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Howard Ellsworth Morris

Howard Ellsworth Morris, age 82 of Cokato, died Sunday, March 12, 2006 at the Cokato Manor.

He was born July 29, 1923 to Elmer and Ida (Peterson) Morris in Cokato. Howard grew up in the Knapp area, and then moved with his parents to a farm in Stockholm Township.

Howard was confirmed at Stockholm Lutheran Church by Pastor Jostfred Carlson. He attended Stockholm grade school and graduated from Cokato High School in 1940.

Howard worked on the farm with his father, driving truck, hauling corn and pea silage, and other things for neighbors. When his father retired from trucking, Howard took over, hauling livestock to South St. Paul and bringing back freight. He also hauled grain to South Dakota.

Howard was united in marriage to Dorothy Grosskreutz Nov. 10, 1945 at Salem Lutheran Church in Woodbury. They had two children, Ernest and Hilaire.

Howard was the secretary and manager of the Cokato Farmers Co-op Shipping Association, owning the trucks. After selling the trucking business, he started farming, milking cows and feeding pigs and steers. He also did custom field work for the neighbors.

Howard planted test plots for the University of Minnesota. He was a 4-H leader for years, receiving many awards. He also participated in league bowling and sponsored a team, which won numerous trophies.

With Lyle Bishmann, Howard helped invent the weight machine to get tractor pulling started in Minnesota. He was also secretary-treasurer of the Minnesota Tractor Pulling Association.

Howard sold insurance for Farm Bureau, American Family, and Hassen Mutual.

He was involved with many organizations including serving on the Stockholm Lutheran Church board, and as clerk of Stockholm Township, and as a past president of the Cokato Corn Carnival committee. He was a deputy registrar for the State of Minnesota, secretary-treasurer of the Wright County Fair Board for 32 years, served on the board of directors of the Minnesota State Fair for 14 years, and was president of the Minnesota State Fair Board for two years.

Howard and Dorothy attended all 97 county fairs in the state of Minnesota.

Howard is survived by his wife, Dorothy, of Cokato; son Ernest (Marge) Morris of Morristown; daughter Hilaire (Michael) Diers of Howard Lake; four grandchildren, Debra McDonald of Wykoff, Jeff Morris of Morristown, Christine (Dean) Cunningham of North Branch, and Garner (Tara) Diers of Winsted; six great-grandchildren, Zachary Morris and Tucker Sha, Kelly and Jade Cunningham, and Zachary and Trevor Diers; a sister, Gloria Morris Grothe of St. Paul; and many relatives and friends.

Funeral services were Wednesday, March 15 at 1 p.m. at Stockholm Lutheran Church in Stockholm Township, with the Rev. Charles Anderson officiating. Music was provided by Grant Judd, Gloria Morris Grothe, and Christine Cunningham.

Arrangements were by the Swanson-Peterson Funeral Home, Cokato.

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