’s County, and eventually became the Director of Public Works in the county. He retired from St. Mary’s County government in 1989 to open NG&O Engineering, Inc., a civil engineering firm, where he served as the President until his retirement in 2014. Although engineering was his profession, farming was his true passion. His family farm, Wheatley’s Content Farm, meant the world to him. He loved being in the field on his tractor and mentoring young people in the art of farming.

He served as president of Leonardtown Lions Club and of the County Engineers Association of Maryland (CEAM). He was appointed by Governors Glendening and Ehrlich to the Maryland Transportation Authority Board. He was also a member of the Maryland Farm Bureau. He was instrumental in establishing the CEAM Roger H. Willard scholarship in Civil Engineering at the University of Maryland. In recognition for his dedication and tenure on the CEAM Scholarship Committee, a scholarship was established in his honor at Morgan State University. He was a member of St. Aloysius Gonzaga Catholic Church in Leonardtown, MD.

In addition to his mother, Loretta and beloved wife, Mary Helen, John is also survived by his children: John Berkman Norris III (Keli) of Piney Point, MD, Amy L. Van Cleaf (Tom) of Leonardtown, MD, and Cynthia N. Kostelansky (Mike) of Madison, NJ; his sister, Mary Loretta Copado (Greg) of Leonardtown, MD; his brother, P. Julius Norris (Margaret) of Bluffton, SC; his grandchildren: Andrew Norris, Elizabeth Norris, Ashley Norris, Jonathan Burroughs, Megan Van Cleaf, Caroline Kostelansky and Stephen Kostelansky; and many extended family and friends. In addition to his father, John is also preceded in death by his sister, Patricia A. Housley.

John was a man of character. He worked hard, gave the best of himself and expected the same of those he lived and worked with. He had a wonderful sense of humor, a ready smile and was quite a tease. Those who knew him appreciated his loyalty and dependability. He will be missed.

Family will receive friends on Monday, May 20, 2019 from 10:00 to 11:00 a.m. at St. Aloysius Catholic Church, 22800 Washington Street, Leonardtown, MD. A Mass of Christian Burial, recited by Reverend William George, S.J., will follow at 11:00 a.m,. Interment will be private. His grandchildren will be his pallbearers.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to CURE PSP, 1216 Broadway, 2nd Floor, New York, NY 10001 and Hospice of St. Mary’s, P.O. Box 625, Leonardtown, MD 20650.

Condolences to the family may be made at

Arrangements by the Brinsfield Funeral Home, P.A. in Leonardtown, MD.