March 24, 1916 – January 29, 2010
Beloved Salt Spring resident of forty years, Morton B. Stratton died peacefully in Lady Minto Hospital on January 29th, 2010. By his side, as always, was Margaret (Biz) Stratton, devoted wife for 74 years. Services for Mort will be held at Salt Spring United Church on Saturday, February 6, at 11 A.M.
Mort was born in Moylan, Pennsylvania, son of John Alfred and Isadora Stratton. His family belonged to the Middletown Friends Meeting . Mort attended high school at Westtown Quaker Boarding School graduating second in his class of 369 students and was Valedictorian of his senior class. He attended Earlham College, received a Masters degree from Tufts University and a PhD from the University of Pennsylvania in 1942. Mort was a professor of History at Denison University in Granville, Ohio from 1943 until 1976. In 1950, Mort took his young family and his Hudson car to Montpellier, France, where they lived for a year while Mort studied at The University of Montpellier. A second sabbatical leave was taken at Harvard University where he received a grant from the Ford Foundation to research the feasability of introducing Asian studies into liberal arts colleges.
Mort married Margaret Barker, his grammar school sweetheart, in 1936 . They had three children, Peggy, Nancy and John, whom they raised on a gentleman farm in Granville, Ohio. After lecturing on European history, Mort milked his cows and fed his chickens before sitting down to dinner.
Mort was drafted into the Army in 1945 as a Conscientious Objector and served as a Medic in the Phillipines. He recalled with humor the first injection that he gave where he bent the needle in a poor soldier’s derriere!
Mort and Biz traveled worldwide and found Salt Spring Island one of the most beautiful destinations on earth. They purchased 21 acres on Mt. Belcher in 1970, built a home and retired full time there in 1976 . For the past 40 years Mort and Biz have been active in the community. Mort taught Power Squadron courses, researched the history of agriculture on Salt Spring and was a contributing author to the book, Salt Spring Island, The Story of an Island. Both Mort and Biz worked tirelessly and were instrumental in the establishment of the Meadowbrook Retirement Community where they have resided for 6 years. Quietly and modestly working behind the scenes, Mort has contributed to making Salt Spring Island a better place to work and live.
He is survived by his wife of 74 years, Biz Stratton, his daughters Peggy Bent (husband Joe Bent), Nancy Van Wormer, and son John Stratton (wife Linda Bonar) , sister Alice Webster, seven grandchildren and seven great grandchildren.
In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to the Salt Spring Island Foundation.