Wilbur Leroy Morrison, Jr.
August 23, 1926 – June 23, 2018
My father, Wilbur Leroy Morrison Jr. passed away Saturday June 23rd, exactly 2 months before his 92nd birthday. He died of complications associated with old age, at home, the way he wanted it. He was laid to rest in his Navy uniform, with his favorite down vest, a savored pipe, and WWII cap.
My father was born in Silverton, OR but has been a Boise resident since he was 6 months old. He grew up in the North End, on N 9th St. He attended all the local area schools including Longfellow Elementary and worked several jobs in the area as a teenager. My Dad’s proudest memories were of serving in the U. S. Navy during World War II. He dropped out of his senior year at Boise High School to enlist and serve his country. (He did receive his diploma, of which he was also very proud.) He was a torpedoman on the USS Blackhawk and served in the Asian Pacific Theater.
After the war and marriage to my mother, Ruth Jansen, they lived in California for about 40 years. My Dad became a typewriter mechanic, a lost vocation now. During his working years he was fondly known as “Morry” to his many friends and co-workers. He was an active man who enjoyed fishing, hunting and golf. He belonged to a muzzle loading group and enjoyed many exciting outings with the guys. He was a Master Mason, and was raised in Leland Stanford Lodge #784 in 1958, now Chico Leland Stanford Lodge #111 in Chico, CA. In Santa Rosa, CA he was Associate Bethel Guardian of Jobs Daughters, Bethel #300. He is also a past president of the Downtown Santa Rosa Lions Club.
After his retirement and my mother’s passing in 1991 my father returned to his beloved Boise. Soon after his return, and a chance encounter with his high school sweetheart, Betty Long, my father and Betty married. He has loved and cherished Betty for over 25 years. Upon his return to Boise, he affiliated with Masonic Lodge #1 of Boise. He also became a member of El Korah Shrine and the Players Unit of El Korah Shrine. My dad also enjoyed the fellowship and activities of the Gold Rush Shrine Club of the El Korah Temple in Idaho City.
He is survived by his wife Betty and many of her kin including her daughter Arletta DeLevee of New Orleans, brother and sister in-law Gary and Laura Long, sister-in law Carolyn Crooks and niece Tana Hartman and husband Steve, all of Boise. He is also survived by niece Sunny Smallwood of Montana and nephew Kelly Smallwood and his family in Utah. There are nieces and nephews by marriage, too numerous to list. Other family members who love and fondly remember my father include me, his only child, Lynne Gnecco and my life partner Loren Moser, of Boise, niece Susan Forkush of Santa Barbara, CA and grandson Ryan Gnecco, wife Liz and 4 great grandchildren of Oceanside, CA.
A Masonic ceremony with Veterans honors, and celebration of a life well lived, will be held sometime soon. Notification of this will be by invitation. May my father rest in peace.