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  • Writer's pictureCrystal Faircloth

Jean (Yandle) Morgan

March 16, 1933 ~ November 5, 2022 (age 89)

Jean Yandle Morgan, 89, of Elizabethtown, died on Saturday, November 5, 2022. She was the wife of the late Maj. William (Bill) S. Morgan, Jr., USMC (Ret.) of Elizabethtown, who died on Aug. 11, 2010.

Jean was crowned Miss Elizabethtown, and Yam Festival Queen in 1951.

But she was probably proudest of playing guard on the Elizabethtown High School Women’s Basketball Team that won the Bladen County Women’s Basketball Championships in 1949, 1950 and 1951. She also played guard on the team when it won two consecutive trips to play in The Wilmington Star News Invitational in 1949 and 1950, held in Wilmington. Jean loved her teammates, and she remained close to many of them for the rest of her life. She also loved Elizabethtown. But she was a loyal Marine Corps officer’s wife, a devoted mother and proud homemaker.

She left Elizabethtown at 21 with the love of her life, Bill, who graduated from The Citadel in 1954, and followed him to bases in Virginia, Florida, Texas, North Carolina, California, and South Carolina for the next 20 years.

Whenever her husband was deployed overseas, including two tours in Vietnam, first as a helicopter pilot and next as a fighter pilot, she always returned to Elizabethtown with her children to live near her relatives and friends. When her husband retired from the U.S. Marine Corps in 1974, she was finally able to return with their children to the home Bill built for them in Elizabethtown before his first tour in Vietnam.

She never wanted to leave Elizabethtown again, and never did except to take a couple of cruises with Bill, and a trip to Paris with him to celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary.

Mrs. Morgan is predeceased by her parents: Raymond Clifford Yandle and Frances McKeithan Yandle; brothers, David Franklin Yandle and Raymond Clifford Yandle Jr.; and sister, Lisley Allen.

She is survived by her sons, William Stuart Morgan III, David Collins Morgan, and daughter, Kimberly Morgan Pridgen; Stuart and his wife, Kim, of Columbia, S.C., have two sons, William and Walker. Their daughter, Caroline, died in 2016; David and his wife, Suzy, of Raleigh have two daughters, Allison and Liz; Kim and her husband, David Pridgen, of Elizabethtown have a son, Collins, and a daughter, Morgan.

Funeral arrangements are being made by Bladen Gaskins Funeral Home & Cremation Services of Elizabethtown. A memorial service (details TBA soon) will be held at the Elizabethtown Baptist Church .

Jean will be reunited with her late husband at Arlington National Cemetery (details TBA), who was buried there 12 years ago. The following epitaph, quoting a portion of the poem, High Flight, will appear on the back of her husband’s headstone:

Together again, she and her aviator have now “slipped the surly bonds of Earth and danced the skies on laughter–silvered wings.”

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