Terry Patrick Morris, 60, of Osakis, died September 13, 2009, at Douglas County Hospital after nearly a two-year battle with cancer.
He was born Dec. 27, 1948, in Tacoma, WA, to Vern and Corriane (Betty Kallstrom) Morris. He lived his early years in Tacoma, WA, before moving back to Osakis when he was young. He would live in the home of his grandparents, Bill and Ellen Jung, for most of the remainder of his life. He graduated from Osakis HS in 1967 where he was an athletic star. He was the starting point guard on one of the very best basketball teams in OHS history. Terry was also one of the top football players to ever play for OHS. He also starred in Track, Tennis and Baseball. His leadership and courage during those years became a foundation for his future success as a mentor to young students and athletes. In 1967, he attended Yakima Valley junior college in Tacoma, WA, where he played on the football team.
Terry enlisted in the US Army in December of 1967 and was deployed to Viet Nam in December 14th, of 1968. Immediately, he was made a platoon leader in the First Cavalry, First Team. Terry was known to carry up to 200 pounds, including 17 canteens for his platoon, during combat duty. Terry was wounded three times in battle and earned three Purple Hearts and two Oak Leaf clusters. He was critically wounded on July 18th, 1969 after being shot while in a helicopter returning to the field. After being wounded, Terry was immediately flown to a military hospital in Japan and then flown to Madigan Army Hospital in Tacoma. He would spend five months there in intensive care. He then was transferred to the VA hospital in Beacon Hill, WA, in December of 1969. On several occasions during this period, he nearly died. It was here that he learned to fight through whatever adversity he would face. He battled health problems the remainder of his life as a result of enduring over 60 major surgeries. He was discharged in February of 1971 with a rank of Specialist, 4th class. When he got out, he bought a new car and drove back to Osakis with his aunt and cousin.
Upon returning to Osakis, he enrolled at Alex Tech where he got a degree in Accounting. He then attended St. Cloud State University and obtained a BS degree in Special Education - Learning Disabilities in 1977. Terry was employed as a Learning Disabilities teacher in the Glenwood Public School from 1978 to 1997. During those years, he taught Special Education and coached numerous junior high football and basketball teams. He mentored hundreds of young men and women and guided them into bettering themselves, as well as to advance their athletic abilities. Many of these individuals cite Terry's influence on them today as pivotal to their adult success. Terry also hosted a popular basketball camp in Osakis for 15 years.
On June 13, 1987, he was married to Barb Marthaler at St. Alexius Catholic Church in West Union, MN. They were blessed with a son, Travis Jeffrey on April 10, 1991.
Since retiring from teaching, Terry has enjoyed time with his friends and family most of all. He liked watching sport events on TV and attending them in person. He golfed, fished and played cards with his buddies throughout his life. For the past eight years, he has co-managed the gaming aspect of the Osakis VFW where he is a member, former commander and a comrade-brother to many. Despite the many hardships of war that Terry experienced, he remained as patriotic a citizen and defender of the flag as you could find.
Terry is a memorable man for many reasons. He was an athletic hero, he was a war hero and he was a hero for youngsters as a teacher and coach. He was persistent, honest and detailed. Foremost, Terry was an excellent father to his son, Travis.
He is survived by his son, Travis; Barb (Marthaler) Morris; sister, Mary Kay (Sura) Houck, Minneapolis, MN; aunt, Bev Tullis, Tacoma, WA; uncle, Robert (Gert) Kallstrom, Mounds View, MN; as well as several cousins, nieces and nephews who loved him. In addition, Terry has many close friends that he was personally indebted to. He will be missed greatly.
Terry was preceded in death by his parents, Betty Sura, Vern Morris, grandparents, Claus Victor Kallstrom, Bill and Ellen Joanna (Dahlberg) Jung, and Jack and Gladys (Hendrickson) Morris.
Funeral services were held on Wednesday, September 16 at 11 am at the Immaculate Conception Catholic Church in Osakis with Fr. David Petron and Fr. Dick McGuire concelebrating. Reader was Pat Walsh and soloist was Tara Reichmann. Giftbearers were by his godchildren, Molly Baltins, Sherry Culbranson, Jenny Carnahan, Michael Waldvogel and Matt Walsh. Interment was at the Calvary Cemetery in Osakis with full military honors provided by the Osakis VFW Honor Guard, Post 7902 and the MN Patriot Guard. Honorary pearers were the members of the Osakis VFW, Bruce Thorfinnson, Gunnar Fosker, Pat Walsh, Jerome Winter, Ray Lang, Darrel Hoosline, Art Forte, Jim Anderson, Dave Tullis, Sue Pease, Barb DeWars, Sharon Tonn, Kathy LaFrenz, Joan Olson, Leo & Sue Stoetzel, Jerry Kral, Chub and Jan Hensley.
Active bearers were Tom Pease, Dave Maus, Don Tonn, Barney LaFrenz, Curt Vangstad, Jerry Olson, John Holsten and Randy Walsh.
Memorial preferred to the family.
Arrangements were handled by the Roy-Hetland Funeral Home in Osakis, MN.