Tributes flow for much-loved Sanitarium employee

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Genene Norris is being remembered as a fun-loving, happy woman, a committed Seventh-day Adventist Christian and a much-loved Sanitarium employee.

Ms Norris, 48, died in John Hunter Hospital in Newcastle (NSW) on April 14 after developing thrombosis (blood clots) with thrombocytopenia (low platelet count). The Therapeutic Goods Administration has confirmed that the clotting was likely linked to the AstraZeneca coronavirus vaccination she had received a few days earlier.

She leaves us with a deep hole and we look forward to the time when we can be reunited with her on Christ’s return. We thank God that we have been blessed by her presence.

Ms Norris worked in the customer relations team at Sanitarium Health Food Company’s head office in Berkeley Vale. A much-loved employee, she had worked at Sanitarium for 24 years and her workmates have been deeply saddened by her passing.

“Genene’s family were Sanitarium people, with her dad, uncle, sister and cousins working for the company over several generations,” said Todd Saunders, Sanitarium’s executive general manager for Australia and New Zealand.

“Genene was a long-serving member of the head office team, and carried on the family commitment to our company with dedication, humility and cheerfulness.

“Genene was a committed Seventh-day Adventist Christian, and I know from my own personal conversations with her of her strong faith, her love of her church community, her company and her friends. I have no doubt that this strong faith and her walk in the Christian life will bring enormous comfort for her family, her friends and workmates right now.”

In a statement, Ms Norris’s family have expressed their thanks for the love and support they have received at this “terribly sad and difficult time”.

“Everyone who knew Genene talks of her fun-loving, happy character and her sense of service to those around her,” they said.

“Genene’s devotion to our family was deep and gave her much joy. Her passing leaves a gaping void in our family.”

Ms Norris was a member of Wallsend Adventist Church where she is being remembered for her thoughtfulness, laughter and leadership.

“The Wallsend church community has been blessed in many ways by Genene sharing her life in our community,” they said.

“She has been generous with her thoughtfulness towards others, she was a very caring lady, she provided much joy with her laughter and humour, she shared her talents as an organiser, leader, renowned cook to our community.

“She leaves us with a deep hole and we look forward to the time when we can be reunited with her on Christ’s return. We thank God that we have been blessed by her presence.”

Her church friends have shared the following special memories:

“Genene was always laughing, smiling and giggling, she could fill a room with her laughter.”—Barbara Rosendahl

“Genene was a person who was always considering the needs of others, often before her own needs. She had a distinguished and infectious laugh. She was a wonderful and generous cook. She will be greatly missed. Genene was a natural organiser. During her youth and early adulthood she led out in organising many events. She organised and enjoyed travelling with her family to many different places. She was very loving and well loved.—Stuart Arblaster

“I remember Genene from a young age as being outgoing and friendly with a ready smile. She was an active supporter of our youth Sabbath school and contributed to/led in fun activities. Genene, along with her sister Melissa, was an integral part of our massive Chrisco hampers fundraising project which ran for six years. Her admin skills were highly valued. I remember Genene as a fun-loving, generous and selfless person with a heart for helping others. Her loyalty to her family was obvious in the close relationships that she had with all of them. A bright light gone out too early.”—Joy Guy

“We always had fun and she was always smiling and laughing.”—Lanelle Hawkins

“Be like Genene—love your family, care for people unconditionally and laugh generously.”—Lloyd Turner