A Tribute To Norris Brown, Founder of Idaho State University’s Diesel Electric Program

A Tribute To Norris Brown, Founder of Idaho State University’s Diesel Electric Program

Category: Announcements

Date: Thursday, April 21st, 2022

A Tribute To Norris Brown, Founder of Idaho State University’s Diesel Electric Program

Teachers have all played important roles in our personal and professional development. Of all those teachers who contributed to your life, chances you can count on one hand the ones who really moved the needle and gave you skills and life lessons that you remember to this day.

Several Power Systems West technicians and service personnel will respond in unison with one teacher’s name, Norris Charles Brown who passed away April 9, 2022 at the age of 87.

Power System West’s team attended services to pay tributes to Norris, his family and the Idaho State University Diesel Electric Program. Left to Right: Lead Service Manager – Rick Ridgway, General Manager of Service – Eric Bender, Utah Service Manager – Kelly Jorgensen

Norris began teaching auto and diesel mechanics at Idaho State University’s (ISU) Vocational Technical School in 1972. Soon afterward, he started a Diesel Electric program, teaching students how to work on diesel-powered electric motors, control systems, and generators. Soon, leading power generation companies were coming around eager to hire his graduates. Our Power Systems West teams include several students of Norris Brown who still speak very highly of him.

Lead Service Manager Rick Ridgway

“I attended the ISU diesel program including the diesel electric portion with Norris. He had the unique ability to teach to all levels of understanding and he could turn the light switch on in young minds. Norris was truly a great man and teacher who helped propel my career as well as many others in the generator industry.”

Eric Bender, General Manager-Parts and Service

“I attended ISU from 1987 to 1989. Norris was one of my instructors. His diplomatic approach to life really sticks out. He was balanced. He made a strong impression on a lot of people.”

Dick Kleint, PSW Boise Field Technician

I attended ISU from 1985 to 1987. By the time I finished Norris’s Diesel Electric course I could not imagine doing anything else. Norris loved engines, generators, and the electric power business. He had the ability to transfer that passion and practical knowledge to his students. Norris believed in his students and was able to instill a unique confidence that never fades, and in fact grows stronger. Norris changed lives!”

Kelly Jorgensen, Salt Lake City Service Manager

“Norris was a great instructor and person. Long after the class was over, if you were to call Norris and ask for help with an issue, he was always willing to help. I think the biggest thing Norris taught me was not to overlook the basics and take it step by step with one simple word KISS (Keep It Simple Stupid). I have told my kids this over the years. First they laugh about it, but then realize it works for them as well.”

From all of us at Power Systems West, thank you Norris Charles Brown for your dedication to Idaho State University Vocational School, and for the knowledge and passion you shared with all your students that resonates throughout the industry. You made a difference in many lives, you will be missed.

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