Jan. 2, 1927 – May 12, 2017
Dorothy Morgan never served a meal on paper plates.
“She loved to entertain,” her niece Sharon K. Kelly says. “And when she did it, it was just exquisite. She pulled out all of her good china for her family and friends.”
She applied the same standards when it came to serving her clients in Catering by Morgan, the business that she operated with her husband.
“She always brought her own silver – she had sterling silver – and her own dishes, everything,” says Kelly, who worked with Mrs. Morgan as a teen. “And she always had cloth tablecloths and cloth napkins. She didn’t do anything with paper. She didn’t believe in that.”
Mrs. Morgan died May 12 after a brief illness. She was 90.
Born in Buffalo, the seventh of nine children, the former Dorothy Marguerite Echols was daughter of Rev. Elijah J. Echols Sr., who served as pastor of First Shiloh Baptist Church for more than 40 years.
Known to many as Dorothy Jane, the name an aunt gave her as a child, she attended Schools 17 and 32 and was a graduate of Hutchinson Central High School. She went on to attend Buffalo State Teachers College, where she majored in home economics and developed her culinary talents. She began catering in the late 1940s.
She also put those skills to work at the First Shiloh Baptist Church, where she served on the banquet committee.
“All the ministries and auxiliaries called on her to do food,” Kelly says. “On a Sunday if they wanted to have a tea in the afternoon, she would be at home preparing finger sandwiches or whatever they were serving.
“She did everything. She did weddings and wedding cakes, she did picnics for the Medical Alliance and breakfasts for corporations, whatever people wanted.”
She was best known, Kelly says, for her pepper steak, her champagne chicken and her lobster in cream sauce, which she always served at New Year’s Eve gatherings. Another specialty were her sandwich loaves.
“She’d take Pullman loaves of bread and use different colors with different fillings,” she says. “When you sliced them open, they were very beautiful.”
Also adept as a seamstress, Mrs. Morgan fashioned all of the dresses for her bridesmaids when she was married in 1951. She would have celebrated her 66th wedding anniversary June 6.
She worked for several years as a teacher’s aide at Buffalo School 61 and St. Stanislaus Elementary School, retiring in 1990.
Survivors include her husband, Ernest F. Sr.; two sons, Ernest F. Jr. and Darryl L.; a brother, Kenneth Echols; and many nieces and nephews.
Services were held Thursday in First Shiloh Baptist Church.