Landscapes 12

Michael S. Morton

April 23, 1950 ~ April 11, 2022 (age 71)



Michael S. Morton, a lifelong resident of the Mount Washington Valley, passed away on April 11, 2022 at Catholic Medical Center as the result of a massive heart attack suffered on April 2nd.   He was born on April 23, 1950 at Memorial Hospital, North Conway, NH and was the son of Parker and Mildred (Lucy) Morton, the sixth of their seven children. 

Mike was a born engineer, unofficially "apprenticing" himself at 7 years old to his father, master machinist Parker Morton. (Mike used this method to be able to spend more time with his Dad who often worked two to three jobs to support his growing family). Parker's father George designed Cranmore's now defunct Skimobile and Parker was the project's structural engineer.  

Mike was very athletic.  As a pre-teen, he certified as a swimming instructor.  When his mother Mildred decided to start raising Samoyed Siberian Huskies, Mike was drafted as her team driver, racing on Chocorua Lake, Lake Winnipesaukee and the Kancamaugus.  But when Sut Marshall noted the 14 year old's 6'5" angular athlete's body, he commenced to train Mike, who had never played the game, "the right way" to play basketball.  Mike went on to play varsity for all four years of high school.  As adult, he spent many winter weekends skiing local slopes.

Mike described his high school self as a paradox, both a jock and a nerd.  His math and chemistry SAT scores were exceptional.  When a fellow student that Mike never had to do homework, the teacher responded, "Mike already knows this information, Mike could teach this course."

After high school, Mike attended UNH.  He worked briefly for a defense contractor as a master machinist who helped build Titan Submarines.  But Mike "missed his mountains" and quickly returned to the West Side Road to build their own machine shop.

After a brief first marriage and divorce, Mike vowed that he'd "never get married again", Mike married the love of his life, Shelagh Lebroke, on November 5, 1983.  He helped Shelagh raise her three children by a previous marriage.  When she died of idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis in 2017, Mike was inconsolable.  After Shelagh's death, he bought a fixer--upper in Albany, NH and undertook a marathon of projects to improve the place.

Then he decided to attend Kennett High School's 1969 class 50th reunion in October 2019.  There he re-met Debra Brown, whom he had dated in high school and in the early 1970s.  It was love at second sight.  They quickly combined households and lives, and in a September 26, 2021 had commitment ceremony, pronouncing them life partners.  Debra is extremely sad to have lost her partner and friend but also very grateful to have spent the past several years with this brilliant, sweet, loving, very protective and very funny man.  He is survived by Debra, two step-granddaughters, Emily Rose and Lily Judd, his lifelong friend Dennis Leach as well as several nieces and nephews.

Debra wishes to thank the attendees at Freedom Christian Church during Mr. Boyer's funeral on April 2nd who immediately rushed to start CPR on Mike when he collapsed, the Freedom Rescue Squad, Huggins Hospital Emergency Room staff and the Cardiac ICU staff of Catholic Medical Center for their heroic efforts, hard work and sensitivity in dealing with the end of Mike's life.

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