Margueritte Letitia Morris
A small block sign in her kitchen reads, “Love served here.” It was her favorite seasoning for every dish that she served along with the urging to “have a little more.” Her only enemy in life was quack grass, which she battled with a vengeance.
Margueritte, 89, passed away in Pocatello, Idaho, June 6, 2019, with her family around her.
She was too tough for Alzheimer’s disease and defeated its mission to obliterate her. She tenaciously retained her vocabulary, her deep examination of all facets of life, her ability to land a wry verbal zinger, her irrepressible will to remain at home, her affection for music and beautiful things, and her love of God.
When her family despaired, her pragmatism prevailed. “It’s just life,” she said.
She was born to Alberta E. and William M. Sikes on May 17, 1930 in American Falls, Idaho. Younger brother, William“Bill” H., followed in 1931. After her parents divorced, Fenton L. Nelson became loving stepfather to both.
A straight-A student, she was valedictorian and president of the American Falls High School Class of 1948. After graduation, she finished a year as a business major at Idaho State College.
On August 21, 1949, she married her high school sweetheart, Richard M. Morris, in the First United Methodist Church in American Falls.
She and Richard joined his family’s movie theater business, briefly operating the theater and sweet shop in Aberdeen. With Richard’s brother, Leon, and sister-in-law Mary Jean, they owned and operated the Sunset and Starlite Drive-In movie theaters in Pocatello and later built the city’s first multi-screen theater, the Starlite Cinemas in Chubbuck.
With her Uncle Owen Nelson, Richard and Margueritte also bought, renovated and reopened the indoor Idanha theater and the outdoor drive-in theater in Soda Springs.
They had three children, Pam, Rick and Karen. Margueritte enriched their lives with books, music, art and dance. She handed down the family tradition of subtly cheating at pinochle, unusual for a devoted Sunday school teacher.
She happily baked, steamed and sizzled delicious fare for her family, which reached well beyond those born to her. Her pantry was full of her canned garden vegetables, chokecherry and raspberry jams. The great loves of her life were her husband and home, her children, gardens and springer spaniels—not always in that order. She was a lifelong member of the Pocatello First Baptist Church and was a Past Worthy Matron of the Order of Eastern Star, Lakeview Chapter.
She learned to ski in her 40s in order to see her busy kids. She learned to golf and found that chatting and laughing on the course with Helen Lindley eclipsed her killer instinct.
She was preceded in death by her parents, stepfather and brother-in-law.
She is survived by her husband, Richard; children Pam Morris (Jerry Seiffert), Rick Morris (Karen Dale), Karen Wiggum (Dave); grandchildren Lauren and Kellen Wiggum (Sarah); great-grandchildren Jocelyn and Olivia Wiggum; brother, William H. “Bill” Sikes (Jill); sister-in-law Mary Jean Morris Grant (Boyd); nephews W. Lars Sikes (Colleen), Kip Sikes (Vickie) and Dru Morris; nieces Gwen Branvold (Bill), Elizabeth “Liz” Rush (Wayne), Jan Goodell (John), Valerie Delaney (John), and Patty Thompson (Dennis).
Margueritte will complete her circle with a funeral service scheduled Saturday, June 15, at the Methodist Church, 710 Fort Hall Ave., American Falls, with visitation at 1 p.m. and the service at 2 p.m. Interment at the Falls View Cemetery will be followed by a hosted reception at the Power County Senior Citizens Center, 180 Idaho St., American Falls.
Please honor her life by hugging a child, listening with love or contributing to the Valley Mission Food Pantry/First Baptist Church, 408 North Arthur, Pocatello, ID 83204.
Her family extends heartfelt gratitude to the medical staff at Portneuf Medical Center, Quinn Meadows, and Heritage Home Health and Hospice for their tender care. Many thanks to Dr. Blaine Olsen, Home Helpers (shout out to Lori Jo), Friends and Family, and dear neighbor and friend Brent Eskelson, for enabling Margueritte to live out her life where she wanted to be, in the home she created and loved. Condolences and memories may be shared at www.davisrosemortuary.com.