Harold Dean Morton, 86, of Dumas, passed away Saturday, August 1, 2020. A graveside service is scheduled for 10 a.m. Wednesday, August 5, 2020, at Dumas Cemetery. Dewayne Gion will officiate. Arrangements are with Morrison Funeral Directors. The family will receive visitors from 6-8 p.m., Tuesday, August 4, 2020, at the funeral home.
Harold Dean was born August 12, 1933, in Amarillo, Texas, to William James Morton and Willie Edwards Morton. He was raised on the ranch in eastern Moore County and attended the third Palo Duro Common School District No. 5. He graduated from Dumas High School in 1951. He attended Abilene Christian College and earned a degree in agriculture in 1956.
Harold Dean spent his life living in Dumas and working the Morton farm and ranch. Because of his dedication and stewardship, the family was honored in 2017 through the Texas Department of Agriculture Family Land Heritage Program to commemorate having continuously owned and operated an agricultural operation for more than 100 years.
Harold Dean actively served the community and the agriculture industry throughout his life, serving 48 years on the Moore County Soil and Water Conservation District #137 Board of Directors, including several as chairman. He was instrumental in the expansion of the Window on the Plains Museum, having served on the museum board for 26 years and as an active member of the Moore County Historical Commission. Harold Dean served on the Moore County Junior Livestock Association Board and was swine superintendent for many years, in addition to leadership and service to many other boards and organizations, including Moore County Farm Bureau, Dumas Co-op Board of Directors, Rita Blanca Electric Cooperative Board of Directors, Panhandle Regional Planning Commission Board of Directors, and the Moore County Fair Board.
Harold Dean married Betty Jean Fry on January 14, 1983, in Dumas, Texas. She preceded him in death February 16, 2016. He is survived by his children, Gaylon Fry and wife Kim of LeFors, Heston Fry and wife Janet of Big Spring and Vonda Fry of Dumas, nephews, Jed Morton and wife Nina of Sunray, Darwin Morton and wife Judy of Lancaster, Jones Morton and wife Sue Ann of Dumas, Rex Crossland and wife Marcia of Springfield, Illinois, Kent Crossland and wife Renee of Peoria, Arizona, four grandchildren and one great-grandchild. He was preceded in death by his wife, brother Jim Ed Morton, sister Genevieve Crossland, and his parents.
The family suggests memorials be to Window on the Plains Museum, 1820 S. Dumas Ave., Dumas TX, 79029, or the Dumas Class of 1951 Scholarship Fund, c/o Dumas Education Foundation, PO Box 615, Dumas TX 79029.