Virgil V. Morris, 90

Virgil Victor Morris. age 90, of Cokato, died Monday, Feb. 3, 2014, at the Cokato Manor.

He was born June 12, 1923, in Minneapolis, to Victor and Lillian (Anderson) Morris. The family moved to Cokato, where they had originated, in 1925, to take up farming.

Virgil attended the Watson School, a one-room country school, and Cokato High School, from which he graduated in 1940.

The Morrises were members of Evangelical Lutheran Church of Cokato, which their ancestors had attended since 1869. when they arrived in the Cokato area. Virgil was a dedicated church member; for one seven-year stretch, he had perfect Sunday school attendance, even though the family lived several miles out in the country.

After high school, Virgil worked for one year as a bank cashier in Prinsburg, and then farmed and worked for Northland Canning in Cokato until 1945, when he joined American Can Company.

He was subsequently drafted into the army and served at Ft Lewis in Tacoma, WA.

Virgil married Alta Mae Ring of Cokato May 9, 1946, and the two lived together at first in Washington.

Upon his discharge in 1947, Virgil returned to American Can, moving to company headquarters in Waukegan, IL. The Morrises were members of Trinity Lutheran Church in Waukegan throughout their residence in Illinois.

The Morris’ first daughter, Phyllis, was born in 1950; and their second daughter, Joann, was born in 1954. Tragically, Joann died of meningitis in 1959.

Virgil was transferred to an upper Midwest territory by American Can in 1968, to service the company’s largest customer, Hormel. The family moved to Austin, with membership in Our Saviors Lutheran Church.

Virgil retired in 1981, after 36 years of service to American Can, and fulfilled his dream by moving to Cokato, his family’s native home. The Morrises rejoined Evangelical Lutheran Church of Cokato at that time.

They joined Good Shepherd Free Lutheran Church in Cokato, in 2010.

Virgil was very active in retirement in Cokato. He volunteered for Wright County Human Services by driving clients to clinics and hospitals, most often in Minneapolis. His driving service lasted for 27 years, ending when he was 87 years old.

He served on the board of the Cokato Historical Museum for 11 years, and assisted Swanson-Peterson Funeral Home for 18 years. He was also active in service to Evangelical Lutheran Church.

Virgil’s main hobby was woodworking and notably, he made five grandfather clocks and other fine furniture. He also traveled widely, including Sweden (the Morris family ancestral home), Norway, Denmark, England, China, Kenya, and the Holy Land.

In addition to his daughter, Joann, Virgil was preceded in death by his parents, Victor and Lillian Morris.

He is survived by his wife, Alta Mae; his daughter, Phyllis (Teryl) Frey, of Atlanta, GA; one grandson, Benjamin Frey; and his sister, Dorothy Koester of St. Louis Park.

Funeral services took place Saturday, Feb. 8 at 2 p.m. at Good Shepherd Free Lutheran Church in Cokato, with interment at Evangelical Lutheran Cemetery in Cokato.

Visitation was Friday, Feb. 7 from 4 to 8 p.m. at the Swanson-Peterson Funeral Home of Cokato, with a prayer service at 7 p.m.; and continued Saturday one hour prior to services at the church.

Arrangements were by the Swanson-Peterson Funeral Home and Cremation Service, Cokato and Howard Lake.

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