Dale was born in Nyssa, Oregon on October 2, 1941, to Leon and Helen (Miller) Morgan. He grew up in the Apple Valley area of Parma and joined the U.S. Army after high school. He first served in Korea and then in Florida during the Cuban Missile Crisis. As Dale told it, “Jack called me up and said, ‘Dale, would you go down to Florida and take care of this problem I’m having with the Cubans’ and I said, sure Jack, I’ll take care of that for you.”
After the military Dale met Linda Allen in Jerome and returned with her to Apple Valley after their marriage. They remained married for 39 years until Linda’s death in 2004.
Dale worked as a field man with Dessert Seed Company in Nyssa for fifteen years while also farming on his 40-acre property. He expanded his acreage over the years and eventually left Dessert Seed to farm full time. Farming was a fitting profession for Dale, who was most content in the outdoors. Dale was proud to be a farmer, and frequently commented about how much he missed farming after he retired.
Dale enjoyed hunting and fishing and particularly enjoyed taking his jet boat on the Snake River. He had many pets throughout his life and occasionally reminisced on his childhood pets Spot (dog), Red (horse), and the infamously cantankerous Jasbo (mule). He maintained his ability to form close bonds with animals throughout his life. He was the only known human to ever be able to approach, pet, or ride his loyal horse, Cocoa. Of all his pets, he was closest to Bubba, a labrador retriever who died a few years after Linda. Dale requested that Bubba’s ashes be buried with him.
Dale had a lifelong love of cars, beginning with the T-Bird he had as a teenager. He was a natural mechanic and used those skills as an automotive mechanic in the US Army and later repairing farm equipment. Weeks before his death he still enjoyed tinkering with the lawn equipment in his shop.
Dale endured many losses during his life, beginning with the death of his father before Dale’s first birthday. Dale knew the world could be a rough place and developed a rough exterior in response. But those who were privileged enough to know Dale saw the man who spent a week decorating the house for his grandson’s Christmas visit, or who told the stray kitten to go away each day as he set out milk and cat food. Although he tried to hide it, we knew the heart beneath the gruff exterior.
Dale is survived by a son and daughter; Rodney (Selena), and Jill (Glenn Brown); four grandsons; Tyler Morgan, Travers Morgan, Bryson Morgan, and Neil Morgan Brown; and three siblings; Jim Wilson (Diana), Marilu Lovan (Stann), and Don Wilson (Leslie). He was preceded in death by his parents Leon Morgan and Helen Miller Morgan Wilson, his wife Linda Morgan, his brother and stepbrother Gary Morgan and Duane Wilson, and stepsister Donna (Wilson) Gibbons.
Funeral services will be held 1:00 p.m., Wednesday, March 22, 2023 at C.V. Peckham Community Center, adjacent to Dakan Funeral Chapel.
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