Charles Morton, 91, business owner

April 24, 2006

Charles Lewis Morton, a retired business owner and World War II veteran, died of congestive heart failure Wednesday at his home at Morningside House in Laurel. He was 91.

He was born in Chicago and moved with his family to Upper Marlboro in the 1920s. The family later moved to a farm near Guilford in Howard County.

A graduate of Ellicott City High School, Mr. Morton attended the University of Maryland for one year. He worked at various jobs, including service with the Civilian Conservation Corps, until he enlisted in the Army Air Corps on June 2, 1941.

A master sergeant, he served as a flight engineer in an aerial and reconnaissance mapping unit that covered parts of Europe, the Middle East, North Africa and South America during World War II. He was awarded the Air Medal.

Mr. Morton married Millicent Leroy Britton of East Orange, N.J., in 1942. They lived in Laurel after Mr. Morton returned from the military until moving to Brunswick, Ga., in 1974, after he retired from the janitorial firm he helped found.

After the war, Mr. Morton and a friend formed Maintenance Service Co., which provided window-cleaning and janitorial services and fire damage restoration. He turned over management of the company to his eldest son, Charles L. Morton II of Silver Spring, in 1969.

He was a Mason and a Shriner and was a member of the Lions Club and American Legion. He also was a member of the Laurel Parks Association.

He enjoyed golfing, boating and fishing and coached Laurel Boys Club baseball teams during the 1950s. He also was interested in horse racing and was registered as an owner with the Maryland Horse Racing Commission.

After living in Georgia, Mr. Morton and his wife returned to Maryland in 1994 and resided at the Charlestown Retirement Community in Catonsville. His wife died in 2000 and he moved to Morningside House in Laurel in 2005.

A memorial service will be held at 10 a.m. May 20 at Christ Episcopal Church in Columbia.

In addition to his son, survivors include two other sons, Jeffrey Scott Morton of Richmond Hill, Ga., and Lee S. Morton of Laurel; four daughters, Jacqueline Grace Sothoron of Mason Neck, Va., Gail Virginia Morton of Mount Horeb, Wis., Melanie Morton Warakomski of Herndon, Va., and Karen Morton Palmour of Cody, Wyo.; and nine grandchildren.

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