Eleanor Williams Morton, 90, of New Bedford, passed away on Wednesday July 12, 2006, after a lengthy illness at Nichols House Nursing Home in Fairhaven, surrounded by her loving family and friends. She was the wife of the late Harold J. Morton, and daughter of the late Moses and Elnora (Joseph) Williams.
Mrs. Morton was born in New Bedford on December 9, 1915, and although she enjoyed traveling, she made New Bedford her home for most of her life. She was a cum laude graduate of New Bedford High School, received a Bachelor of Science degree from Wilberforce University Ohio, and completed graduate courses at Bridgewater State College, Boston University and Cambridge University.
Mrs. Morton was an educator, community leader, social activist, entrepreneur and trailblazer. She had been employed as a social worker for the Massachusetts Department of Public Welfare, and was the director of the West End Day Nursery and New Bedford Home for the Aged for many years. Both of these institutions were founded by her mother, and at the time, were the only Black owned and operated companies of their kind. She had also been a correctional officer at Framingham Women's Prison.
Mrs. Morton was a devoted member of Bethel A.M.E. Church, having served on every committee and board of the Church. She was a Trustee, Sunday School Superintendent, President of the Martha D. Webb Missionary Society and President of the Lay Organization.
She was a Life Member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority for 66 years, holding various positions, serving on numerous committees and attending many regional conferences and national conventions. She was a Delta Dear, proud to wear her 50+ pin. Most recently, she was a member of the Norfolk-Plymouth County Area Alumnae Chapter, a Chapter which she helped establish 19 years ago. The Chapter awards an annual scholarship in her name to a deserving student.
Mrs. Morton was a life member of the N.A.A.C.P., a member of the West End Investment Club, the Whaling Museum Historical Society, the Martha Briggs Educational Club, the New Bedford Vocational School Board and New Bedford Recreation Committee, and a Trustee for the New Bedford Institution for Savings.
She was an accomplished artist and pianist. She was a genealogist, researching and documenting her family's ancestry, specifically authenticating membership in the Troy Band of the Wampanoag Indian Nation. She was an avid collector of African-American art, enjoyed swimming with her friends at the YMCA, and volunteering at the Foster Child Care Review Team of the Department of Social Services.
Mrs. Morton is survived by two devoted sons, Harold Morton, and his wife Annette, of New Bedford, and Jonathan S. Morton, and his wife Isabelle, of Mattapoisett; three grandchildren, Tamara Carson and Bethany Morton, both of New York and Jonathan L. Morton of Mattapoisett; a great-grandson, Quentin Carson of New York; and many family and friends.
Her Funeral Service will be held on Saturday at 9 AM in Bethel A.M.E. Church, 532 County St., New Bedford. Burial will follow in Peckham West Cemetery. Visiting hours Friday 4-8 PM in the Saunders-Dwyer Home for Funerals, 495 Park St., New Bedford.