A long-standing Litchfield Community member, Willa “Mae” Morton, who was an angel on earth became an angel in heaven on October 13, 2019 at Heritage Health in Litchfield, IL. Mae was a devoted wife, loving mother, grandmother, great-grandmother, and friend.
Soon after graduating from O’Fallon, IL High School in 1944 she married William “Bill” Morton while he was serving in the Navy during WWII. 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 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 Mae’s job, in between waiting on customers and helping Bill with children and pet pictures, was to hand paint pictures that customers wanted in color. Each picture took hours, 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 Columbia Blvd) on Old Route 66. After closing the Studio, she 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.
Mae was a Charter member of Zonta Club in Litchfield and diligently attended all their meetings and functions. She attended St. Timothy Methodist Church where she taught Sunday School for 40 plus years, later working with many of those students at Heritage. 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 60’s. 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 all of us for many years to come. She will be missed.
She is proceeded in death by her Husband - William “Bill” Morton, Daughter - Lynn Lindemann, Parents - John and Hilda Schanuel, Brothers - Larry and Steve Schanuel and Sister - Joy Gosnell.
She is survived by Sister Vonnie Stikeleather, Son - Kenneth Morton (Patricia Spruell), Grandchildren – Shaun Morton (Sara), Great Grandchildren – Ashley Wingert (Wes), Alex Morton, and many Nephews/Nieces.
There will be a Celebration of Life at St. Timothy United Methodist Church on Saturday October 19, 2019 at 11:00 a.m. with receiving of friends starting at 10:00 a.m. Memorial contributions can be made to Heritage Health in Litchfield and/or Alzheimer’s Association.
To send flowers to (Willa) Mae Morton's family, please visit our floral section.
Heritage Health - Therapy & Senior Care
628 S. Illinois Avenue, Litchfield IL 62056
Alzheimer's Association - Illinois Chapter
8430 W. Bryn Mawr Suite 800, Chicago IL 60631