Douglas Maxwell Morton, 85, of Moreno Valley, California, passed away on September 16, 2020, at home surrounded by his family. He was the beloved husband of Robyn (nee McLauchlin), loving father of Gregory (Ana), Cynthia (Joseph), and Karen, loving grandfather of Natalie, Alex, Kevin, and Nicholas, dear brother of Donald Morton (deceased) and Richard Morton (Cathy), and a beloved uncle and brother-in-law to his large extended family that he cared for deeply.
Born in Hemet, California, on June 15, 1935, he was the son of Maddeline Morton. Doug attended Hemet High School, graduated from the University of California, Riverside with a degree in Geology, and the University of California, Los Angeles with a PhD in Geology. In 1963, Doug began his career as a geologist with the California Division of Mines and Geology, and in 1972 embarked on a 32-year career with the US Geological Survey. In 2007, Doug received the US Department of Interior (DOI) Distinguished Service Award, the highest honorary recognition bestowed upon an employee by the DOI.
Doug was a prolific research scientist and the world’s expert on the geology of Southern California, having published over 170 scientific papers and geologic maps. Additionally, Doug was a faculty member at the University of California, Riverside for 42 years.
Doug was an accomplished birder and he had a strong influence on the birding community in California from the 1970s to the 1990s. He was always generous about sharing his passion of birds and is responsible for inspiring many people to become birders. An avid gardener, Doug tended to both ornamental and edible plants and for years kept a large and stunning display of orchids.
Doug was a loving and caring husband, married to his wife Robyn soon to be 62 years. Doug took great pride in his three children and their life endeavors, and he spent years teaching culinary techniques to his four grandchildren. He enjoyed watching his grandchildren grow into fine young adults.
Doug’s Funeral will be held at 11:00 a.m. (PST) on Wednesday, October 7, 2020, at Montecito Memorial Park in Colton, California. Because of COVID precautions, the funeral service and interment will be restricted to immediate family. A virtual (Zoom) memorial service for all of Doug and Robyn’s extended family and friends is scheduled for 6:00 p.m. (PST) on Friday, October 9, 2020. Please contact Alex Lennert ([email protected]) for the Zoom link.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Douglas M. Morton Memorial Scholarship, UCR Foundation, PO Box 112, Riverside, CA 92502-0112. Additional information regarding the Scholarship can be obtained by contacting Michael McKibben at [email protected].