William George Morton, also known as Bill , passed away Tuesday, February 15, 20ll at Vista Hospital of South Bay. He was 81. A long time resident of Compton, Bill was retired from General Motors Corporation. He was the son of Jesse, a carpenter and Roberta a homemaker, born in Chicago, Illinois on March 30, 1929. Along with his parents and siblings Carl, Veloyd and Juanita, he moved to Detroit, Michigan in 1942, later Mt. Clemens in 1944. He joined the army in 1946 and served until 1949. He served in the armored corps in a light tank M-41 that was built by Cadillac. He also worked as a hospital cook after completing the Quartermaster Corps Course of Instruction for Course D Cooks at Ft. Meade, where he could treat himself to grilled steak and butter, foods in limited supply during the depression he grew up in. He enlisted in the Air Force Reserves in July of 1950 and was called to active duty in August. He was stationed in Japan just outside of Kyoto and later that year in Kyushu, then Yonago. He served in K-9/Pusan, Korea for one year, before returning to Japan to marry Chiyo Nishimura. While shopping for souvenirs in a gift shop, the salesgirl caught his eye. He knew from the moment he saw her that she would become his wife. He called her his “little flower”. They departed Yokohama on the USNS General William H. Gordon arriving in San Francisco on May 9, 1952. Throughout their 41 year marriage, Bill would always remind Chiyo, “Itsumademo” (it-su-ma-de-mo), which means “forever” in Japanese. After a short stint with the postal service, he began his career at GM in South Gate. He enjoyed the camaraderie he had with his co-workers and the pace of building cars. He submitted his own ideas for car improvements in the suggestion box and although he was rewarded a small amount, he was pleased that his ideas were used. He served as an officer in the UAW Local 216 and was active in encouraging voter participation. As long ago as 1974 he was active politically working very hard to help March Fong Eu, the first Asian woman elected to a statewide office, to win her election. He once donned a Santa suit for the union Christmas party, giving toys to the children. His love for Latin music began when he experienced live performances of Xavier Cugat in downtown Los Angeles in the 50’s and would continue throughout his life. He also enjoyed Mongo Santamaria in concert at Concerts by the Sea in Redondo Beach and the late Francisco Aguabella at the Torrance Cultural Arts Center. He played the congas and loved to perform with his friends at the VFW hall, or at home as the music filled the house, and at times, beyond. He taught his family the value of education, hard work and above all, faith in God. Once he advised, “People are always going to tell you what to do, but you need to listen to God.” He always prayed before driving and would read aloud Psalm 117: “Praise the Lord all ye nations, Praise him all ye people: For his merciful kindness is great toward us and the truth of the Lord endures forever. Praise ye the Lord.” Survivors include children Floria, Tony (Linda), Ana(Edward) Frankel and Dario. Grandchildren include Brian, Alan, Charlie, Elizabeth, Samuel, Jennifer, Devralai and Cameron. Siblings are Carl, Veloyd, Juanita and a host of relatives. He is predeceased by his wife Chiyo, on May 15, 1993.

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  1. Uncle Bill, you were the best to me. As a kid, you always brought me balloons, knowing it was my favorite thing to receive. Our last visits together will be embossed on my heart. Thank you for the blessings you spoke over me. My heart misses you, but my spirit rejoices that you are home…in your Father’s house. See you one day… I love you, Uncle Bill. -Jassy

  2. Dear Ana, Ed, Alan, Charlie, Ellie, Sammy and all the Morton Family, Sweet memories of talking with your beloved Dad and Grandfather. May God’s comfort surround all of you. Our deepest sympathy, Love, The Greenspans, Joan, Evan, Shira and Josh

  3. Always there with inspiration, encouragement and friendship. Those the live in the lord never see each other for the last time.We will miss you !!!

  4. Uncle Billy, You are always a great man & “grandpa” in my eyes & heart. Thank you for always remembering us come holidays and birthdays, the simple visits with the biggest smile & warm heart- truly unforgetable! I Love You Always -Yolie

  5. To the Morton Family: The video tribute to Bill is outstanding! It captures his versatility and his family who were his most treasured gifts. I will miss him. Your cousin, Sevena & Family

  6. Bill’s 81st Birthday was one to remember! He & I celebrated by phone. Detroit to California. Good conversation-peaceful, We really gave God something to work with. Holy Spirit teaches us all things. We were open to acceptance and had some really good-dehearted laughs. Know he is completely satisfied being home with the Lord. He walked in love. Edith Loving- Lewis

  7. In reading the story of my dear friends’ Flo’s father I now understand why you are so supportive and a great friend because of the way your father raised you through his example. Unfortunately you will join the club with those of us whose father’s have gone on to be with the lord! Stay strong! And ill call u in a couple days once this flu goes away! Take care Flo Brian and family!

  8. Dear Morton Family, I am so sorry to have heard about your lost. I remember both your mother and your father and the very first day I met them. They were great people and as I walked into your home I remember the music that was playing and can still hear it echoing in my memory of thoughts as if it was that very day. Your father truly loved music , Calyspso, Afro Cuban and Latin based Island themes. He reminded me of my father as he could deliver a great joke and was a conversationalist. If you weren’t quick, you could not get in a word edgewise. Tony and I have remained in touch as best friends over the years and I had the pleasure to meet his sibblings, Floria, Ana and Dario. They became my family and remembering the mother, I would go shopping with her and not just as a friend but interpreted for her as she spoke in her native language (Japanese). Thanks to Tony and his mother, I became a returning guest of the Chinese resturant at the Bowling Alley on Crenshaw and these were the close friends of the mother..she passed away before her husband. Tony who remained in touch with my father until his passing in 2009 has reminded us of the importance of familyand I will remain in touch and keep recording the memories of the past and our families and those living in Compton, Carson and Gardena from the late 50’s through the 70’s. May my wishes be with the family and may we remain in touch for times beyond. Hugs and Smiles and keep looking up!

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