Gladys Morton Cotton, 96, sales agent, homemaker

Gladys Morton Cotton, a retired insurance agent and homemaker, died of cardiac arrest Sunday at her daughter's Hebron home. She was 96.

Born Gladys Bryant and raised in Ontario, Va., she taught in rural Virginia public elementary schools before her marriage to James T. Morton Sr. They lived in White Plains, N.Y., until moving to Turners Station in the 1940s.


Her husband worked for Bethlehem Steel Corp., and she helped run a confectionery and ice cream parlor at Federal and Bond streets in East Baltimore.

In the early 1960s, they moved to Pasadena and restored an old farmhouse. After her first husband's death in 1964, she became a North Carolina Mutual Life Insurance Co. sales agent. She retired about 25 years ago.


She also worked with her son, James A. Morton II, a Baltimore funeral director, planning floral landscapes for King Memorial Park in Randallstown.

She later married John Cotton, who died in 1989.

Mrs. Cotton attended horse races at the Pimlico, Bowie, Laurel and Charles Town tracks, and belonged to the Social Pals pinochle club.

Services will be held at 11 a.m. Friday at City Temple of Baltimore Baptist Church, 317 Dolphin St.

In addition to her son, survivors include two daughters, Dorothy Evans of Pasadena and Constance Stewart of Hebron; three sisters, Grace Lucas and Bernice Smith, both of the Bronx, N.Y., and Patricia Mitchell of Mount Vernon, N.Y.; 25 grandchildren; and 45 great-grandchildren.