Lt Col (USAF, Ret) Joyel M. Morton, 82, of The Villages, FL, died the early morning of 10 August 2016 due to complications associated with Chronic Lymphoma Leukemia. Lt Col Morton is the former Commander and Director of Operations for the Strategic Air Command’s Detachment 1 at Homestead AFB, FL – a detachment of the 68th Bomb Wing, Seymour-Johnson AFB, NC.
A non-degreed combat pilot with over 6,000 hours in the cockpit, Lt Col Morton served numerous tours in Southeast Asia during the Vietnam Conflict. After pilot training, his major assignments included Dow AFB, Bangor, ME; Whiteman AFB, Sedalia, MO; Ramey AFB, PR; Wright-Patterson AFB, Dayton, OH; and Homestead AFB, Homestead, FL. He was the recipient of the Legion of Merit, Distinguished Flying Cross, Meritorious Service Medal, and 25 Air Medals.
Lt Col Morton retired in April 1973 after 21 years of service to his country and became a prominent businessman in Homestead, selling residental and commercial real estate. He served as the President of the Homestead Association of Realtors, and also Vice President of the Florida Board of Realtors. During the devastation of Hurricane Andrew in 1992, he took up arms once again to help the people of Homestead, organizing community services until the Army came to help. He coordinated with Army and FEMA representatives to ensure the people of Homestead didn’t lack for food and fresh water.
“Big Daddy” is survived by his wife, Elisabeth Morton, of The Villages; sons David Morton of Huntsville, AL, and Danny Morton of Oxford, MS; step-daughter Anita Franklin of Homestead and step-son John De Groot of Eindhoven, The Netherlands; 9 grandchildren, and 4 great-grandchildren.