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Cliff Morton, 93, passed away peacefully early on May 4th at his home in Enid.
Cliff, the youngest of six children, was born December 29, 1923, to Joseph Clifton Morton and Mary Beekler Morton in Blackwell, Oklahoma, where he was raised.
He graduated from Blackwell High School in 1942, one year later than his classmates since during his senior year (1940-1941) he got special permission to play in the 45th Infantry Division 189th Field Artillery Band. Cliff volunteered, as an opportunity to serve his country in the mission to enlist more servicemen for WWII, and also to play his coronet under the direction of Dr. Milburn Carey, who had taken a sabbatical from directing the Phillips University Band to lead this effort.
Cliff officially enlisted in the Army Air Corps in February 1943 and was assigned to the training facility in Alabama. However, due to military wartime needs, his class was transferred into the Army's 65th Infantry Division at Camp Shelby, Mississippi.
He married Myra Dean Rodgers, his high school sweetheart, on August 5, 1944.
He deployed to the European theater via military transatlantic ship to France in late 1944. He served in the 365th Medical Battalion's 65th Division in Patton's Third Army. They marched through France to Germany and finally to Austria while fighting in the Rhineland and Central European Campaigns until V-E Day. Cliff was then transferred to the 180th Battalion's 45th Infantry to participate in the European reconstruction effort until his tour finished the end of 1945.
After the war, Cliff and Myra made their home in Stillwater while Cliff attended Oklahoma A&M. They moved to Enid in 1948 to establish Cliff's Camera Shop. Cliff owned and operated his business for 61 years through December 2009. He truly enjoyed serving his customers and was well known and appreciated for providing excellent customer service.
He was a loving, faithful husband and father. He loved playing tennis, golf and bridge. He had quite a dry sense of humor and a sweet demeanor. Cliff was also a beloved member of the Enid community and his church fellowships. He was a member of First Baptist Church until August 1961. At that time, he became a charter member of Emmanuel Baptist Church, where he actively served throughout the years in various roles including deacon, choir member, greeter, moderator and church trustee. He was a faithful servant of his Lord, quietly leading by example and never hesitating to lend a helping hand when needed.
In 2015, he participated in the Oklahoma Veterans Honor Flight to Washington, D.C, to visit the WWII Memorial and other Washington landmarks. He was also honored as one of six local 2015 Legacy Veterans and his name is inscribed on the Woodring Wall of Honor.
He is survived by his daughter, Cara Morton; by his sister-in-law, Joan Boyd of Mesa, Arizona; as well as many nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by Myra, his wife of 70 years; his parents; his two brothers, Howard and Joe Morton; and his three sisters, Myra Johnston, Ida Farmer, and Alice Loper.
A Celebration of Life Service will be held at Emmanuel Baptist Church a week from Monday, on May 15th at 1 p.m., with arrangements by Anderson-Burris Funeral Home & Crematory. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Emmanuel Baptist Church, Hospice Circle of Love and Forgotten Ministries, all in Enid. Condolences may be shared with the family at www.andersonburris.com.
Published on May 6, 2017
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