08/08/1941 - 08/24/2013
Michael Bernard Morris of La Quinta, CA and Chisholm, MN made a peaceful transition from his desert home on August 24th, following a long battle with a rare form of cancer originating in the appendix. The last months of his life were greatly enhanced by the exceptional care he received from North Star Hospice in Hibbing, MN and VNA California Hospice, Palm Desert. During his final moments he was surrounded by family, dear friends and spiritual mentors who had gathered spontaneously to say good-by.
Michael was born on August 8th, 1941, to Nell (Angeline Theresa Walkowiak) and Joseph Richard Morris in St. Joseph, MO. He joined the Navy at seventeen, serving primarily as an aircraft carrier electronics technician. Two tours of duty in the Mediterranean sparked an enduring love of travel, highlighted by trips to Russia in 1992 and Japan in 2001. In recent years, he challenged himself to enjoy as many of Americaʼs National Parks as possible and looked forward to re-visiting Rome.
A lifelong scholar, Michael had a passion for world history, economics, philosophy,spiritual practices, and the arts. Following his graduation with honors from the University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, he was awarded a fellowship to pursue African studies at the Madison campus.
For most of the next 50 years Michael brought his wide-ranging experiences and intellectual interests to his career as a stockbroker in Milwaukee and Chicago, retiring from Wachovia (now Wells Fargo) in 2003.
Michael will be remembered most for his generosity in sharing his diverse passions with others. The cabin at Dewey Lake and winter home in La Quinta were always “open house” for friends and family. Special shows at Chicagoʼs Art Institute, blues and jazz venues or the Chicago Symphony - where he served on the Board of Governors - were opportunities always enhanced when enjoyed with friends and clients. Upon learning that a young relative with a severe disability was a huge Michael Jordan fan, Michael arranged a trip to Chicago and a Bulls game for the family.
Michael is survived by his loving son, Aaron and beloved Bobbie, whom he married in 2000. Numerous nieces and nephews in Minnesota and Wisconsin, along with cousins in Missouri mourn his loss.
Due to the rare nature of his cancer, Michael was determined that others might benefit from his final struggle, donating his body for research purposes through ScienceCare. This process has now been completed, with a celebration of his life scheduled for Friday, November 1, 2013 at the Center for Spiritual Living in Palm Springs, CA. In lieu of flowers, donations may be sent to North Star Hospice, Hibbing, MN or VNA Hospice California in Palm Desert, CA.