Earl “Jack” Morthland, 88, long-time resident and well respected member of
the Porter County community, passed away Thursday, October 2, 2008 at VNA
Hospice Center, Valparaiso.
Mr. Morthland was born at home in Valparaiso, IN on January 5, 1920 to
William and Faye Dillingham Morthland. (His father was Porter County Surveyor
for 50 years, and Morthland Drive is named for him.)
Preceding him in death besides his parents were his sister, Marie and
husband, Floyd Biggs; and sister-in-law, Roberta Gassoway Morthland.
Jack is survived by his loving wife, Anna Pope Morthland, whom he married at
the Pope homeplace on a lawn filled with beautiful flowers 67 years ago on
June 1, 1941. Also surviving are his daughter, Jill Simpson and husband, Roy
Buchanan of Veedersburg, IN; son and daughter-in-law, Doug and Sueky
Morthland of Valparaiso, IN; grandchildren, Raymie and Ken Postema of
Marshall, MI; Scott and Milli Ormiston of Schoenberg Kubelberg, Germany, J.T.
and Heather Wells of Valparaiso, IN; and Andrew Wells of Mosier, OR. Grandpa
Jack also leaves behind great-grandchildren, Kelsey Postema, Shasa Ormiston,
Jacob and Emmy Wells, and Cole Wells. Also left to mourn his passing are his
brother, Bill and wife Hazel Morthland of Brazil, IN;
brother-in-law/sister-in-law, Ervin and Dorothy Pope of Chesterton, IN, and
many nieces, nephews, cousins, and friends.
Mr. Morthland was graduated from Liberty Twp. Schools in 1938. He then went
into farming with brother-in-law, Ervin Pope, for 14 years. At age 41 he was
graduated from Purdue University where he received his Master’s Degree plus
40 hours and taught science at Liberty Middle School for 25 years becoming
the head of his department. While teaching the youth of the community, he
demanded respect and hard work from each student that passed through his
classroom door. In the years after retirement, he enjoyed seeing his former
students and hearing about the accomplishments they had made in their lives.
Jack was a hard working man who believed in an honest day’s work for an
honest day’s pay. He was a man that could be trusted with a handshake. He
instilled great qualities in his children.
Jack enjoyed fishing, playing cards, going on trips, visiting with friends
and neighbors, and watching sports on television. Anna, also an avid sports
fan, and he had quite a time when Indiana University played basketball
against Purdue University since they were on opposing sides of the fence.
Whoops and hollers and friendly bantering could be heard throughout the home
on these basketball nights.
From 1943-1945 Jack was stationed in Manchester, England during WW2. As he
was onboard a ship heading to Japan, a message came over the loud speaker
announcing, “This ship is being rerouted back to the United States of
America. The war is over!” Jack said there was deafening yells, cheers,
applause, and celebrating. Jack continued to keep in touch with his army
buddies from the 15th Port Headquarters. Until just a few years ago, the
group would meet once a year to reunite.
Mr. Morthland was a volunteer to the Liberty Fire Department in his younger
days, belonged to the Liberty Farm Bureau organization, member of ISTA,
volunteer tax preparer at the library and a member of the Liberty Bible
Funeral services will be held Monday, Oct. 6, 2008, 11 AM from the White-Love
Funeral Home 525 S. 2nd St. Chesterton. Interment to follow at Chesterton
The family will receive friends Sunday Oct. 5th from 2-6 PM at the White-Love
In Lieu of flowers, Memorials are preferred to VNA Hospice Center 501
Marquette St., Valparaiso, IN 46383