Joshua Henry Norwood, born Nov. 2, 1982, to Virginia (Ginny) Norwood, died on April 20, 2020, in Virginia. Jennifer Lynn Norwood, his loving wife, was born on Nov. 2, 1985, and his son Wyatt Charles Norwood was born on March 5, 2013. Jennifer and Wyatt were taken from us on Feb. 14, 2020.
Joshua couldn’t handle the death of his wife and son, and felt it was better for him to go and be with them. He asked God for forgiveness so he would make sure he would be in heaven with them.
Josh had a love for fishing, camping and sports. But his biggest love in life other than his family was for reptiles. When he was only 5 years old, Josh and his grandfather Henry went fishing. His grandpa tried to kill a snake as it slithered by them. Josh immediately cried and yelled to his grandfather to stop.
They put the snake in the bucket and brought it home. We set up a tank for Josh so that he could help the snake get better again. That afternoon he went to kindergarten class. Shortly after his teacher called me and said Josh was crying uncontrollably because he was so worried about the snake. She asked me if I could bring it in so he could keep an eye on at while at school.
Shortly after that I asked Stan Grierson if he would come over and talk to Josh because he was very knowledgeable. Josh and Stan must’ve talked for almost two hours that afternoon. It was then that Joshua’s love of snakes and other reptiles came into play full-speed. His first job was at Maine Pet and Aquarium, where he worked several hours a week at a very young age. At one point he had over 45 snakes and over 30 lizards. Some of his snakes were as big as 4 or 5 feet.
He was interviewed in the Bar Harbor Times about his love for the reptiles and he also gave lectures at the Ellsworth Library on a couple of occasions, bringing several reptiles and books. The kids and the adults were all fascinated by his knowledge and his love for them! He also did a couple birthday parties with his reptiles where he educated young children about them. He donated one of those snakes when it passed away to College of the Atlantic and they were very excited to have it.
Lucky for him he had a mother who didn’t mind snakes and lizards too much, or that they very often got loose in the house. (Even though I’m not saying I didn’t jump up on the counter several times.)
Working at the pet store in Ellsworth was where he first laid eyes on who was to be his future wife, Jennifer Overlock. It was a two-year romance and then they married. And lucky for him she also had a love for reptiles.
After their first son was born, they opened JNJ Reptiles, and it was a huge success for seven years. They decided it was time for a change, and Josh and Jen and their son packed up and moved to Virginia to work at Outback Reptiles. He did that for several years while Jen was home with her son. At one point they moved on to Missouri to work at another reptile place. They moved back to Maine for six or seven months, and after that one fell through, they went back to Virginia to once again go into the reptile business.
Eventually he took on a different job with Stanley Steamers. He and several of the workers became good friends during that time. They both developed friendships in Virginia that continued for years. During the time in Virginia, their second son was born. They couldn’t be any happier to have two wonderful boys. I made several trips throughout the years to be with my grandchildren and I loved every minute of it.
Sadly, Jen and Wyatt passed away on Feb. 14, 2020. Jennifer grew to become the epitome of what a woman should be. She was a loving wife and mother, and always put family first. She loved elephants, animals, baking and, most of all, her family. Her greatest joy was spending time with the ones she loved. She and Josh were happily married for over 18 years. She was a CNA until an injury to her shoulder forced her to stop working. She once again became a stay-at-home mom who always made sure the needs of her family were met with joy and love. She was known for her generosity and love of others and will be remembered as a wonderful wife, mother, sister, daughter and friend. Josh remembered her by saying, “RIP Babe. You are my heart and soul forever. I love, miss and need you so bad!”
Wyatt was a model of everything good in the world — innocence, creativity, passion for life and friendliness. He was a light to everyone around him. His desire was to grow up to be a YouTuber, and he had the talent to be the best one! Anyone who met Wyatt couldn’t help but to fall in love with him. He loved books, friends, animals, videos, “Toy Story” and, of course, Mr. Potato Head. This precious light was extinguished too soon. He will be missed by everyone who knew him. He left behind friends, family and a father who adored him. His dad said, “Wyatt, you were the light in my eyes, my heart and soul, the greatest son anyone could ask for! RIP Chunky baby! You are my universe and my reason for living. I love, miss and need you more than the world could ever know.”
Josh couldn’t take the loneliness, emptiness and sadness of them being gone, and on April 20, 2020, after asking for forgiveness from God, he went on to heaven to be with them. We spoke several times in a short period that afternoon and there was nothing I could do to convince him to stay on Earth and continue on. His mind was made up. He said to me, “I can’t do it anymore, Mom. Don’t feel sad or sorry for me, as it’s going to be AMAZING to be with them.” Then he sent me a text saying, “I love you.” My heart stopped, but I know that my son is once again with his wife and his son. And knowing he asked God for forgiveness made it easier. Josh said, “The shock will wear off and you will be OK.” Josh, the shock and the sadness and the pain I feel I will never, never go away. I love you, my son, and I will see you again in heaven.
Josh was predeceased by his grandfather Henry Norwood; his wife, Jennifer; son Wyatt; and father-in-law Charles Overlock. He is survived by his mother, Ginny Norwood, and partner Lori Gray; grandmother Shirley Eaton; very special uncle Everett Norwood, who was much more than an uncle, and Josh loved him tremendously; uncles Billy Norwood and Jimmy Norwood; and aunts Victoria Eaton, Rebecca Norwood, Cheryl Curtis and Heather Norwood; cousins Heidi Zito and Cody Norwood; Jen’s family; as well as Lucy and Jude Zito, Dakota Curtis, and godfather Allen Murphy; and many others including close friends from Virginia.
A graveside service will be held at a later date this summer for Joshua, Jennifer and Wyatt Norwood.