A Cobb Island man who was known for his gifts to residents of a La Plata nursing home died Monday morning when a tractor-trailer slammed into his car on Route 301 south of Faulkner.
Robert James Norris, 75, was turning onto Route 301 at Crossover Road about 7:45 a.m. when he drove his 2004 Cadillac Deville into the path of the southbound truck. The truck struck Norris's car on the passenger side.
Norris was taken to Civista Medical Center in La Plata, where he died soon after arriving. Police closed southbound 301 for 21/2 hours while they investigated the crash.
The driver of the truck, 44-year-old Jimmy Dewayne Davis of Alabama, was not injured or charged in the accident.
Relatives remembered Norris as an extremely generous man. He visited a nursing home in La Plata practically every day to give candy, fruit and toys to the residents, said his cousin Steven Norris.
"He said for a $2 teddy bear they would smile all over themselves," his cousin said.
Robert Norris lived all his life on Cobb Island. When he was 16 years old his father died, and he was left to earn money to support his mother and four younger sisters.
Norris never married, his cousin said, because "he had too many responsibilities to think about himself."
Norris retired in the mid-1970s after years of running his own general store on Cobb Island and working as an oysterman.
His Island Seafood company sold oysters and crabs from a boat, said his cousin, who worked with him.
Other interests included religion. His sister Lillian Irene Perk said Norris was very involved with his church, Holy Ghost Catholic Church in Issue, where he helped with Communion services. In addition to his cousin Steven Norris and sister Lillian Perk of White Plains, Norris is survived by his sisters Doris Jean Carter of Cumberland, Mary Elizabeth Hill of Charlotte Hall and Catherine N. Oliver of Waldorf.