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Obituaries

Joan Morton

Joan Morton

Joan Morton, 80, of the North Coffee area of Coffee County passed from this life on Sunday, June 4th, 2023 at Alive Hospice in Murfreesboro after a brief illness. Joan was born Barbara Joan Phelps on August 11, 1942, Coffee County, Tennessee to the late Marvin John Phelps and Gertie Belle (West) Phelps. She married the love of her life, Wayne King Morton, on August 20, 1963 in Fredonia, Coffee County, Tennessee. She attended Gnat Hill Elementary for one year and finished her elementary education at Fredonia Elementary after her family moved to their farm in the Fredonia community. She graduated from Manchester Central High School in 1960 and from David Lipscomb University in 1963 with a BS degree in General Home Economics. Being unable to find a job teaching home economics, she taught earth science at West Junior High School in Tullahoma for 5 years. As the birth of her first child approached, she paused her teaching career to be a stay at home mom. She was pivotal in getting Tuesday/Thursday School (Mothers Day Out) started at Main Street Church of Christ in Manchester in 1972 and was the director until 1978. After her three children were school-age, she resumed working by being a nutrition assistant with WIC and a substitute teacher and interim home economics teacher in the Coffee County School system. She later found her true teaching passion, which was teaching preschool special education students. She was known by her students as “Miss Joan.” She received her Masters of Education degree from Middle Tennessee State University in 1992. She then taught in the Coffee County preschool special education program until duty called her to be a caregiver to her mother-in-law, Avis Morton, as well as other family members over the upcoming years. In retirement, she was a member of the Coffee County Farm Bureau Women and continued to teach elementary school students as part of the Farm Bureau Agriculture in the Classroom outreach program. She was a member of Antioch Church of Christ and always enjoyed teaching Bible class and continued until illness no longer allowed it. She was preceded in death by her parents and brother Brian Phelps. Survivors include her husband; sisters: Janice (David) Plemmons-Jackson of Crossville, Laura (Timothy) Sensing of Abilene, Texas; children: Gregory (Sandra) Morton of Knoxville, Gilbert (Shannon) Morton of Cookeville, Ginelle (Buck) Baskin of Manchester; grandchildren: Kaeley Morton and Ella Morton of Knoxville, Leah Morton and Levi Morton of Cookeville, and Owen Baskin and Luke Baskin of Manchester, as well as many cousins, nieces, nephews, and friends. Joan will be remembered as a devoted Christian, loving wife, mother, grandmother, sister, aunt, and friend to many. She will be greatly missed. Funeral services are scheduled for 10 AM Saturday, June 10th, 2023 at Central Funeral Home in Manchester with Ricky Smith, J. D. Russell, and James Colwell officiating. Interment will follow at Fredonia Cemetery. The Morton family will receive friends on Friday, June 9th, 2023 from 5 PM to 8 PM at Central Funeral Home in Manchester. Pallbearers will be Buck Baskin, Owen Baskin, Luke Baskin, Daniel McCullough, Jeff Anderson, and Brent Phelps. In lieu of flowers, donations are requested to be made to Antioch Church of Christ (3400 16th Model Rd, Manchester, TN 37355), the Alzheimer’s Association, St Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital, or a charity of your choice. Central Funeral Home is honored to serve the Morton family, 931-723-7774, centralfuneralhome.com

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