Sue Atlee Gray Gorton, 98, of Duncaster, Bloomfield, CT, wife of the late Robert E. Gorton, died at her home on April 10, 2021. Sue was born July 23, 1922, in Prince Frederick, MD, daughter of Judge John B. Gray Jr. and Aimee T. Gray. Sue won a scholarship to attend high school at St. Mary’s Female Seminary, now St. Mary’s College of Maryland, which nourished the astonishing flexibility of mind that served her all her life. At 16, she graduated at the top of her class, going on to study art at Syracuse University, though she’d never taken an art class. Then WWII demanded engineers, so she also took engineering courses under a wartime fellowship from Pratt & Whitney Aircraft, and she excelled. Had she been male, she would have been inducted into Tau Beta Pi, the engineering honorary. She was a member of Delta Gamma sorority and Sigma Chi Alpha, the art honorary. After graduating with both a Bachelor of Fine Arts and a certificate in engineering, she joined P&W as an assistant engineer. She was proud of her wartime contribution. Both her engineering and art background came into play when she and her husband designed and decorated their home in Bolton, CT, where they lived more than 40 years, especially enjoying raising a family, petting cats, sailing, skiing, and gardening. A founding member of Bolton’s St. George’s Episcopal Church, she painted watercolor renderings for interior design of their first building. Over the years she served as superintendent of the Church School, on the vestry, as president of the Episcopal Church Women, and on committees for planning, building, and parish development. She was church calligrapher, baked innumerable loaves of bread and apple pies for the fall fair, and sang in the choir. She helped found the Bolton Ecumenical Council, serving as chair and secretary. Sue’s devotion to family, her love of music and her sense of humor were with her until she died. The day before she died she was still singing. She did enjoy her “vitamin Ch,” and she quipped that if she ate an ear from her chocolate Easter bunny she would have three ears, which would help her poor hearing. She was dearly loved by family and by many, many others.
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Sue is survived by her brother Frank T. Gray of Baltimore, MD; her children Elizabeth A. Gorton of Ascutney, VT, Frank T. Gorton of Hawthorne, CA, Holly L. Gorton and son-in-law William E. Williams of Jericho, VT, and grandson Benjamin A. G. Williams of Catonsville, MD. She was predeceased by her husband, Robert E. Gorton, son John C. Gorton, daughter-in-law Orrette B. Gorton, and son-in law Richard D. Waring.
There will be a Memorial Service at St. Georges Episcopal Church in Bolton when it is safe for all to gather and sing. Sue asked that in lieu of flowers, memorial contributions be made to the St. George’s Endowment Program for Ministry.