In Memory

Jerry Morris - Class Of 1961

{The message below was sent out by Jerry's wife Rika, and son Charlie on March 9, 2014.}


----- Original Message -----

Sent: Sunday, March 09, 2014 7:49 PM
Subject: The passing of Jerry Morris
Dear family and friends the world over,

It is with great sadness that we inform you of the passing of our beloved husband and father, Jeremy "Jerry" Morris, Sr. on March 6th.  He was four days past his 72nd birthday.  Jerry had been battling widespread cancer for the past 10 months, but was comfortable and peaceful at home amongst family and friends when he was cleared for his final takeoff.  Please join us to bid him a Navy farewell and to celebrate his very rewarding life -- with an abundance of food and cocktails provided, per his wishes.  No matter how big or small, every one of you made an impact on his life at one point another during his time with us -- and we would be absolutely honored if you could attend.

Details below:

Friday, March 21, 2014

11:00 -- Memorial Service at Marine Corps Air Station (MCAS) Miramar Chapel, San Diego, CA
12:30 -- Internment at Miramar National Cemetery
1:00 -- "Celebration of Life" happy hour party at MCAS Miramar Officer's Club

The nearest major airport is San Diego's International Airport (Lindbergh Field), a 20-minute drive away.  All three events are within a few minutes of each other.  The first and last event are located on a military installation, so for those without base access, please stand by for further details while the logistics are finalized.

We look forward to seeing you all there.


Rika/Charlie Morris
2081 Tiffany Drive
Oceanside, CA 92056

Cell phone: 1-808-772-0588 (Charlie)
Home phone: 1-760-231-9700

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03/09/14 12:20 PM #1    

Patrick Copps (1961)

I am deeply saddened by the loss of "Stork!" He was a truly unique person and a Brother to the end. I can recall quite easily many of our WMU adventures and the unbelievable episodes we experienced together.

He will be greatly missed by his wife and sons-but I'm sure will remain in their thoughts everyday.


Pat Copps

03/09/14 07:30 PM #2    

Daniel Kimmel (1961)

Jerry touched so many lives and he stayed in touch with SAE brothers for over 50 years.  He was my

college roomie and brother, the guy I traveled with cross-country, the best man at my wedding.  And over

the years we would get a phone call out of the blue, from wherever he was at the time.  We are so glad to

have the memory of his and Rika's visit 2 years ago.  There was no one like Jerry and I will miss him always.

Carol and I hope that Rika, Jerry Jr. and Charlie will be comforted by each other and their own fine memories

of Jerry.              Dan Kimmel


03/10/14 11:00 AM #3    

William Hutmacher (1961)

So sorry. The Stork was an original and I enjoyed keeping in touch with him over the years. God Bless

03/10/14 02:08 PM #4    

Gerry Kretschmar (1961)

In heart felt memory of our SAE Brother and co-Navy patriot, I offer the Navy Hymn in Jerry's memory"


"Eternal Father, strong to save, whose arm hath bound the restless wave, Who bidd'st the mighty ocean deep its own appointed limits keep; Oh, hear us when we cry to Thee, for those in Peril on the sea!

O Christ!  Whose voice the waters heard and hushed their raging at Thy word, Who walked'st on the foaming deep, and calm amidst its rage didst sleep; Oh, hear us when we cry to Thee, for those in peril on the sea!

Most Holy spirit!  Who didst brood upon the chaos dark and rude, and bid its angry tumult cease, and give, for wild confusion, peace; Oh hear us when we cry to Thee, for those in peril on the sea!

O Trinity of love and power!  Our brethren shield in danger's hour; from rock and tempest, fire and foe, protect them wheresoe'er they go; thus evermore shall rise to Thee glad hymns of praise from land to sea."


I can't imagine anyone man who knew Jerry who couldn't proclaim love of the man he was and will remain in our memory.   May Rika, Jeremy and Charlie be consoled by the beautiful memories Jerry created for all of us that knew him, Phi Alpha Jerry, you have made Chapter Eternal a better place for all of us to reach, God Bless, "Kretsch"  





03/11/14 11:04 AM #5    

George Siggins (1961)

Since I left Western before Jerry was there I didn't get a chance to get to share in any of his life but after talking to him at the reunion and reading his bio I could see that I was sharing in it vicariously for my whole life.  It is obvious he lived large and included his whole family in that.  Your loss will remain a part of me.  

Phi Alpha

George Siggins

03/12/14 12:19 PM #6    

Richard Katula (1961)

My deepest sympathies to the family.  Jerry was such a wonderful guy.  He wasn't my big brother, but he acted like one during my pledge semester.  He was always cordial and he always had time for a younger brother. May your happy memories of Stork comfort you as you grieve his death.  Phi Alpha. 

Richard Katula

04/15/14 12:01 PM #7    

Jim Whitledge (1961)

* This comment is being posted in Brother Jerry Morris' In Memory section, as it provides a representative description of the Celebration of Jerry's life at his service in California following his death. 

