Cover photo for John Gillespie Morton's Obituary
John Gillespie Morton Profile Photo
1936 John 2024

John Gillespie Morton

September 29, 1936 — March 25, 2024


Spartanburg, SC - John Gillespie Morton died peacefully in Spartanburg, on March 25, 2024, at the age of 87.

He is survived by his wife, Susan Griswold, his daughters, Bethany Morton and Lillian Morton, his nephew, Kenneth Morton, and his sister-in-law Elizabeth Morton.

John was born in Nashville, Tennessee. He earned his bachelor’s degree at Tulane University. After graduation, he served as an officer in the US Navy for four years. He earned his MA at the University of Tennessee. He received his PhD at Vanderbilt University in Spanish Language and Literature.

Initially in his career, he was a professor of Spanish at Indiana University, Bloomington Indiana. In 1980, he and his wife Susan moved to Spartanburg, where he established his own studio and restored antique furniture. In 1982, inspired by their passion for historic preservation, they purchased and restored buildings in downtown Spartanburg. The Spartanburg City Manager at the time, Bill Carstarphen, called him an “urban pioneer”. John was a visionary who saw the protentional in the beautiful charm of a thriving downtown. He was instrumental in creating space for local artists to display and sell their work and he created a beautiful showplace for art and antiques. His vision and investment in the development and preservation of downtown Spartanburg contributed greatly to the charm that is present today. We will all miss him.

A memorial service will be held at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Spartanburg in May, at a date and time to be determined.

Floyd’s North Church Street Chapel


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