Mary Ann Ashley Morton, age 80, Doyle Rd., Jefferson, died Saturday, August 17, 2019 at the Jefferson Healthcare Center from cervical cancer. She was born February 12, 1939 in Ashtabula to Doland B. and Juanita Mae (Goodwin) Ashley.
She graduated from Jefferson High School in 1957 where she and her best friends, Mary (Anthony) Wintz and Sanna (Burlingame) Slanina formed the Future Mothers of America Club.
She married Kenneth Dale Morton on January 21, 1961 at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Jefferson. After marriage, Ken’s work took them to several locations in Ohio, including Columbus, Gallipolis and Lancaster. In 1978, they moved to St. Charles, Missouri where they lived until they both retired in 1999. They then returned to Jefferson.
Mary worked at the Eastern Telephone Company in Jefferson as a “number please” operator after graduating from high school. After marriage, she didn’t return to work until her children were in school. She worked at Golde’s Department Store in St. Charles, Missouri until it closed. At the time of her retirement, she was working at a Shelter Insurance office and Radiologic Imaging Company, also in St. Charles.
She was always involved in many activities. She led a troop of Campfire Girls; helped build homes at a Habitat for Humanity Blitz; worked at the Manna Food Pantry and for the HALO Christmas Program at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church; was a member of the Ashtabula County Food Pantry Council; served as a board member of the Ashtabula Co. Community Action Agency; volunteered at Red Cross blood drives; was a member of the Ashtabula County Historical Society and was a charter member of the Jefferson Historical Society.
Mary was a woman of great faith and attended Bethel Bible Church. Everywhere she and Ken lived, she was active in their local church.
She loved to travel and while the children were growing up, the family visited many places in their motor home. After they retired, she and Ken bought another motor home and made numerous trips to see their children and other family members, traveling from coast to coast and from North to South.
Mary loved to sew and make quilts. It was said that she suffered from “Quilt Pox,” which is very contagious to adults. Symptoms include the need to snuggle under handmade quilts, hang out at quilting bees and mumble to oneself, “Log Cabin,” Double Wedding Ring” and “Ohio Rose,” There is no known cure. Medication is useless. The only remedy is to attend as many quilt shows and quilt shops as possible. In addition to quilting, she did a lot of mending of clothes for residents at Jefferson Healthcare Center.
Mary left her daughters a wonderful legacy. She started writing a journal on May 26, 1958. Now, sixty-one years later they have record of her life in her own words.
She was also a huge Star Trek fan and we believe her last thought was “Beam me up, Jesus.”
Mary is survived by her husband of 61 years, Ken; her children, Christine H. (Marc) Smith-Morton of Redwood City, CA, Joanne J. Morton of Savannah, GA and Jennifer M. Morton of Palm Springs, CA; grandchildren, Eli A. Smith-
Morton and Madeline Kate Smith-Morton, both of Redwood City, CA and brothers, Benjamin Ashley of Dorset, Daniel (Joan) Ashley of Jefferson and John Ashley of Dorset. Her parents; sisters, Luella Kehres and Nancy Fraidenburg and a brother, Edward Ashley preceded her in death.
Funeral services will be Saturday at 10:00 AM at the Bethel Bible Church, 877 E. Beech St., Jefferson with Pastor Joseph Laing officiating. Inurnment of ashes will be held in Oakdale Cemetery at a later date.
Calling hours will be held Friday from 5-8 PM at the Jefferson Home of Fleming & Billman Funeral Directors and Crematory, 49 W. Jefferson St., Jefferson. Memorial contributions may be directed to the Bethel Bible Church Building Fund (above address) or the Jefferson Historical Society, P. O. Box 574, Jefferson, OH 44047. The Fleming & Billman Funeral Homes and staff are honored to serve the Mary Morton family. To view obituary, express condolences, send a flower or light a candle visit fleming-billman.com.
To send flowers to Mary's family, please visit our floral section.
Bethel Bible Church
877 E. Beech St., Jefferson OH 44047
Jefferson Historical Society
P. O. Box 574, Jefferson OH 44047