After more than 55 years of marriage, 10 children, 17 grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren, Wilton Morgan Sr., 74, succumbed to lung cancer in early October.Hurricane Katrina complicated Morgan's cancer treatment, contributing to his death, said granddaughter Damita Morgan, 29, of Jackson.
Morgan was an extremely family-oriented man, one widely admired by younger fathers in his neighborhood for both his commitment to his family and to his job, said Damita.
"He was a role model," she said. "He worked for 50 years for Rhodes Furniture in Gulfport. He was a warehouse supervisor, and retired just recently."
Morgan, who even in his later years was robust and strapping, enjoyed a lifelong love of baseball, according to Damita, first as a player in his school days, and later watching games from the stands and on television.
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But Morgan's most enduring love affair was with his wife of 55 years, Ruby.
"You've got to love the person you marry. But even more than that you've got to care for that person. You just can never stop caring," Morgan told the Sun Herald in April. "I was 18 when we got married, and Ruby was 16. I had $10 in my pocket on the day we married, and that was it. I gave $5 to the justice of the peace, and with the other $5 we got lunch, saw a movie and took the bus home."