Engineer who emigrated to Canada

Date: Tuesday 3rd July 2018

JOHN Dixon Morton, who was born at Unthank, Gamblesby, in 1933 has died in Canada.

John was larger than life, a man of huge energy and drive he survived the loss of his father at a young age. After attending Queen Elizabeth Grammar School, Penrith, he moved on to obtain a BSc at Durham University and eventually obtained advanced degrees at King’s College, London, including a P.Eng in geotechnical engineering.

After a short stint in the Royal Engineers in Suez, he decided that his fortunes lay in North America and in 1958 he emigrated to Canada.

He started off in Quebec, working for Wimpey. While in the town of Sept-Iles, he met the girl who was to become his wife, Claire Bush. They were married in 1961, and after a series of typical travelling engineer adventures they settled in Toronto, Canada, to begin a family.

John was always his own man and his own boss. He operated his own engineering firm for many years and became a renowned expert in tunnelling and mining. Something of a workaholic, he did not officially retire until his early 80s.

After the death of Claire in 2013, John moved to Victoria, British Columbia, to be with his daughter, Wendy.

In his last years he talked more and more of his childhood home in the Eden Valley and how much he missed it. He passed peacefully on 5th June, after a short illness following dental surgery.

There was no funeral or memorial, at his request, but his ashes will be brought home to rest on the fellsides he loved so much.

John is survived by his children, Wendy, Thomas and Christopher, and their extended families in Canada as well as his oldest sister, Margaret Brass, of Stainton.