Charles Henry Morton Sr. died at home in Montclair on Aug. 10, 2020. He was 91.
Mr. Morton, known to his family as Dad, Pop, G-Pop and Uncle Charlie, and to his church family as Deacon Morton, was born on April 6, 1929, in Montclair to the late Norman and Katherine (Brooks) Morton.
He attended Montclair High School, but decided to help his parents financially by leaving high school prior to completion and finishing his education later. His first job was catering at the Chadwick Restaurant in Montclair.
On Nov. 5, 1949, Mr. Morton married his high school sweetheart, Elizabeth Jacqueline Blackwell, also born in Montclair, where they raised five children.
Between 1953 and 1994 he was employed by Hoffman-La Roche as a laboratory technician and helped start its first Bible study class. During this time there were only 10 African Americans (all males) employed there; when Montclair Mayor Matthew Carter worked at the pharmaceutical plant during the early 1960s he and Mr. Morton, along with co-workers, worked to successfully increase the number of minorities employed there.
To support his family he worked various part-time jobs, such as catering with one of the first Black-owner caterers, the Montclair Debnam Catering Business, and for Midland Apartments on Midland Avenue and Walnut Street parking cars.
As a member of St. Paul’s Baptist Church he was a teacher and superintendent for Sunday School, and he served as a missionary on a St. Paul’s trip to Haiti in 1990.
Mr. Morton became a walking deacon at St. Paul’s during the early 1970s, following in the footsteps of his uncles, Charles Morton and David Morton Sr. On April 7, 2019, during his 90th birthday celebration, he was granted emeritus deacon status at a Sunday Communion service.
His greatest joy was embracing and loving his wife, children and extended family and friends. He will be deeply missed.
Mr. Morton is survived by four children, Elizabeth-Ann Corinne Morton-Lasley, (Steven Carlyle Lasley), Steven Wayne Morton, Nancy Lynn Morton and Dr. Timothy Allen Morton (Elizabeth Ann Morton); four grandchildren, Stephen Smith, Steven Wayne Morton Jr., Nathaniel Carlyle Lasley and Zoie Corinne Elizabeth Morton; three great-grandchildren, Jordan Charles Morton, Jayshaun Morton and Jayda Morton; a brother, James (Peter) Morton; a sister-in-law, Dorothy (Hatchett) Morton, and a host of nieces, nephews, cousins and friends.
He was predeceased by his wife, Elizabeth Jacqueline Blackwell-Morton, and first-born son, Charles Henry Morton Jr.
Services were held at St. Paul’s Baptist Church last month. The Morton family would like to thank everyone for their prayers and kind expressions of sympathy.