Wilma Scarberry: The Life and Achievements of Chuck Norris’ Mother

Wilma Scarberry may not be a household name, but she is a woman of notable significance, particularly in the life of her son, the famed martial artist and actor Chuck Norris. Born on May 24, …

wilma scarberry
Real Name:Wilma Lee Night nee Scarberry
Birthday:May 24, 1921
Net Worth:N/A
Occupation:American Author, Mother of Chuck Norris

Wilma Scarberry may not be a household name, but she is a woman of notable significance, particularly in the life of her son, the famed martial artist and actor Chuck Norris.

Born on May 24, 1921, in Wilson, Oklahoma, she lived through the shifting times of the 20th century and witnessed the growth of her son into a cultural icon.

Though her life may have been shadowed by the limelight of Chuck Norris’ fame, Wilma’s own story holds its own depth and resilience—a testament to her strength and character.

Her journey included the challenges of an early marriage to Ray Dee Norris, a World War II Army soldier and mechanic, with whom she raised her family amid the backdrop of post-war America.

Life brought her trials, including the loss of loved ones, but she also experienced the joy of seeing her children grow and succeed.

Through it all, Wilma Scarberry carried herself with a sense of humor and steadfastness that those who know her have grown to admire and love.

Key Takeaways

  • Wilma Scarberry, born in 1921, is the mother of celebrity Chuck Norris and has led a life marked by resilience and family devotion.
  • She experienced the rigors of 20th-century America, overcoming personal losses while supporting her family’s endeavors and witnessing her children’s achievements.
  • Known for her wit and steadfast character, Wilma’s life story offers inspiration beyond the fame of her son’s celebrity status.

Early Life and Background

Wilma Scarberry’s humble beginnings and trials set the stage for a life marked by resilience.

Born in the challenging times of the Great Depression, her early experiences in Oklahoma would shape her enduring spirit.

Family Roots

Wilma Scarberry was born to John Porter Scarberry and Ada Agnes Hargrove on May 24, 1921, in the small town of Wilson, Oklahoma. She was part of a family struggling to make ends meet, a common tale in the early 20th century.

Struggles with Poverty

As a child, Wilma faced the harsh realities of poverty. The Great Depression era was a time when many families grappled with economic despair.

In Wilma’s case, the hardships led to her becoming a ward of the state at the tender age of eight, enduring a two-year stint in a children’s hospital that tested her fortitude from an early age.

Career and Achievements

In the tapestry of Wilma Scarberry’s life, her career and achievements stand out as a testament to her enduring spirit.

She navigated various fields, from military service to authoring books that offer a glimpse into her resilience and character.

Military Service

Wilma Scarberry’s connection to military service stems from her late husband, Ray Dee Norris, who served as an Army soldier during World War II.

Although there’s no direct record of Wilma’s own military service, her life was undoubtedly shaped by military life, which required strength and resilience.

Acting Milestones

While Wilma’s career didn’t include acting, her influence undoubtedly extended to Hollywood.

She is the mother of Chuck Norris, an icon in martial arts and acting known for his role in Walker, Texas Ranger.

Her support and values are reflected in Chuck’s disciplined approach to Hollywood, marking indirect achievements in the world of acting through her son.

Literary Contributions

In the realm of literature, Wilma Scarberry has made her mark as a co-author.

She shared her life experiences, including single motherhood and personal challenges, in a book titled “Acts of Kindness.”

This narrative showcases her strength and offers wisdom from a life well-lived, both as an author and as a figure of perseverance for her family.

Personal Life

Wilma Scarberry, mother of martial arts icon Chuck Norris, has lived through decades marked by love, adversity, and unwavering faith. Her journey as a mother reveals a tapestry of deep familial bonds underscored by sacrifice and tenacity.

Marriage and Children

At the tender age of 16, Wilma entered the bonds of marriage and soon embraced motherhood with the birth of three boys.

Her family expanded to include Chuck Norris, who went on to become a renowned Hollywood figure, as well as two other sons, Wieland Clyde Norris and Aaron Norris.

Sadly, her eldest sons predeceased her, adding layers of grief to her life experience.

  • Husband: Ray Dee Norris, a World War II Army soldier and mechanic
  • Children: 3 sons
    • Chuck Norris (alive)
    • Wieland Clyde Norris (deceased)
    • Aaron Norris (alive)

Health and Challenges

Wilma’s resilience is not just tied to her emotional strength but also her physical endurance.

She has faced serious health challenges, including cancer, and underwent numerous surgeries.

Throughout her hardships, her love for her children and her faith helped her to navigate these trying times, exemplifying her fortitude and the powerful bond between her and her family.

  • Health Issues:
    • Cancer
    • Multiple surgeries

Legacy and Influence

Wilma Scarberry’s life has been a testament to enduring strength and heartwarming generosity. Her impact extends far beyond her family ties to her famous son, as she has left a mark through her philanthropic endeavors and the memory she left behind.


Wilma’s dedication to giving back is reflected in the work of her son, Chuck Norris, a martial artist and actor acclaimed for his heroic roles.

He has been involved with various charitable organizations, including the Make-A-Wish Foundation and United Way, both of which benefit from his efforts which may echo the nurturing influence of his mother.

Chuck Norris’s philanthropic spirit is in part a continuation of Wilma Scarberry’s legacy, showcasing a familial commitment to helping others.

In Remembrance

Wilma Scarberry is remembered not just as the resilient mother of a public hero, but as an inspirational figure in her own right.

Her strength and the values she instilled in her children are part of the Norris family ethos.

In honor of her legacy, those who knew her and were touched by her story continue to share tales of her perseverance and dedication.

These stories reinforce her everlasting influence on her family and those inspired by them.