Dale G. Morris, 77, Claremont
Dale Garrison Morris, 77, of Claremont, loved husband, dad, grandpa, great grandpa and friend to many, died unexpectedly of a heart attack on Saturday, Nov. 7 in Madison while visiting family in Waunakee.
Dale was born on Sept. 3, 1938 to Garrol and Grace (Evans) Morris at the Hefron Farm in Danesville, located in the rural Byron area. He graduated from Claremont High School in 1956 and later served in the Army Reserves from 1957-1963. He married his wife of 55 years, Karen Hondl, on Oct. 1, 1960. Dale and Karen were blessed with five children: Sue, Steve, Lynne, Kevin “Butch” and Jeff. Dale worked at Deml’s Garage and Bixby Creamery, and also enjoyed being the owner of his own business, Dale’s Dairy Supply, where he proudly sold and serviced DeLaval products. Dale was also a lifelong dairy farmer (if only at heart), farming on the family farm just north of Claremont. Even after Dale and Karen sold the farm and moved into Claremont, Dale continued his love of farming by collecting antique farming memorabilia, especially John Deere and DeLaval items. He enjoyed showing off his tractors at area parades and events. Dale later worked as a bus driver for the Triton School District, retiring at the end of the 2013-2014 school year. In addition to collecting antique farming memorabilia, Dale was also a collector of so much more, including pottery, western memorabilia and especially items from Claremont. Walking into Dale and Karen’s home is like walking into the Claremont Museum, and Dale was always ready and willing to be your tour guide. Dale’s passion for local history led him to be active in organizations such as the Dodge County Historical Society and the Rice Lake Church Restoration Group. Dale’s service in the Reserves also created a passion for preserving military and veterans’ history, and he was active in the Claremont American Legion Post #422 and in the creation of the Wasioja Civil War Memorial. Additionally, Dale loved taking care of his lawns and lovingly tended the nearby St. Francis de Sales Catholic Cemetery and Hillside Cemetery for many years, where he served on the board. Dale was also involved in many other organizations, including the Masonic Lodge #11, the Dodge County Fair Board, the Lions Club, the Red Wing Collectors Society and the Watt Collectors Association, among others. Dale was the Claremont Chamber of Commerce Citizen of the Year in 1995.
He is survived by his wife, Karen; five children: Sue (Roy) Edge of Stewartville; Steve (Special Friend Mary Rudlong) Morris of Kasson; Lynne (Rob) Quesnel of Waunakee, Wisconsin; Kevin “Butch” (Peggy) Morris of Byron; and Jeff (Melissa) Morris of Byron; six grandchildren: Robyne (Taylor) Muscatel of Renton, Washington; Daniel “Boone” (Brooke) Quesnel of Kirkland, Washington; Ashley Catlin Morris of Byron; Sam Edge of Stewartville; Gracie Morris of Byron; and Autumn Morris of Kasson; great-granddaughter Sara Nelson; three brothers: Carrol (Ellen) Morris of Rochester; David (Barbara) Morris of Portland, Oregon; and Richard Morris of Kasson; two sisters: Barbara (Harry) Smith of Belvidere, Illinois and Sandra McDonald of Neillsville, Wisconsin; and many nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Garrol and Grace Morris and brothers Donald and James Morris.
Funeral services were held Nov. 13, 2015 at St. Frances de Sales Catholic Church with Rev. Thein Nguyen officiated. Interment was in the St. Francis de Sales Catholic Cemetery in Claremont. Memorials may be sent to the Rice Lake Church Restoration Group, St. Francis de Sales Cemetery or Dodge County Historical Society. All of these causes were dear to Dale’s heart.
Michaelson Funeral Homes, Inc. assisted the family with arrangements.