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Jack and Linda Morris in Anatarica

Jack Morris Memorial

Formal photo of Jack Morris

John (Jack) Stephen Morris |1948-2014

John (Jack) Stephen Morris, 66 years of age, of New Meadows, Idaho passed away on August 16, 2014 at his Circle C Ranch home. Jack passed of a massive heart attack doing one of the many things he loved to do, cutting firewood near his home. Heikkila Funeral Chapel in McCall, Idaho is handling the cremation of Jack.

Jack was born in Somerville, New Jersey on March 31, 1948. He graduated from Kenmore West High School in Tonawanda, NY in 1966 and continued on to receive his B.S. Industrial Engineering from the University of Rochester in 1970 where he was the quarterback of the University of Rochester Yellowjackets. He received his M.B.A. at the University of Rochester in 1971. Later he completed his Ph.D. in Operations Management from the University of Oklahoma in 1988.

Jack met his beloved wife of 41 years, Linda, while serving as a VISTA (Volunteer in Service to America) volunteer in 1971-73. At a time when many of Jack’s dear friends served and were lost in the Vietnam War, Jack had received a medical deferment due to his high blood pressure that eventually led to his untimely departure. Jack felt a deep obligation to also serve his country so he joined the VISTA volunteers and worked with the Oklahomans for Indian Opportunity (OIO). As a financial/venture capital analyst he helped set up many Indian-owned businesses throughout Oklahoma. Through his work with OIO, he met his wife, Linda. They were married on September 1, 1973 in Norman, Oklahoma and moved to Moscow, Idaho to take a position at the University of Idaho. Jack’s business background and work with native tribes led him to the University of Idaho where he worked as a business and economic development planner through the Center for Native American Development from 1974-1980. In this role, he did similar work as with OIO, but he was also able to teach and share his business skills working with the five tribes in Idaho. At this point he gained a true “love” for teaching students of all ages. When his good friend and mentor, Jack Ridley (who was CNAD Executive Director), passed away Jack Morris became Acting Director from 1979-80. Jack moved into a non-tenure track position as a finance instructor with the Department of Business in 1980. He later earned his Ph.D.-Operations Management and moved quickly through the ranks of professorship, earning many accolades and university awards for his outstanding teaching, leadership, research, and outreach services. Jack worked in various capacities at the University of Idaho spanning his 40 years of service. He retired in December 2011, after serving as the Dean of the College of Business and Economics from 2006-2011. Jack had many accomplishments in his role as Dean. He took the college through AACSB accreditation in 2009 and received national recognition for best practices in four areas of business education: Integrated Business Curriculum (undergraduate business program); Assurance of Learning, Experiential Learning Opportunities for Students; and Stakeholder Engagement. Jack had a true love for the University of Idaho and the many students he touched over the 40 years. Upon learning about Jack’s untimely departure, a former student sending his condolences commented “What a wonderful educator! The invaluable life lessons learned under his study have helped lead me through my career and eventual ownership in our family construction business of 50 employees. Of all the teachers and professors I encountered throughout my education, Jack Morris will always be my favorite.”

Post-retirement, Jack continued to serve on committees for the UI-McCall Field Campus and a UI entrepreneurship committee spearheading the Vandal Angel Fund development. More recently he agreed to serve as a member of the Board of Directors for the national Professional Golf Management Program, directed by the PGA.

Jack Morris raftingAfter retirement in 2011, Jack and Linda moved to New Meadows, Idaho on a 40-acre ranch situated below beautiful Pollock Mountain and part of the historic Idaho Circle C Ranches. Jack and Linda both loved the outdoors and completed many outdoor travel adventures in their 41 years together. Jack was a mountaineer, having climbed Mt. Rainer and Mt. Hood several times with friends. He also climbed Mt. Adams (in Washington) twice with Linda. Jack enjoyed hiking, fishing, chukar hunting, snow skiing, whitewater rafting, scuba diving, etc. He really loved the natural beauty of Idaho and especially enjoyed weekend chukar hunts with his very good friend and colleague, the late Randy Byers, who convinced him the best hunting dogs were Brittany Spaniels. Jack leaves behind his three faithful Brittany Spaniel companions, Sage (16 years), Chili (10 years) and Darby (2 years). Jack would hike daily through the Circle C Ranches meadow with his companions and Linda so it is fitting a memorial service be held in that location.

Jack is survived by his beloved wife, Linda, of New Meadows; his brother William (Bill) Morris and wife Barbara of Ft. Collins, Colorado; his sister, Nancy Morris of Boston, MA; Diane Hourihan and husband Jim of West Seneca, NY; five loving nieces and nephews on his family side, and 54 loving nieces and nephews on Linda’s family side. He was preceded in death by his parents, John Michael Morris and Celia Linski Morris of Tonawanda, New York.

A celebration of life memorial service will be held at the University of Idaho in Moscow, Idaho on Saturday, August 23 at 11 AM. The service will be held in the University of Idaho Auditorium. A reception will immediately follow in the courtyard at the College of Business & Economics adjacent to the Auditorium. A second memorial service will be held in New Meadows on Sunday, August 24 at 4 PM (MT) at 2992 Round Valley Road. The celebration of life will be held at the Circle C Ranches’ meadow overlooking Mt. Pollock where Jack walked daily. Circle C Ranches is located at Milepost 170 on U.S. 95. Turn onto Round Valley Road and follow the signs to the meadows site.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be given to the University of Idaho, College of Business and Economics for the CBE Jack Morris Executive Speaker Series or the CBE Jack Morris Student Scholarship Fund. Condolences and comments can be posted on Heikkila Funeral Chapel website