The following information was provided by Robert W. Tormey, the artist's grandson:
My grandmother was born Helen Irene Hart on November 3, 1892, in Omaha, Nebraska, to Orlow Levader Hart and Olive Banner (Freeman) Hart. She married my grandfather Francis Lester Morgan in 1912, and moved with him to a home that he built for her at 1512 Howard Avenue, Burlingame, California. She lived there until 1980 when she was eventually blinded by diabetes and moved in with my parents in Salem, Oregon. Grandma Helen died July 28, 1984, at age 92 while on vacation with my parents in Campbell River, British Columbia. Even blind, she was always up for a new adventure.
My grandfather's family moved from Ohio to help rebuild San Francisco after the 1906 fire and then they stayed in California. Grandpa Les attended Harvard University in Boston for several years and later started an import/export business, F.L. Morgan Company, with offices in New York and San Francisco. He met Grandma Helen through his Harvard roommate from Omaha and successfully courted her from afar. Grandpa Les was ten years older than Grandma Helen, and he died in 1955 at age 73.
Grandma Helen was reportedly very creative as a child and, after several decades of formal artistic training in the San Francisco bay area, eventually worked in several media up into the late 1950s. We still retain some examples of her ceramic creations, hand-painted china, wood carvings, tapestries, watercolors and oil paintings, none of which are for sale at this time.
The painting called Mt. Diablo landscape, is actually a view of Mt. Shasta from the NW, from south of Yreka, California, where my parents lived in the late 1930s and 1940s, and Grandma Helen would drive up from Burlingame to visit with her brushes and easel.