Edward J. Morthole, 89, of Jacksonville, died Thursday, Oct. 24, 2013, at Passavant Area Hospital in Jacksonville.
He was born Jan. 16, 1924, on the family farm near Exeter in Scott County, the son of William Edward and Henrietta Marie Brockhouse Morthole. He married Dorothy Lucille Patterson on June 30, 1946, in Jacksonville, and she preceded him in death March 12, 2008.
He is survived by two sons and one daughter, Steve (Martha Pate) Morthole, Mark (Judy) Morthole and Dixie (Mike) Holtgrewe, all of Jacksonville; four grandchildren, Tiffany McDannald, Tarah (Chris) Richardson, Shelly (Richard) Hembrough and Shawn Morthole, all of Jacksonville; and eight great-grandchildren, Chloe and Cole McDannald, Kenady, Tyson and Tanner Richardson, Kevin and Kenzie Hembrough, Layken Morthole and Chyann Ratliff. He was preceded in death by his brother, Harold Morthole Sr.; and his sister, Delora Atkinson.
Mr. Morthole was a 1942 graduate of Jacksonville High School and then attended Illinois College. He was a laborer, concrete finisher and a bricklayer. He had also been a Fireman's Helper in the Power Plant at Jacksonville Developmental Center. A U.S. Navy veteran of World War II, he served as an Aerial Gunner on a Martin Mariner PBY. His Visual Bomber Squadron was assigned to the USS Currituck. He fought in the Battle of Leyte Gulf and the Invasion of Lingayen Gulf. His plane was shot down over the Philippines and his crew waited for three days before they were able to be rescued by a PT Boat Squadron. He received the Distinguished Flying Cross and the Air Medal with three gold stars. In 1999, Mr. Morthole was inducted into the Combat Aircrew Roll of Honor at Patriots Point Naval & Maritime Museum in Mount Pleasant, S.C. He was a 50-year member of the VFW, and a member of the American Legion, the Moose Lodge and the Elks. A devoted husband, father and grandfather, he loved his family and valued time spent with them.
Funeral services will be held 2 p.m. Monday at Buchanan & Cody Funeral Home in Jacksonville, with burial at Diamond Grove Cemetery. The family will meet friends 1-3 p.m. Sunday at the funeral home. Memorials are suggested to an educational trust fund to benefit Mr. Morthole's great-grandchildren in care of Farmers State Bank. Condolences may be left at www.buchanancody.com.
Published in Jacksonville Journal-Courier on Oct. 26, 2013