MILTON – Philip W. (Phil) Morton was born Jan. 5, 1943 in Rye, N.H., the son of William B. and Yvette L. Morton. He died peacefully at his home in the presence of his loving family on Thursday, Nov. 29, 2012.
Phil graduated from Rye grade school in 1957 and from Portsmouth Sr. High School in 1961. Upon graduation he enlisted in the U.S. Navy serving aboard the USS Mazama, AE9, and the USS Tohee, AGS8, attaining the rank of Quartermaster 2nd class. He returned to Rye after receiving an honorable discharge from the U.S. Navy in 1965. He enrolled as a freshman at New Hampshire College, graduating in 1969 with a bachelor of science degree in accounting.
While in college, Phil met Marie E. Kennedy from Winchester, N. H. They were married in July 1967 and have been blessed with two sons, Michael J. of Milton and Todd P. of Woburn, Mass.
Upon completing college, he and Marie moved to Vermont where he joined IBM in Essex Junction. He held several financial and management positions, retiring in 1999 as senior financial pricing team leader after 30 years of service.
Phil was a member of the First Baptist Church in Burlington. He served his church on the Diaconate Committee and as a church deacon. he also held the office of parliamentarian and auditor.
Phil served his community as Milton Town Auditor. He was active in Milton School District affairs, on the Superintendent Search Committee and a member of the Milton Booster Club, where he served as treasurer and president. Phil was active in the Boy Scouts of America and served as a Webelos Leader for Pack 31 and council member of Troop 1. He coached and umpired Little League baseball for many years and was league president. His love for baseball started with his first game at Fenway Park in 1966. He was an avid follower of the Red Sox ever since.
He served on the board of trustees for the American Lung Association of Vermont, a trustee of the Order of the Eastern Star Home Board Benevolent Fund and on the board of directors for the National Masonic Foundation for Children.
Phil’s Masonic career began in August 1979 when he was raised as a Master Mason in McDonough (now Mt. Mansfield) Lodge # 26 in Jericho. Phil served his original lodge as Master three times and as lodge treasurer. He also joined Seneca Lodge # 40 in Milton as a dual member. He was a member of the Ancient Accepted Scottish Rite, Valley of Burlington. In August 2011 he was coroneted a 33rd degree Scottish Rite Mason in Chicago.
He was a member of the York Rite of Burlington. He was also a noble of Cairo Shriners. He was a member and presiding officer of the District 5 Past Masters Association, a member of Edward J. Wildblood, Vermont Lodge of Research; the National Sojourners; the John Stark Camp of Heroes of ’76, and the Order of the Sword of Bunker Hill. In March 2011, Phil received the Legion of Honor from the International Supreme Council, Order of DeMolay.
Phil joined Chittenden Chapter # 59, Order of the Eastern Star in 1984, with his wife, Marie, and served in several offices including Worthy Patron. In 1998, he took a dual membership with Mary C. Burdick Chapter # 6 in Jericho and served in several offices, including Worthy Patron. He was Grand Marshal, District Deputy Grand Patron and was appointed Grand Sentinel by John F. “Skip” Fellows in 1999. Phil was Worthy Grand Patron of the Order of Eastern Star Vermont in 2000 – 2001 with Susan Collins.
In June 2003, Bruce E. Pomeroy, Most Worshipful Grand Master of Masons of Vermont, appointed Phil Grand Lecturer. He served as Grand Lecturer, Grand Jr. Warden, Grand Sr. Warden and Deputy Grand Master. In June 2011, the Grand Lodge of Vermont elected him as the 84th Most Worshipful Grand Master of Masons of Vermont.
Phil enjoyed his family’s summer home on Woods Pond in Bridgton, Maine. He had a strong love for outdoor activities, cross country skiing, bird and deer hunting as well as bass fishing. In his spare time he enjoyed restoring, reloading and shooting antique firearms. He accomplished a life-long dream last spring of purchasing a 2007 Shelby Mustang.
He is survived by his loving wife of 45 years, Marie; their sons, Michael and Todd, and his special dog, Moses. His siblings are Priscilla Cilley of Venice, Fla. and William Morton of Portsmouth, N.H. His loving in-laws are Robert and Christine Kennedy of Winchester, N.H. Also, special relatives Dick and Priscilla Larose of Bridgton, Maine, several nieces, nephews, cousins, brothers and sisters-in-law, and very dear family friend Fran Baker, friends, and all of his Masonic brothers and Eastern Star sisters. He was predeceased by his parents, William and Yvette Morton and by his sister-in-law, Kathleen Talbot.
Special thanks go to Dr. David Little, Dr. Paul Unger and his caring staff, and the people from hospice who provided loving support.
Visiting hours will be Thursday, Dec. 6, 2012 from 2 – 4 p.m. and 6 – 8 p.m. with both a Masonic and Order of Eastern Star Service, starting at 8 p.m. at the Minor Funeral Home, 237 Route 7 South in Milton. A funeral service will be held at 12:30 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 7, 2012 at the First Baptist Church, 81 St. Paul St., Burlington. Military honors will be at the conclusion of the service. A reception will follow in the church dining area. Parking is available across the street in the parking garage.
Interment will be in the Spring in Bridgton, Maine.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Vermont Masonic Scholarship Fund, 49 East Road, Barre, VT 05641-5390.
Online condolences may be made at www.minorfh.com.