Rick W. Norton Jr., the founder of Callies Performance Products in Fostoria, Ohio, sadly passed away at the age of 76 in April.
Norton began his remarkable career in the industry back in 1969, working alongside his father, Richard Sr., at Norton Manufacturing Company—a business established by his grandfather in Fostoria. With an enterprising spirit, Norton later expanded the scope of their family-owned tool-and-die enterprise, venturing into the realm of high-performance automotive crankshafts under the renowned moniker of Callies Performance Products in 1989.
As his entrepreneurial prowess grew, Norton went on to establish other successful ventures, namely Energy Manufacturing, Aviation Manufacturing, and Tecnoma Industries.
“He will forever be deeply missed by his cherished families—both at home and at work (Aviation Manufacturing, Callies Performance Products, and Energy Manufacturing). Rick Norton was an extraordinary individual, possessing a larger-than-life persona, who sought little for himself but contributed abundantly to the lives of many,” expressed Heath Norton in a heartfelt social media post. “His unwavering passion for manufacturing was infectious, and he imparted invaluable knowledge to all those fortunate enough to collaborate with him. Consequently, he fostered an environment of unwavering loyalty and dedication among his colleagues. Rest assured, we will press on resolutely, unwavering in our commitment to deliver exceptional products to our esteemed customers and friends.”
To commemorate Norton’s legacy, Callies Performance Products has announced a Celebration of Life event, scheduled to take place on Monday, June 26, from 12:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time.
This gathering will be held at the premises of Callies Performance Products, located at 901 S. Union St., Fostoria, Ohio. The event aims to raise funds for the Greater Fostoria Community Foundation, which will establish a scholarship fund in Norton’s honor. The scholarship intends to support local students pursuing a career in the manufacturing and metalworking industries.
Attendees will have the unique opportunity to take a comprehensive tour of Callies Performance Products, obtain autographs and photographs with three-time NHRA champion Ron Capps (from 12:00 p.m. to 1:00 p.m. EDT), and witness an impressive display of NHRA cars, including Capps’ renowned Funny Car and J.R. Gray’s Pro Mod, tuned by 2018 NHRA Pro Mod Champion, Mike Janis.
Those that cannot attend but want to donate can send checks to:
Greater Fostoria Community Foundation
PO Box 684
Fostoria, Ohio 44830
Note in check memo: Richard W. Norton, Jr. Scholarship Fund
T-shirts are also available for $20, and proceeds will benefit the scholarship fund. Shirts can be purchased at the event and online through the Callies website.