Wilma Mary Morton
December 24, 1931 – January 6, 2022 (Age 90)
Wilma Morton passed away peacefully at her daughter’s home in Post Falls, Idaho on January 6, 2022; she was 90 years old. Her life was one of very good health, but she succumbed to a bout with multiple myeloma and cancer of the spine which was discovered the last few months of her life. Resilient and graceful are two words that described her best.
A hard rock miner’s daughter, she was born in Creede, Colorado, moving around from town to town as she grew up. She spoke fondly of memories when her relatives would come into town on a horse drawn sleigh or buggy, keeping warm with a pile of hot bricks placed in the middle and everyone would gather around. A teenager in the 1940’s, she enjoyed being a telephone operator when phones were still in their infancy; and working the soda fountain at the local drug store. It was a time of prohibition and while alcohol was banned for most, she told stories of how some men would come into the store and attempt to buy cases of cough syrup, mouthwash and other items containing large amounts of alcohol, but her boss would tell her not to sell it to them because they would drink it all, trying to get intoxicated. Soon thereafter, she was a housekeeper for Senator Phipps at his guest ranch in Wagon Wheel Gap, Colorado. It was there that she met and shook the hand of his good friend and soon-to-be President of the USA, Dwight D. Eisenhower. Senator Phipps tried to keep her as his personal housekeeper, as she could clean and make a bed better than anyone! But she met Richard Morton and was married shortly thereafter. Together, they moved to Yakima and their daughter, Debbie was born. In time they moved to Anchorage, Alaska where Richard and Kathy were born, and even experienced the Great Alaskan Earthquake in 1964. They moved to Port Angeles, Washington in the latter part of the 1960’s and Marianne was born. Their final destination was a move to Kettle Falls, Washington in 1970. There they purchased the old Paris Mitchell homestead near Lake Ellen, along Lake Roosevelt where she has lived
ever since. Her fifth and last child, Michelle, was born there.
They discovered that the homestead was a fertile area full of several fruit trees and rich earth, so she and her husband decided to try their hand at being hobby farmers. She was a wonderful homemaker, and the house was always filled with the aromas of fresh baked bread straight from the oven, chocolate chip cookies, or canning of her favorite, raspberry jam. She taught her children to bake, sew, type and be respectful of others. One of her most valued teachings in life was “to go down the middle of the road,” and not to lean too far one way or the other. Wilma was a very gentle soul and the matriarch of her home, always pleasant and cheerful despite the many hardships that came her way. Her warm smile is remembered by anyone and everyone that met her. She will forever be missed and loved.
Wilma was preceded in death by her late husband, Richard Morton, in June, his parents, Rachel and Dick, and sister, Mary, her parents Edith and Alvin Wintz, sister Loretta and brother Harry. She is survived by her brother Jerry and his Wife Kenny, nieces Christy, Sherry and Jennifer; son Richard; and daughters, Debbie, Kathryn, Marianne and Michelle; brother-in-law, Gerald; nephews and nieces Scott, Robin, Karen, David, Teresa, Paul and Gerald, Jr.; Grandchildren Diane, David, Steven, Kenyon, Dimitry, Katia, Michael, Anthony, Nicholas, Christina and Joseph; Great Grandchildren Shandra, Kya and Kingston.
Rosary and Visitation, Friday, January 14th at 8:30 a.m. at St. George’s Roman Catholic Parish in Post Falls, Idaho followed by Funeral Mass at 9:00; burial to follow at Garden Valley Cemetery, 85 Lake Ellen Road, Kettle Falls, Washington 99141. Bell Tower Funeral Home has been entrusted for arrangements.