Donald Richard “Rich” Morris, 82, passed away at his home on May 5, 2018.
He was born on June 29, 1935 in Colorado Springs, CO. His childhood was spent attending schools in New Mexico, Mexico, California and Colorado, later graduating from Leadville High School. Afterwards he attended the Colorado School of Mines and Montana State University majoring in Mechanical Engineering.
On August 18, 1955, he enlisted in the US Army and participated in Basic Training at Fort Carson, CO. He trained as a heavy equipment operator as part of the 44th Engineer Battalion-“Builders of Freedom”. Seattle and Alaska, (before statehood) were assignment posts before being sent to Korea. The distinctive unit insignia “Broken Heart” for service in Korea became significant to him throughout his life. He was honorably discharged on August 7, 1958.
Rich returned to Montana and married Dolores Frye. A year later they moved to the Seattle, WA area where their two children, Daniel and Doreen were born. Years later they divorced.
In Seattle, he began his employment opportunities in wire rope, rigging, and sales with various manufacturers from October of 1959 through April of 1994. During these years Rich became widely known for his skills in handling and splicing wire rope and fiber ropes.
Along the way he met Janie and as their adventures began they forged a strong, enduring, and loving marriage. A move for them to Boise, ID gave him another opportunity to continue in the industry. He brought his vast knowledge and expertise to Boise Rigging Supply and he retired as a rigger after twenty years.
Rich excelled in sports as a youth. He played on the basketball team in high school and in the Army. He loved the game of baseball and coached his daughter’s softball team. He also took pleasure in knowing that his granddaughter is gifted in this sport as well.
He was a generous man who loved to share his amazing ability to catch fish with anyone willing to learn. Thanks to his fishing buddy, Dean Buckwitz, for many years of fishing trips and swapping stories. And thanks, Love, for always baiting my hook.
He honed his talents as an artist by creating woodcarvings, building beautiful wood furniture, and after retiring turning wood bowls on his lathe.
Rich will also be remembered as a teacher, mentor, and as Tall Grandpa. He will be greatly missed by his extended family, including First Fish. To those who knew him as “Uncle” he valued your friendship as well. Not many people seem larger than life but he came close: his distinctive rich voice, his large and capable and artistic hands, and his beautiful smile were all clearly unbeatable.
Going before Rich are his dad who brought him into this world, William Brian Tankersley, his dad who adopted and reared him, Guy P. Morris and his mother, Vonna Morris, his brother, Terry Tankersley, along with aunts, uncles, cousins, and his niece, Jace Black.
Those who have survived Rich are his wife, Janie; his daughter, Doreen, and granddaughter, Zoey; also son, Daniel. Also, his sister, Patricia and her husband Ron Famiglietti; sister, Judy and her husband, Ron Miller; and sister-in-law, Kim Tankersley; in addition, special cousins, nieces and nephews as well as Janie’s Black Family.
Our family wishes to extend sincere gratitude to the doctors and their staffs who through many years of association have provided excellent care, compassion and kindness; also, to St. Luke’s Hospital, Boise, and St. Luke’s Elks Rehab, and to Chris Faulk, RN with Health Partners at St. Luke’s. Horizon Home Health and Hospice and Homewatch Caregivers provided an extra layer of comfort and care. We give our thanks to each for making it possible for Rich to be at home.
If you wish to carry on Rich’s passion for fishing, donations may be made to the program “Kid’s First Cast”, c/o Howard’s Tackle Shop, 1707 Garrity Blvd., Nampa, ID 83687.
Donald Richard Morris will be laid to rest with full military honors on Monday, May 14, 2018 at 2:00 PM at the Idaho State Veterans Cemetery, Boise, ID.
“Rest peacefully, my darling, until we meet again. You are safe in our hearts forever.”
Remembrances may be left for the family at www.AccentFuneral.com
. Services are under the direction of Accent Funeral Home, Meridian.