The description/commentary below was a forwarded email message sent to George Martin.  Since the posting  includes a some Navy jargon that may be confusing to some of us, George has provided a glossary of three of the terms that will be helpful  to us in understanding that jargon:

1.  Dogs: Past members of Fighter Squadron 143 (VF-143 Pukin Dogs) The initial fleet squadron that Jerry was assigned to                                                                                    

2. FOGS: Friends Of Dogs 

3. Hic: Short for Rear Admiral (Retired) Bob Hickey. Jerry's pilot in his VF-143 days


On Sunday, March 23, 2014 2:38 PM, Dick Plues <> wrote:

On Sunday, March 23, 2014 11:13 AM, James Souder <> wrote:

Dogs and FODs...


Jerry would be proud, and you would be proud...the send-off Friday was a fitting tribute to Jerry, his wife, and his sons.  


Several of us—-Dogs and others—-arrived well before the scheduled 1100 time for the service and gathered outside to greet and reunite with many long-time navy friends and others.  Eventually we went inside and found Rika and the family sitting in the left front row.  Charlie looked very smart in his USAF dress blue uniform and new silver wings.  Hic was still tending to duties, moving around the room.  By the designated start time the chapel was filled, and many of the people came up to the front and hugged Rika before being seated.  Looking around it looked like a assemblage of naval aviation legends from our era.  Among those I saw were T.R. Schwartz, Jim Laing, Marc Ostertag, John Doyle (Mike's brother), Rick Ludwig, Ben Guthrie, Mike Edwards, Scotty Bates, Rabbit Campbell and many others. Dogs and FODS in attendance were Chapman, Grosshuesch, Hic, Holmes, Hires, Davis, Freebs, Plues, Montfort, Norem, Pedersen, Johnson, Thompson, Wilson and SecDog.


The chaplain opened the service and emphasized Jerry’s thirty-plus years of devotion the the nation through the navy, the naval reserves, and his role as a civilian employee of the navy and United States.  After those brief remarks we all stood and sang Amazing Grace.  I was impressed that Jerry had requested that song, and I thought of how many of our naval aviation brethren have requested that song at his final service. 


Rip delivered the eulogy, and he recalled his long friendship with Jerry, starting at OCS up at Newport, through initial training at NAS Pensacola and Pre-Flight School, into the Dogs, the times in Hong Kong, Olongapo and Japan, at TailHook, and throughout all their lives; they were best of friends. It included several light comments and laughter, as well as the deeply serious ones, all delivered with dignity and grace; Rip did a fine job and made us all grateful to him and Jerry, as well as proud of them.  


Following the eulogy the chaplain delivered a brief sermon then we stood and sang the Navy Hymn.  Then came the closing prayer.  After the service concluded we formed up a motorcade of about fifty cars behind a black mini-bus transporting the family. Don and Pat rode with me to the cemetery.


The Marines paid fitting honor to Jerry and the family by escorting the motorcade to the west gate, stopping traffic at all the intersections to give us priority.  We drove the four miles to the Miramar National Cemetery and paused about 10 minutes by the HQ building while the final administrative details were handled, then we drove to the little amphitheater for the final ceremony with military honors.  I estimated about 200 people were there.  The family was seated and the remainder of us gathered around them.  The honor guard of three navy riflemen fired a 9-gun volley, two sailors unfolded and refolded the flag and presented it to Rika, the bugler played TAPS and several of us saluted, and the service was concluded.  We drove back to Miramar individually 


Of course, the reception and celebration of Jerry’s life was lively.  There was a nice buffet and an open bar.  There were no speeches, but a continuous loop of slides projected on a large screen portrayed Jerry’s life with his family and friends.  Judging from the photographs, the navy was an enormous part of Jerry’s life, and I got the impression that his time with the Dogs was the best. The reception was not a “typical Dogs party”, but it was a very sedate facsimile, in view of the occasion.  When it was time for the bar to close, about fifty of us went out onto the front lawn and sang “Throw a Nickel on the Grass”, complete with copies of the song, and nickels… Hic then announced that there had been a cancellation of a planned event in the dining room, so the bar was once again open.  Many of us went back inside, then filtered out to the patio. Charlie broke out several packs of cigars and several of us joined him in a “smoking tribute” to his dad. Two of Charlie’s USAF pilot-training buddies were there and we took the opportunity to educate them on 300 foot run-outs vs 12,000 footers. The Marines started drifting in for Happy Hour, and several of us began realizing that we were no longer in our 20s, 30s, or 40s…so around 1800-1830 we finished our drinks and eased our ways home.


It was the worst of times, it was the best of times.  I sincerely believe Jerry would have been pleased and proud. Hic did a fine job of planning the whole evolution and the Dogs all behaved uncharacteristically, but appropriately, dignified.  I wish more of you could have been there, but we all realize the reality of us living all over the United States.  Until the next time….






04/16/14 12:19 PM #8    

Jim Smith (1961)

Stork was a great guy and we will all miss him. I hope the family is comforted by all the thimgs he diid in his  life and that he lived it well. My best wishes to all.

Jim Smith

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