HOWARD MORRIS (1936-2017)
Howard Morris, of Klamath Falls, OR, passed away peacefully at the age of 81 on Monday, July 17, 2017, surrounded by his loving wife and children. He was a humble, honest man with deep integrity in his work and a father figure to those he coached and mentored.
Howard was born March 24, 1936 to Lloyd & Dorothy (Baughman) Morris in Medford, OR. He attended Crater High School, where he met Ginger, the love of his life, best friend, and future wife of 60 years. During his time at Crater, Howard was student body president, lettered in three sports, and was chosen to play in the 1954 Oregon State AAA Shrine football game. He was later inducted into the Crater High School Sports Hall of Fame.
Morris attended Linfield College in McMinnville, OR where he excelled at football and baseball. Howard earned football 1st Team All-American honors, was a 3 time most inspirational player recipient, and finalist in the 1958 Oregon State Athlete of the Year Hayward Banquet of Champions. Howard was also a member of the 1956 Linfield Wildcat football team that began “the Streak”, which currently stands at 60 consecutive winning football seasons. Linfield later honored Morris by retiring his football jersey #43 and enshrining him into the Linfield College Hall of Fame. Up until his death, Howard was a season ticket holder and contributing member of the Linfield “Top Cat” club.
The transition from athlete to coach began at Tigard High School where Howard became the head football and wrestling coach.
In 1962 Morris moved his family to Klamath Falls where he accepted wrestling and football coaching positions at the Oregon Tech old campus, located up on Old Fort Road. This began a 30 year, deeply satisfying career with OIT “Hustlin’ Owls” athletics. He was instrumental in building the athletic program at the new OIT campus. Through the years at OIT, Howard coached football, wrestling, and baseball and taught Health and Physical Education. He and Ginger regularly welcomed athletes into their home, many times for extended stays and Ginger always had a hot meal ready for hungry players. In 1974 Howard became the Athletic Director, a position he held for 18 years before retiring in 1992. Howard received many prestigious honors, including NAIA District 2 Wrestling Coach of the Year (1969-70), Baseball Coach of the Year (1980-1982), and NAIA District Administrator of the Year (1989). He was inducted into the NAIA District 2 Coaches Hall of Fame and National Wrestling Hall of Fame.
After retirement, Howard became the NAIA Cascade Collegiate Conference Commissioner (1994-2003) and was inducted into the NAIA National Hall of Fame.
Howard believed strongly in community service. He was on the YMCA Board of Directors, President of the Kiwanis Club, Commissioner of the Klamath Wrestling Officials Association, a founding owner of the Klamath Gems baseball team, member of the First United Methodist Church, and volunteered countless hours towards youth sports.
Away from sports, Howard was deeply committed to family, friends and fishing. Howard and Ginger loved to take their 5th wheeler to Arizona, visiting friends and relatives along the way and cheering for the San Francisco Giants in Scottsdale. They also very much looked forward to annual January trips to Hawaii where they were treated like royalty by their extended Hawaiian families. Howard’s favorite place to relax was at Fish Lake in Southern Oregon. His Father Lloyd owned the resort in the 1950s. Howard and Lloyd built several of the lakeside cabins and made improvements that are still in use today. Howard and Ginger hosted annual “fish camp” family reunions for more than 25 years and also welcomed friends and relatives to stop by for a visit and go fishing. Many of the fondest Morris family memories with Howard were during these summers at the lake.
Howard was a devoted family man and took great pride in each of his 5 children, 10 grand-children, and 5 great grand-children.
Howard is preceded in death by his father and mother, and brother Bob Boyd. He is survived by his loving and devoted wife and “buddy” Ginger, their children Carol and Harry Mauch, Larry and Laura Morris, Mike and Erin Morris, Mindi and Phil Waggoner, Dan and Kristi Morris, grandchildren Jeff Mauch (Booie), Trevor Mauch (Carly), Kyle Mauch, Tim Morris, Colin Morris, Paige Morris, Jacob Waggoner, Emily Waggoner, Haley Morris, and Sophia Morris. Great-grandchildren, Mya Mauch, Koy Mauch, McKinley Mauch, Colton Mauch and Sidney Mauch, along with his many beloved nieces and nephews.
In lieu of flowers, Howard requested donations to the Howard and Ginger Morris Scholarship Fund at Oregon Institute of Technology.
When times are tough, as Howie often said, “keep your dobber up”.
A memorial service will be held at 2:00 pm on Saturday, August 5 at the OIT College Union Building 2nd floor in Klamath Falls, OR.
WE'D LOVE TO HEAR YOUR HOWARD STORIES
The Morris Family would like to invite you to share your most memorable Howard stories with the family.
*Or Donate Directly by Phone at: 541-851-5064
LEARN MORE ABOUT HOWARD MORRIS
- Local Sports Icon (7/20/17)
- Linfield College Hall of Fame
- Crater High School Hall of Fame
- Oregon Tech Memories
- Linfield College Memorial
- National Wrestling Hall of Fame - Oregon
- NAIA Hall of Fame - Search: Morris, Howard
- KTVL Channel 10 Remembering Howard Morris
HOWARD & GINGER, THE LOVE OF HIS LIFE
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