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Dorothy "Miss Dot" Virginia (Rich) MortonJanuary 25, 1914 ~ April 11, 2013 (age 99)
Dorothy Virginia “Miss Dot” Rich Morton, age 99, longtime resident of the Moscow Community, retired teacher, principal and supervisor and wife of the late Joseph Raymond “Mr. Jack” Morton departed this life Thursday evening, April 11, 2013 at the Ave Marie Home in Bartlett where she had resided for five years. She was 99 years of age and died following an extended illness.
Services Honoring the Life of Mrs. Morton were conducted at 3 P.M. Monday, April 15th at the Moscow United Methodist Church with Rev. Russell Gallimore officiating. He was assisted by Jim Graham and personal remarks and reflections were given by Andrew Raymond. Special Music was provided by Charlene Hurdle, pianist. Interment followed in the Friendship Cemetery at Moscow. Arrangements were provided by Peebles Fayette County Funeral Homes and Cremation Center — Main Chapel of Somerville.
“Miss Dot” was born January 25, 1914 in Moscow. She was preceded in death by her parents, Charles Harris Rich and Corlea Hood Rich, early residents of the Moscow Community. She received her education in the Fayette County Public School System. She continued her education at the Department of Mississippi Synodical College at Holly Springs, Mississippi and Memphis State University, where she earned her Bachelor of Science degree in 1949 and her Master of Arts degree in 1953.
“Miss Dot” was married September 3, 1932 to Joseph Raymond “Mr. Jack” Morton, a retired Fayette County educator, who preceded her in death on May 23, 1998. She was employed as a fourth grade teacher at Moscow Elementary School from 1943 to 1946 and the Principal of Moscow Elementary School from 1946 to 1969. She was the Director of Instruction for Fayette County Schools from 1969 until her retirement in 1977.
“Miss Dot” was active in the Delta Kappa Gamma Society International, an organization dedicated to improving teachers through legislation and education. At the chapter level, she was the President of the Omega Chapter from 1958 to 1960 and a member of various committees. She served as a Chater member of the Beta Sigma Chapter, which was organized during her term as State President. At the state level, she served with the Member State Scholarship Committee from 1962 to 1965, Second Vice-President and Convention Chairman from 1965 to 1967, Treasure from 1967 to 1979, President from 1979 to 1981 and Parliamentarian from 1981 to 1983 and from 1985 to 1987. On the international level, she served on the Member Constitution Committee from 1972 to 1974, on the Member Board of Trustees of Educational Foundation from 1984 to 1990 and on the Member Committee to Study Needs of Headquarters Building from 1990 to 1992.
“Miss Dot” had been a member of the Moscow United Methodist Church since 1923 and served as the pianist and organist for over 50 years, playing for all services, funerals and weddings held in the church, a Sunday School teacher, the Chairman of Administrative Council, a past president of the Moscow United Methodist Women and the former Treasurer of the Brownsville District United Methodist Women. She was a member of the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR), the United Daughters of the Confederacy (UDC) and a former member of the National League of American Pen Women. She served as President of the Garden and Arts Club, General Chairman of the Fayette County Sesquicentennial in 1974, Past President of the Fayette County Historical Society and the Fayette County Historian from 1965 until her death.
“Miss Dot” received many honors during her lifetime. In 1983, she received the Achievement Award of Xi State of Delta Kappa Gamma and was nominated for the “Mother of the Year”. In 1960, she was honored as the “Teacher of the Year” for Fayette County and the Seventh District. She was an Honorary Life Member of National Congress of Parents and Teachers and was listed in the “Who’s Who in American Education” Volume XIX.
“Miss Dot” enjoyed traveling. She visited all 50 states of the United States, several trips to Canada, Mexico, The Holy Land, Egypt, 6 trips to Europe, Central America and several Caribbean cruises. She kept photo records and detailed written notes of their travels and used them in teaching history and geography. She was the author of the History of Fayette County that was published by the MSU Press in 1989 as a part of their Tennessee County History Series and can be found in many libraries. At the age of ninety, she traveled to many cemeteries and researched many family Bibles to compile the Rich and Morton family trees dating back to their European roots. She also compiled the Nineteenth Century Homes of Fayette County in 1973 and Cemetery Records of Fayette County in 1974.
“Miss Dot” is survived by her son, Joseph R. Morton, Jr. (Jeanne) of Bartlett; her daughter, Janice Morton Dacus (James Walter) of Germantown; five grandchildren, Dorothy Dacus Northam (Doug) of Franklin, TN, James Murray Dacus (Jamie) of Bartlett, Sheldon Morton Dacus (Susan) of Germantown, Joseph Raymond Morton, III (Laura Jean) of Madison, AL, Allyson Morton Rast (Jeff) of Atoka; nine great grandchildren, Sean Northam, Amy Northam Hillard (Joseph), Ryan Dacus (Megan), Shannon Dacus, Drew Dacus, Wesley Dacus, Ellie Rast, Rhyan Elise Morton and Jared Morton; and two great-great grandsons, Brayden Hillard and Harper Dacus.
In addition to her husband of 66 years and her parents, Mrs. Morton was preceded in death by two sisters, Charlene Rich Sims and Inez Rich Lowery; her half-brother, Claude Rich; and her half-sister, Legal Rich Mosley.
Those honored to serve as casketbearers were Mrs. Morton’s grandsons and great grandsons, Murray Dacus, Sheldon Dacus, Joe Ray Morton, Doug Northam, Jeff Rast, Sean Northam, Joseph Hillard and Ryan Dacus.
Honorary casketbearers were Vip Lewis and Donnie Leggett.
The family requests that memorials be directed to the Moscow United Methodist Church, 590 Jeffrey Lane, Collierville, TN 38017 or the Ave Maria Home, 2805 Charles Bryan Road, Bartlett, TN 38134.
The family would like to thank and praise Mrs. Clara Barber for her excellent care of our mother which enabled her to stay in her beloved home in Moscow for several years after she was disabled. The family also thanks the wonderful staff at the Ave Maria Assisted Living Facility and Nursing Home for the care they gave to our mother during her years there.