William (Bill) Morton


William (Bill) Morton, 88, passed away peacefully at home in Overland Park, KS on Thursday April 11, 2019 surrounded by family.  Born in Akron, Ohio, Bill graduated from Buchtel High School and served in the US Army following graduation from the University of Akron in 1952 where he earned a BS degree in Advertising, Marketing and Merchandising and was a member of Phi Delta Theta.  In 1953 he joined the California Spray Chemical Company (later Chevron) and its Ortho Lawn and Garden division, retiring in 1985 as National Accounts’ Manager in the San Francisco office.  Married for 66 years to Lois Crooks, they raised their family in Prairie Village, KS, living in the area for 50 of their years together.

High school sweethearts, Bill and Lois made homes together with their children at Fort Leonard Wood, MO; Harve de Grace, MD; Indianapolis, IN; and Lockport, NY before settling in Prairie Village in 1961.  In 1977, the two moved to San Francisco where they cemented many strong friendships forged during Bill’s career with Ortho.  Upon retirement, they moved back to Prairie Village and spent the next 15 years enjoying a second home in Sunrise Beach, MO at the Lake of the Ozarks.

Bill and Lois truly enjoyed retirement as he was able to pursue his interests in woodworking and macramé, pulling their trailer to multiple craft shows across the Midwest where they sold and often gave away Bill’s Christmas themed creations.  Marketing himself as the Candycane Man, he and his Candycane Lass, made many trips back to the Akron area to market their wares and spend time with members of Lois’ family.  His signature product, a simple candycane, became a coveted gift to anyone he encountered as he gave away literally thousands over the years.

Family was always first for Bill, as he was the driving force behind multiple family reunions in the Akron and Two Harbors, MN areas, bringing together the extended families of Lois’ two sisters and dad’s mother.  As recently as January 2019, he and Lois traveled to Palm Coast, FL to attend what turned out to be a final glorious gathering of all 10 of their nieces, nephews and children along with spouses.

He is preceded in death by his parents, Walter Frederick and Edna Anderson Morton, and son-in-law Kevin Koch. Survivors include his wife Lois and their son and three daughters: William Morton, Jr (Cheryl) in Overland Park; Susan Perrin (Terry) in Lenexa; Beth Koch in Tucson, AZ; and Patty Zimmerman (Jerry) in Prairie Village; along with 9 grandsons and 3 great-grandchildren.

If you met Bill, you found a friend for life.  He will be dearly missed by all who knew him.


A celebration of life is planned for June 22, 2019, at 1:00 pm at Colonial Church in Prairie Village. 

Memorial Contributions

In lieu of flowers, the family is suggesting that memorial gifts be made in his honor to the Colonial Church at 7039 Mission Road in Prairie Village, KS 66208.




  1. Alan Lidolph on June 18, 2019 at 9:55 am

    What a boss and my mentor you help make me for what I am today Candyman and I will be forever grateful. In fact I’m still working at a company call Bonide and using your knowledge and skill that you taught me on how to sell and I used that same training and helped a young man who just got a job with Ortho he had Eastern Iowa and I had Western and believe it or not Bill he is now President of Bonide and informed the whole company without those lessons I learned from you we would have never been successful.
    Candyman be sure to leave me a chair at the poker table.
    Alan Lidolph

  2. Kris Fredrickson on April 22, 2019 at 8:58 am

    Bill was a one of a kind person and neighbor to us for many years in Prairie Village. I miss our conversations about life, politics, and whatever.

    Most of our Christmas decorations have come from the Candycane shop and we will always remember him and his generosity through those gifts.

  3. Bill Chase on April 21, 2019 at 11:56 pm

    We, the ORTHO family have lost a really great friend and co-worker. Bill was a person that was fun to work with and fun to talk with. We always enjoyed the candy canes and I still put mine on our tree!
    Bill Chase

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