Cover photo for Leona Morford's Obituary
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1922 Leona 2017

Leona Morford

August 9, 1922 — March 9, 2017


Leona May Morford, 94, of Dowagiac, Michigan died Thursday, March 9, 2017 at Bronson Commons in Mattawan, Michigan following complications of a stroke. She was blessed by the Father right before she passed away, with her family by her side, and her family is grateful to the staff of Bronson Commons for their kind and compassionate care.

Leona was born on August 9, 1922 in Decatur, Michigan to Edward Gordon and Florence Wise.

On August 17, 1939, she married John Morford. They were married for fifty-four years, and had ten children.

John and Leona moved into their home, in Wayne Township, which was gifted to them by her mother on their wedding day. Over the next forty years, they planted thousands of trees and flowers on that twenty acres of land. In 1984, it became a licensed tree farm. In the 1980’s and 90’s, they managed part of the Pike Lumber Company that was next to their property. They also helped take care of their favorite place, Russ Forest, where they spent many memorable times together.

Leona was well known for her crocheting, making crafts, and sewing beautiful afghans, for all who asked. Cooking was her favorite hobby. She and John also raised bees and processed maple syrup, sharing their goods with everyone. Together they enrolled all their kids in 4-H, Boy and Girl Scouts, made sure each one know how to grow organic food, respect nature, and raise animals.

She found great joy in naming her grandson in 1988. Surviving, in order of age, are her children Julia (& Boyd) Nutt, Kenneth (& Jennifer) Morford, Jennifer Marrs of Illinois, Jacqueline (& Dale) Nagy of Indiana, Joe Morford of California, and Missy (& Thomas) Marshall of Decatur, Michigan; six grandchildren, and several great-grandchildren.

She was preceded in death by her husband John, who died in 1994; children Dan, John, Diana, and Jonna; siblings William (& Joan) Gordon, Harold (& Hilda) Gordon, Lorna (& Al) Garritano, and Ellen Dorman; cousins Kathryn Keene, Donna Buchanan, and June Chabich, who were also her best friends.

Leona requested that no ceremony be planned, and her family is honoring that request by completing her burial next to her husband privately at South Wayne Cemetery. They ask that anyone wishing to assist with her final expenses do so through Leona’s designated durable power of attorney Missy Marshall, in care of Halbritter-Wickens Funeral Home.



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