Clifford's Story

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Clifford Joseph Morton, 78, was born February 16, 1939, he passed away peacefully at his home on August 5, 2017, surrounded by his family.
He is survived by his wife Anita Luoma Morton, M.D. of Pella, IA and his daughters and sons-in-law: Mary and Charles Strey (Pella, IA), Linda and Marty Verhun (Ann Arbor, MI), Deborah and Alan Burdette (Bloomington, IN); his beloved grandchildren: Aiden, Forrest, Duncan, Claire, Rachel, Nicholas, Brandon (Madison), Matthew, Christina (Morgan), Jacqueline (Darren), Lora (Eileen); siblings: Ann and Phil Maxson (Kaw City, OK), Emma Morton (Inver Grove Heights, MN), Loretta Morton (Sebastopol, CA), Richard and Karol Morton (Inver Grove Heights, MN); his brothers- and sisters-in-law: Dave and Jill Luoma (Marquette, MI), Jerry and Dolly Luoma, (Laurium, MI); as well as loving nieces and nephews, and 2 great-grandchildren. He is preceded in death by his parents Clair and Blanche (Bussie) Morton, his parents-in-law Eino and Myrtle (Winquist) Luoma, and his brother, Edward Morton.
Cliff graduated from Edison High School in Gary, IN in 1957 and joined the Air Force. He was first stationed in Keweenaw County, MI where he met Anita. They were married in 1959 in Calumet, MI. He was then stationed in Youngstown, OH; Dhahran, Saudi Arabia; and Tucson, AZ. He later worked in the finance industry and attended Indiana University in Indianapolis where he and Anita raised their 3 daughters. Cliff retired from Indiana National Bank in 1983. During retirement he spent countless hours woodworking, creating beautiful pieces for his family, friends and the local arts council. He and Anita lived in Tucson for 14 years before moving to Pella in March 2016.
Cliff was a lifelong Cubs fan, an avid reader and was very creative and artistic, as exemplified by his wood working, needlework, sketches and pastels. He designed and planted beautiful gardens. He enjoyed his time exploring the natural world: the edges of Clark Pond for morels with his dad, the shores of Lake Superior for agates, the desert for wild flowers, and Lake Red Rock for the white pelicans and eagles. Cliff was a kind man of integrity who instilled in his extended family the importance of honesty, a strong work ethic and a love of family. He was deeply loved by his wife of 58 years, his daughters and their families, his grandchildren, nieces, nephews and his siblings. He will be deeply missed.
In lieu of flowers, contributions can be made in his name to the Keweenaw Heritage Center at St Annes, 25880 Red Jacket Rd, Calumet, MI 49913 Phone: (906) 337-2410 www.keweenawheritagecenter.org/membership-donations.php. Per his wish, there will be no services. Garden Chapel Funeral Home was in charge of arrangements.
Published on August 8, 2017
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