We’re sad to report the death of popular poet Jane Morton, a friend to many—and a part of cowboypoetry.com from its earliest days. Her husband, poet and reciter Dick Morton wrote to say that she had died Sunday, February 16, 2020. Jane and Dick were married for over 66 years. A memorial service will take place in August at their home in Colorado.
Jane wrote poetry and prose about her family’s ranch history, which began with her great great grandfather, a circuit-riding Baptist minister who left Illinois and headed to Colorado in 1872. Generations later, her mother, Eva Lena Ambrose, was surprised to discover that her husband, a teacher and coach, was determined to return to the family farm that eventually became the family ranch. Her mother faced a harder-than-expected life with dignity.
Each year we launch Cowboy Poetry Week with Jane’s poem that well described her own inspiration for writing:
by Jane Morton
The round-ups, the brandings,
the calvings are done,
as ranchers sell out
and move on one by one.
We must tell the stories,
so memories live on,
past time when the tellers
themselves are long gone.
© 2004, Jane Morton, used with permission
Jane stopped performing several years ago. She has award-winning books and a CD of her poetry. Find more about her and some of her poetry and ranch history at cowboypoetry.com.
Email if you’d like contact information for Dick Morton.
Find an obituary here.