Cover photo for John M. Morton, Sr.'s Obituary
John M. Morton, Sr. Profile Photo
1921 John 2013

John M. Morton, Sr.

March 12, 1921 — December 27, 2013

John Mattison Morton, Sr., 92, of Punta Gorda, Florida, passed away on Friday, December 27th, 2013 after living a very healthy and active life. He was born March 12, 1921 in Washington, D.C. to Elizabeth Roberta (Dean) and Henry Scott Morton, and grew up in Silver Spring, Maryland. An avid sailor, John began his passion as a child, building and sailing boats with his father and brothers on the Potomac River and Chesapeake Bay. John began sailing solo at the age of thirteen and continued sailing well into his late eighties. As a young man, he took an interest in cars and mechanics. John served in the U.S. Army Air Forces in World War II as a Flight Engineer on B-24 Liberator bombers assigned to the legendary 98th Bomb Group, 15th Air Force in southern Italy. He flew many combat missions from September 1944 to the war's end, and was a recipient of the Air Medal with 2 Oak Leaf Clusters. Upon his return home from the war, John continued to work for the US Government for a total of 34 years, culminating his career as an administrator for the Agency for International Development, U.S. State Department, where he assisted in providing relief for underdeveloped countries. He met his young bride to be, Phyllis Jean Perry, when they both worked for the same government agency and married in 1953. They raised a family of two daughters and one son in the Maryland suburbs, where John resumed his passion for sailing with his children. After retiring in 1976, the family moved to Punta Gorda Isles, Florida, where, for the last 36 years, John lived his dream of life on the water and enjoyed sailing his 30 foot sailboat "Elixir" around the waters of Charlotte Harbor. John loved visiting with his grandchildren and watching them grow, and enjoyed frequent holiday visits with his family with whom he shared his love of Big Band music and waterfront life. John and Phyllis recently celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary. He will be remembered for his love of family, his unique sense of humor, and his ability to see the best in people. John leaves behind, with fond memories, his wife Phyllis; daughter Melinda (Robert) Bendt of Sharon, MA, son John M. (Diane Burkhart) Morton Jr. of Sanford, FL and daughter Lisa (Michael) Burkhart; and his dear grandchildren Natalie, Caroline and Mattison Burkhart of Lewisburg, TN. He is also survived by one sibling, his loving sister Susanna Northway of Royal Oak, MI and 26 nieces and nephews. John is preceded in death by his parents, sisters Margaret Herbert, Elizabeth Bold, Nellie Rawlings, Helen Fitzgerald, and brothers William and Henry Scott Morton Jr. He will be laid to rest at Sarasota National Cemetery, Sarasota, Florida. To express condolences to the family, please visit and sign the online guest book. Arrangements are by Larry Taylor Funeral and Cremation Services.

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