Gerald Leroy Morton, 93, of Casper, Wyoming passed Wednesday, June 5, 2019 at Central Wyoming Hospice and Transitions. He was a resident of Shepherd Of The Valley Healthcare Community for 8 months prior to that.
Gerald was born on October 11, 1925 in Palco, Kansas, the son of Roy G. and Eva E. (Goodwin) Morton. Eva did not survive the birth, so Gerald spent much of his youth living on his paternal grandparents’ farm, just outside of Palco.
Gerald graduated from Palco High School in May 1943. He played football and basketball and was a member of the band.
He enlisted in the Navy Reserve on July 1, 1943 and served almost three years on active duty, before receiving an honorable discharge. He was trained as an aviation radioman and flew anti-submarine mission aboard a TBF Avenger off the east coast of the United States.
In April 1945, as a young sailor stationed at the Sanford Maine Naval Station, Gerald met a local girl named Isla Joy. Isla and Gerald were married in October 1945, eventually moving to Palco, Kansas to begin raising a family.
In Kansas, Gerald was a truck driver for the C.L. Soper Tank Service and owned and operated the Morton Rexall Drug Store.
Gerald moved the family to Cheyenne, Wyoming, in 1956, where he worked at a variety of jobs through the years, including as Credit Manager for Firestone Tire and Rubber Company, and Keremi Tractor and Equipment Company; Wilson Equipment and Supply, Lustra Corporation, Prudential Insurance, and Wyoming Equipment Supply and Tractor Company. He also worked for a time for Durbin Surgical Supply.
In 1963, Gerald began a career as a Federal Civil Servant with the U.S. Post Office in Cheyenne working with the sorting and distribution of mail, before becoming a Revenue Officer with the Internal Revenue Service, and finally becoming a Special Investigator with the U.S. Department of Energy. He retired from the Federal Government in Casper and then worked part-time at a snack food business known as Mort’s Wholesale and as a collections manager for several local credit unions in Casper.
Gerald re-affiliated as a Radioman with the Navy Reserve in August of 1965 and served until he had completed a total of 24 years naval service. He retired as a Chief Petty Officer.
Gerald was a member of Masonic Lodge, Pathfinder #42, Scottish Rite Consistory, Korein Temple, Casper Shrine Club, Scottish Rite Club, Korein T-Patrol, and the Korein Legion of Honor. He enjoyed many years traveling and participating in parades, and other events, with his fellow Shriners as a member of the T-Patrol.
He enjoyed the outdoors and hunted and fished in Wyoming for many years. His time spent on a farm as a youth was never far from his mind and, for a time, he participated in a sheep operation west of Casper, as well as tended a large garden plot in the community garden near the fairground. He took up woodworking in his later years and produced numerous fine quality items for his friends and relatives.
Gerald was preceded in death by his wife, Isla E. (Joy) Morton, mother, Eva E. (Goodwin) Morton, his father, Roy G. Morton, his sister Virginia L. (Morton) Baker, his sister, Patricia J. (Morton) Tremblay, a brother, Don D. Morton, and a daughter, Sheila M. (Morton) Gafford, daughter-in-law, Norma (Brown) Morton.
Survivors include sons, Garry L. and Tony G. Morton, and daughter, Joy R. (Morton) and her husband Bradley Grapes, son-in-law, Tommy Gafford; sister-in-law, Dolores (Novotny) Morton; eight grandchildren, including Tammy L. Gafford, Michele M. (Gafford) and her husband Gregory Gautreau, Brian S. Gafford and his wife Karen, Belinda L. (Gafford) and her husband Allen Brown, Laura L. Morton, Timothy R. Morton and his wife Shelley, Elizabeth J. (Grapes) and her husband Abe Correa, and Toby J. Grapes and his wife Jackie; 20 great-grandchildren; 1 great-great-grandchildren; and numerous nieces, nephews, and their families.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Casper Shrine Travel Fund, 1501 W. 39th St., Casper, WY 82606, or the Shriners Hospitals for Children, 1275 E. Fairfax Rd., Salt Lake City, UT 84103.
A visitation for family and friends will be held on Monday, June 10, 2019 from 11:00 am until the beginning of the Funeral Service starting at 1:00 pm at Newcomer Casper Chapel. Military Honors with interment will follow the service at Oregon Trail State Veterans Cemetery.
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