BEAR, Del. - A line of about 50 New Castle County police cars stretched in front of Cornerstone United Methodist Church here yesterday for the funerals of brothers Robert E. and Mark David Norris, who were killed Monday night in Philadelphia.
Inside the church, 20 miles southwest of Wilmington, friends and family paid tribute to two men who inspired them and gave so much.
The two were killed with business partner James M. Reif Jr., 42, of Endicott, N.Y., during a meeting at a marketing company's offices at the Philadelphia Navy Yard by Vincent J. Dortch. Dortch, an investor who suspected the partners were skimming money from a real estate venture, then shot himself.
The violent end of the Norris brothers belied how they conducted their lives, those who knew them said.
"To look at both of them, you would not think they were brothers," their brother Paul said. He joked that Mark looked as if he belonged on the cover of GQ, while "Bobbie" belonged on the cover of ESPN magazine.
Paul Norris spoke of his brothers' spirit, large hearts, and love for their family.
Lt. Jeff Wagonhoffer of the New Castle County Police, where Robert Norris served for 15 years, recalled his mentor as a man who was "ingeniously creative."
Wagonhoffer told how, after 9/11, Norris saw a need and developed a device that would allow workers in wheelchairs to descend stairs without assistance during an emergency. He held a U.S. patent and was looking for grant money for the project.
Two Marines started the service by presenting memorial flags to the family in honor of the brothers' service to their country. Mark, 46, of Pilesgrove, N.J., was once a Marine recruiter, and Robert, 41, of Newark, Del., served in the Persian Gulf War.
The Rev. Frederic Guyott III of St. John's Episcopal Church in Salem, N.J., told the crowd that he had known Mark Norris for 25 years and called him a "Renaissance man" with "many talents and many gifts."
When Guyott had trouble relating to the seventh-grade boys he was working with in a West Philadelphia school, he called Norris. "He could bridge all cultures," he said.
Richard L. Chapman of the Juvenile Justice Center Family Services of Philadelphia told of Norris' dedication as a board member.
Chapman said he would remember Norris as someone who always thought of others and who once showed up with 50 backpacks because he heard children from the center needed them.