These writings and stories of a life that blessed many every single day will fall short of capturing the grace and love that she inspired. With every word ever spoken, every thought pondered, every person she ever met, she instilled inside of us a glimpse of heaven. If there ever was a person who truly used every day of her life as a service to others, it was Mrs. Dora Ellen Gorton.
She descended from heaven and began her walk on earth on Nov. 9, 1920. She was a wonderful example of the women of the “Greatest Generation.” An Army wife, traveling the railroad to be together, with Forest she raised her children. She was devoted to the ones she loved and cherished, and many more. She is a part of many lives and still lives within nine grandchildren, 19 great-grandchildren and four great-great-grandchildren.
“To choose an occasion that blessed my life the most would be as if I was reaching into a bag full of beautiful diamonds and trying to find the shiniest most beautiful jewel,” said a grandson. “For every memory, every thought I have, every time I think of her, I am consumed by her love and grace. There are so many times a harsh word could have been spoken, a cross look given, but not by Grandma Dora. She lived the example of the old saying, ‘When life hands you lemons, make lemonade.’
“In this time of grief and as we mourn the passing of Dora, our family remains flooded by stories from friends and loved ones. Everyone has their memory of her and takes great pleasure in sharing even through tears of joy and sorrow. There is no shortage of fond memories. She was truly an amazing and extraordinary woman. We find comfort during her absence because we know that she was at peace with her life. Grandma had no regrets and she was content. Her life was lived to the fullest every day. We find our comfort in this.
“The last few days we spent with Grandma in our home were full of laughter and love. So many of her loved ones were a part of her life and we are honored she was the center of our world. It’s a pleasure having my mom in my life because so much of Grandma lives inside of her. There are not many people that are truly selfless or that live their lives as a service to others. Knowing Grandma for 29 years was a gift we will cherish forever and I am thankful that a huge part of Grandma lives in my mom.
“Grandma passed away on the last day of the year, before all the festivities. She was never one for drinking or big parties and she also never started something she couldn’t finish, so in the early morning hours on New Year’s Eve, with Mom holding her hand and rubbing her forehead, she peacefully and with the dignity she carried her whole life, spent her final moments with her loving daughter right beside her.
“We gather together in this time of mourning. Tears fall as we feel the loss and miss the presence of Grandma in our home. We share the good times, as the old saying goes, and we find our peace and comfort in the fact that she lived a full life and graced all of us for many years, and her legacy truly lives on and fortunately for many we got the opportunity to know her and spend a piece of our lives with her.”
She was preceded in death by her husband, Forest W. Gorton; parents, Charles and Rita Lamb Hall; daughters: Rita Marie Gorton and Joanne Elaine Gorton; and half-sister, Helen Meredith.
She is survived by her children: Bruce Gorton of Georgia, Richard Gorton and wife, Joanne, of Maine and Sandra Riojas and husband, Pedro, of Cleveland; nine grandchildren; 19 great-grandchildren; and four great-great-grandchildren.
A graveside service will be held at 10:30 a.m. Thursday, Jan. 10, 2013, in Chattanooga National Cemetery with Chaplain Jim Hitte officiating.
Grissom Funeral Home and Cremation Services is in charge of the arrangements.
We invite you to send a message of condolence and view the Gorton family guest book at www.grissomfh.net.