Bart Starr and His Late Wife Cherry Louise Morton Were High School Sweethearts

By AbigailPublished on: February 29, 2024 Updated on: March 2, 2024
Birthday May 3, 1934
Birthplace Birmingham, Alabama
Death February 2024
Age 89 years
Husband Bart Starr
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Cherry Louise Morton was the beloved wife of the late Bart Starr. Bart was a former football quarterback and head coach for the Green Bay Packers, who started his NFL career back in the 50s.

Morton and Starr spent more than six decades in each other’s companionship before the ex-player died in 2019. The couple’s romance is just as legendary as Starr’s professional career among the people.

While many football fans might be aware of Bart’s life and accomplishments, not much is known about Morton. In this article, we shall highlight Cherry’s life journey and how she spent it.

Cherry Louise Morton hailed from Alabama

Cherry was born on May 3, 1934, in Birmingham, Alabama. She spent her childhood in her hometown and attended Sidney Lanier High School located in Montgomery, Alabama.

Upon graduation, she enrolled in Auburn University, which is located in the same area. Later, in 1954, Cherry dropped out of college after her marriage with Starr and moved to Tuscaloosa to be with her new spouse.

Bart Starr's wife Cherry Louise Morton at an event
Cherry was born and raised in Alabama.

In the initial days of their marriage, Cherry worked as a photographer’s assistant to pay the bills. The newlyweds used to live in an old Army barracks, which also served as family-student housing.

Cherry Louise Morton and Bart Starr were high school sweethearts

The adorable partners’s love story began in 1951, in their senior year of high school. For their first date, they went to a drive-in movie, and Bart bought hamburgers and sodas with the only dollar he had in his pocket. That very night, Cherry asked her mother how the name ‘Cherry Starr’ sounded, mentioning that she had met the sweetest young man ever.

Cherry Louise Morton and her husband Bart Starr in a memory book
The two lovebirds were together since high school.

After their graduation, Bart turned down a scholarship offer from Paul “Bear” Bryant in Kentucky to stay in his hometown, close to his darling. In the early days of their courtship, he even drove every month from his college to Auburn to visit Cherry, knowing it might cost him his scholarship.

The husband-wife duo eloped for their wedding

It was after asking four times that Bart finally got a ‘yes’ to a marriage proposal from his sweetheart. The two decided to elope on Cherry’s birthday. On May 3, 1954, Bart borrowed his friend’s car, and the two headed to rural Mississippi to say their vows.

Cherry changed into her wedding dress at a muddy service station in the area, and the 20-year-olds officially tied the knot on the sly in Columbus, Mississippi. A justice of peace found by Bart officiated the wedding.

Their life post-marriage was tough

Initially, the couple kept their marriage a secret from their family. Cherry lived with her parents for several months afterward and kept the elopement a secret for as long as she could. Later, Cherry’s mother ended up finding a letter from Bart and upon getting questioned, the woman tearfully revealed the whole thing.

Back in the 60s and 70s, the hazing in schools and clubs used to be pretty brutal. After news of Starr eloping with a student from his university’s rival school became public, he got the worst of the beatings. The school even removed his scholarship for having gotten married, as it was the rule back then.

However, their marriage stood through the test of time, and the pair of lovers were as much in love with each other as they had been back in their teenage years. Even when Bart slowly lost himself to Alzheimer’s, he could always recognize his dear wife.

Bart Starr and his wife Cherry Louise Morton at an event
The lovebirds spent more than six decades of their life together.

The sweethearts had two children together

After completing their education, the pair decided to start their own family. Cherry gave birth to their eldest son, Bart Starr Jr., in 1957. Later, in 1964, they welcomed their second child, Bret Michael Starr, into this world.

Cherry’s older son graduated from the University of Alabama in 1980 and the University of Alabama School of Law in 1983. The man owns a small agricultural commodities business and works as a real estate developer and financial advisor as well.

The youngest Starr is unfortunately not in this world anymore. He lost his life when he was very young, and the Starr couple barely managed to pull themselves out of grief.

Morton and Bart Starr lost their son at a young age

As a parent, few things are as painful as losing your child. Unfortunately, Cherry and Bart had to go through this gut-wrenching situation with their second child.

In 1988, their younger son lost his life due to a cocaine overdose at a very young age of 24. The family had known about Bret’s addiction and tried their best to help him in any way. They also hired a therapist and moved him to Clearwater, Florida, for further treatment.

However, the Randle parents lost contact with their child for several days, and when Bart personally went to check on him, he found him dead.

Cherry Louise Morton: A philanthropist and social worker

Instead of losing herself to grief, Cherry pulled herself and her husband towards helping youths with the same problem as their late son. The two created the Bret Starr Memorial Fund for the boys at the Rawhide Boys Ranch to transition into adulthood without many problems.

Later, they also started Starr Children’s Fund in 2017.

Throughout their life, the couple accumulated funds and supported the ranch with all they had. Both of them also served as honorary chairpersons of the Lombardi Foundation and helped raise millions of dollars for people fighting cancer.

Both Cherry and Bart garnered immense respect in the NFL scene.

Cherry Was as tough as her late husband

While the ex-quarterback fought several injuries and diseases throughout his life, Cherry’s life had also not been without physical suffering.

In 2018, the woman had two large nodes removed from her neck. Though it was not officially diagnosed as cancer, the doctor said that it was most definitely cancerous. Moreover, during the surgery, a facial nerve was accidentally struck, and it left Cherry looking like she had suffered from a stroke. She needed injections to adjust her smile.

The tough lady also faced treatments for thyroid cancer as well as breast cancer and bravely fought through it all. She had also had surgery on a vein in her leg. However, she did not let any of that hold her down and refused to live a passive life.

Even after numerous surgeries, Cherry remained active, running errands, managing the house, and spending time with her neighbors.

Bart Starr’s Wife Is No More With Us

Unfortunately, the lovely Cherry, too, passed away at the age of 89 at her home in Birmingham, surrounded by her family and friends. The news was announced by Starr Children’s Fund on February 27, 2024.

She is now survived by her grandchildren, Lisa, Shannon, and Jenny, and her six great-grandchildren, Bryan, Caden, Teddy, Dillon, Violet, and Skyler.