John Graham Morden died August 31 at approximately 12 noon in Burlington Health and Rehab where he was lovingly and expertly cared for following surgery for a broken hip. The exact time of his death would have been important to him because of his love of and great interest in astrology. He always enjoyed doing people’s charts and helped many friends and clients throughout the years.
John was born to Elsa Eileen Graham Morden and Jonathan Corwin Morden in Lansing, Michigan on September 12, 1931 at 12:31PM. He grew up in Niles, MI with his younger brother Greg who predeceased him. He especially remembered wonderful times with his maternal grandparents, perhaps most of all trips to farms to treat animals with his grandfather who was a veterinarian. John always loved cats and dogs and had a special connection with his cat Bill, who unfortunately predeceased him.
He received a BA from Michigan State and an MA from the University of Michigan. While working toward a PhD at the University of Missouri, he leafed through a catalogue of private schools. He decided to apply for teaching jobs in the east and ended up teaching at the Gunnery in Washington, CT. After that, he moved to Philadelphia where he taught at a Friends school and worked part time signing in patients at Temple University Hospital.
John often told “war stories” of his work at the hospital where he observed racial discrimination and violence from various sources. At the same time, he found compassion and expert care especially from the nurses, many of whom were from the Philippines.
John eventually moved to Poughkeepsie, NY where he taught at Oak Wood. He especially enjoyed teaching Shakespeare to high school students as well as novels such as Catcher in the Rye and modern poets such as Sylvia Plath, his favorite.
In 1987 John moved to Burlington, VT. He taught briefly at CCV. While working part time at the Fletcher Free Library in Burlington, he met his wife Janet thanks to an exchange of astrological charts facilitated by their mutual friend Lorrie Colburn. John’s last job before retiring was as a “meter maid” for the Burlington Police Department.
John and Janet enjoyed a happy and interesting partnership of 31 years and were married for 20 of those years. John leaves Janet as well as his son David Morden and daughter-in-law Charry of Henderson, NV; his granddaughter Trixie Morden of LA; his granddaughter Guilianne Servano, her husband Pete Servano and great grand daughter Ella Rose of LA; Ranji Morden of Las Vegas, NV; and Tristan Morden of LA. He leaves his daughter Cindy Hamnett, son-in-law Gavin Hamnett and granddaughter Raya of Barrytown, NY. He also leaves his stepson David Alpera Green, his wife Cynthia Castro and granddaughter Laia Alpera Castro of Alacant, Spain. He was very proud of their many accomplishments and had hoped to see them all again.
His advice to everyone was: find something that you love and are good at and just keep doing that. John clearly followed his own advice and enjoyed life, often in a fairly quiet way until he came out with some outrageous comment! He would enjoy being remembered for his unusual sense of humor, his dedication to educating young people, his belief in a fair share for everyone, and his love of Notre Dame football! If you care to remember John by a contribution, please consider the Burnham Library, 898 Main St., Colchester 05446 or the Humane Society, 142 Kindness Court, So. Burlington 05403.
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