Nora Lee Morton, 94, of Dumas, passed away Thursday, April 27, 2017. A memorial service is scheduled for 2 p.m. Thursday, May 4, 2017, at Ninth and Bliss Church of Christ in Dumas. Gaylon Fry will officiate. Arrangements are by Morrison Funeral Directors.
Nora Lee was born Jan. 11, 1923, in a covered wagon in Limestone County, Texas, to Clyde Sydney Lewis and Nannie Mae Robinson Lewis of rural Limestone County. She attended grade school in Groesbeck. During the Great Depression, the family made the trip in a horse-drawn wagon to the oil boom town of Borger, where Nora Lee helped to raise her four younger brothers. She graduated from Borger High School in 1942.
Nora Lee moved to Amarillo after graduation and attended Amarillo Business College. She met her first husband, Gerald Sorensen, who was in U.S. Army Air Force basic training at Amarillo Army Airfield, at a church social. They were married March 20, 1944, and Mr. Sorensen received orders three days later to report for duty. Mr. Sorensen was killed in action while fighting with the Belgian Secret Army on Sept. 3, 1944. His life and war-time romance with Nora Lee are memorialized in the 2014 book American Airman in the Belgian Resistance by Jerome W. Sheridan.
In early 1947, Nora Lee travelled to Belgium to visit the Abeels family who had sheltered Mr. Sorensen during the war, and to be honored by the Belgian government for his heroism. She sailed to London on one of the RMS Queen Elizabeth's earliest post-war civilian transatlantic voyages, and returned to the states on the first commercial transatlantic flight between Belgium and the United States.
Nora Lee met Jim Ed Morton of Dumas, in 1946, and after her return from Belgium, they were married Nov. 28, 1947. She lived and worked in Dumas the rest of her life. Jim Ed and Nora Lee raised three sons, Jed Morton of Sunray, Darwin Morton of Lancaster, and Jones Morton of Dumas. She was a member of the Moore County Art Association and was always up for a game of Scrabble. She was affectionately known as 'Mama Nody' to her grandkids and all of their friends. Jim Ed preceded her in death on Oct. 21, 2011.
Nora Lee is survived by her three sons, her youngest brother Tracy Lewis of Houston, eight grandchildren, and 16 great-grandchildren. She was preceded in death by Mr. Sorensen, Mr. Morton, three brothers, Alfred Lewis, Chester Lewis and Clyde Lewis Jr., and her parents.