Died July 3, 2014
CHEYENNE – Funeral Services for John Newton Morris, 82, widely known citizen of Cheyenne, will be held at St. Mary’s Cathedral on Friday, July 11, 2014, at 2 p.m.
Visitation will be held on Thursday, July 10, 2014, from noon to 5 p.m. at the Schrader Funeral Home, 2222 Russell Ave., with a Vigil for the Deceased to follow Thursday at 7 p.m. at the Lakeview Chapel at Schrader Funeral Home. He died on Thursday, July 3, 2014, after a valiant battle with lymphoma.
John Morris was born in Giles County, Tenn., son of Turner and Elizabeth Morris of Campbellsville, Tenn. John attended the University of Tennessee his freshman year and he, along with five other Tennessee football players, followed Bowden Wyatt to the University of Wyoming the following year.
He was a member of the championship Gator Bowl team in 1951. He graduated from the University of Wyoming with a degree in agriculture business and veterinarian science. It was at the university where he met Norma Jean Bell of Cheyenne, who became his wife of 60 years.
John was commissioned through the University of Wyoming ROTC in 1954 as a second lieutenant. He was then stationed at Fort Benning, Ga., where he completed the basic infantry officer course. He was an infantry platoon leader at Fort Leonardwood, Mo., specializing in hand-to-hand combat.
John dedicated his life not only to his family, but also to his community, church and his state. His commitment to the preservation of land and water is indicative by the boards he served on: the Environmental Quality Council, Citizens Water Advisory Council and Land Quality Advisory Board.
He was a member of the prestigious Military Advisory Council at Warren Air Force Base and the Wyoming Bancorporation. As a member of Kiwanis, he received the George F. Hixon fellow award. He was chairman of the Laramie County Fair Board, member of the HEELS and Cowboy Joe Club.
John and Norma generously opened their home and extended the use of their beautiful ranch, hosting the Governor’s Western Art Show picnic for decades, St. Mary’s Parish mass and picnic and the announcements of two former Wyoming governors’ campaigns.
John and his wife Norma were both inductees into the Cheyenne Frontier Days Hall of Fame. After serving on the racing committee, he became the night show arena director, a position he held for 30 years. He was an advocate for humane treatment of animals and the safety of cowboys. John provided calves for the roping and Mexican steers for dogging events.
In the mid ‘60s, John and his family started the cattle drive to Cheyenne Frontier Days Park, a tradition that continues today. His commitment to Cheyenne Frontier Days for over 60 years has greatly contributed to the success of the show.
His wife, Norma Bell Morris, and grandson, Thomas Joseph Habbe, preceded him in death.
He is survived by his three daughters, Betsy Morris Graham of Cheyenne and San Francisco, Calif., Karen and Curt Gowdy Jr. of New Canaan, Conn., and Marcy and Tom Habbe of Rapid City, S.D.; his 12 grandchildren; and two great grandchildren.
Condolences may be offered to the family online by going to www.schradercares.com.
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