Mae Morton, age 93, of Litchfield died on Oct. 13, 2019, at Heritage Health in Litchfield.
Mrs. Morton was a long-standing Litchfield community member as well as a devoted wife, loving mother, grandmother, great-grandmother and friend.
There will be a celebration of lfe at St. Timothy United Methodist Church on Saturday, Oct. 19, at 11 a.m. Visitation will be held prior to the service, beginning at 10 a.m. at the church. Plummer Funeral Home in Litchfield is assisting the family.
Soon after graduating from O’Fallon High School in Illinois in 1944, she married William “Bill” Morton while he was serving in the Navy during World War II. They had two children, Lynn Ann and Kenny Bill, before purchasing Hagedorn Studio and moving to Litchfield in 1954.
The now Morton Studio was located across from the old Library Park above Sherman’s at 401 N State Street with the studio being in the south half of the second floor, while they lived in the north half.
In 1960, the studio was moved to 219 N. State (currently Tri-County Beauty Academy) and was expanded to a gift shop as well. The advent of color pictures had not yet happened and Mrs. Morton's job, in between waiting on customers and helping her husband with children and pet pictures, was to hand paint pictures that customers wanted in color. Each picture took hours, and from October through December, she spent all day and most of the night painting pictures for customer Christmas presents. Many of those pictures are still on display in many homes around the area.
Later in 1969, the studio (and home) moved to 330 Portrait Place (now Columbian Blvd.) on Old Route 66. After closing the studio, Mrs. Morton worked at Heritage Health for another 20 years as a patient advocate taking care of many family and friends throughout Litchfield and nearby communities, finally retiring when she was 84.
Mrs. Morton was a Charter member of Zonta Club in Litchfield and diligently attended all their meetings and functions. She attended St. Timothy Methodist Church in Litchfield, where she taught Sunday School for 40 plus years, later working with many of those students at Heritage Health.
Because of her love for the theater, she decided Litchfield needed an amateur acting group, so she and others got together and started Encore Players in the late 1960s. She was instrumental in getting the community center built and raising money for the building because she felt “it was something that Litchfield really needed.”
Her legacy of love will live on in the entire community for many years to come, and she will be missed.
Mrs. Morton was preceded in death by her husband William “Bill” Morton; daughter Lynn Lindemann; her parents John and Hilda Schanuel; brothers Larry and Steve Schanuel and sister Joy Gosnell.
She is survived by her sister Vonnie Stikeleather; son Kenneth Morton (Patricia Spruell); grandchildren Shaun Morton (Sara); great-grandchildren Ashely Wingert (Wes), Alex Morton and many nephews and nieces.
Memorial contributions can be made to Heritage Health in Litchfield or the Alzheimer’s Association.