Cover photo for Larry Morton's Obituary
Larry Morton Profile Photo
1934 Larry 2023

Larry Morton

July 18, 1934 — August 30, 2023

Cullowhee, NC

Larry Morton, 89, died peacefully at his home of 50 years in Cullowhee, NC on August 30, 2023 surrounded by his loving family. He was born on July 18, 1934 in West Palm Beach, FL, only child of Elmer Lawrence Morton, Sr. and Bessie Cox Morton. As a boy he helped his parents in their grocery store, delivered newspapers, and developed his lifelong love of gardening.  He rode his bike to W. Palm Beach High School, graduating in 1951. He attended the University of Chicago for one year, earned a B.S. in Chemical Engineering from Georgia Tech in 1955, and started his career in the Research Department at ESSO in Baton Rouge, LA. He later earned his M.S. and Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering from LSU, began working in the Computer Center at LSU, and taught computer programming in the Mechanical Engineering Department. 


He met his cherished wife of almost 60 years, Marilyn Griffin, at the First Christian Church of Baton Rouge where he was a treasurer and she was choir director. On a snowy Dec. 25, 1963 they married at her home church in Otwell, AR. Their two children, Elizabeth and Alan were born in Baton Rouge. In 1970 the family moved to Cullowhee where Larry was a computer science Professor at Western Carolina University, retiring in 1992. He was formerly a member of Cullowhee Presbyterian Church where he served as an elder, treasurer, and member of the building committee. Later they joined Webster Baptist Church, enjoying wonderful new friendships. 


In retirement Larry enjoyed using his woodworking skills to help build ramps with Project Care, delivered Meals on Wheels, and served as treasurer of the Jackson County Genealogical Society. He received the Governor's Award for Outstanding Volunteer Service in 1998. He and Marilyn enjoyed traveling, especially to visit family in Ohio, Arkansas, South Carolina, and Texas. He is survived by his wife Marilyn, daughter Elizabeth Johnson (Cal) of Columbia, SC, son Alan (Marlene) of Austin, TX, and grandchildren Alexa Morton, Cade Morton, Ethan Johnson, and Luke Johnson. Larry's life was exemplified by J.O.Y. – Jesus first, Others second, Yourself last. Steadfast, curious and resourceful, he loved to help people. His was a life of deep faith lived out daily.


His family is planning a graveside service later in September at McDaniel Cemetery, Jonesboro, AR. A Celebration of Life will be held at Webster Baptist Church in late December or early January. The family requests memorials be made to the Webster Baptist Church, United Christian Ministries of Jackson County or a favorite charity.

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