Lois Marilyn Morgan (née Halverson) passed away the evening of Thursday, June 15, 2017. She was born December 28, 1928, in Decorah, IA, daughter of Grant Melvin Halverson and Helen Bernice Neumedahl Halverson. She wed James Joseph Morgan in 1947, and they had one daughter, Jody Ann. They lived in Woodbine IA, Naperville, IL, Crystal Lake, IL, and finally Liberty, MO. She is survived by her two grandchildren, Morgan Thomas Leahy and Sarah Leahy Brosk; great grandson, Chase William Brosk; son-in-law, Thomas Joseph Leahy; and brother, Robert Halverson. Her husband Jim Morgan, daughter Jody Leahy and brother Wesley Halverson preceded her in death.
Lois often told stories of growing up in Iowa and crossing the bridge from Clinton into Illinois on her walks to work. She attracted much attention for her beauty, sometimes even being mistaken for an actress when visiting relatives for the summer in Los Angeles. Thanks to a connected aunt, she was even invited to sit in Humphrey Bogart's dressing room, as he got ready for a scene. However, she never let beauty alone define her.
Ahead of her time for ladies of that era, she had been studying for a nursing degree at the University of Iowa when she was introduced to Jim, a young pilot instructor, who would become the love of her life. They met on a double date; Jim was set up with someone else, but immediately "switched dates", choosing Lois instead. There was an immediate connection and the courtship was only a matter of months. Soon she was the only coed at the University being picked up by her suitor in a biplane, the engine loudly announcing his arrival. Even before the theatrics, she was popular and well liked, having been elected a sort of homecoming queen for her dormitory.
Partly thanks to Jim, she had a truly remarkable life…like being the sidekick in an Indiana Jones movie. Jim's huge presence, personality, and airline pilot career trappings might have felt a bit overshadowing for someone else; he was a renaissance man who learned to do everything. But she balanced him and they were great partners. They were each other's best friend, as she recounted when Jim passed away. If it weren't for whom she was, she wouldn't have engaged in the many possibilities life offered her.
Lois took it upon herself to learn to care for and ride horses, to fly airplanes, to fire a rifle, and to have enormous love for her many dogs and cats over the years. As her late daughter Jody once observed, animals just seemed to seek her out, knowing it was a safe place. Timmy the gray cat appeared in her garage one day, and Lois became his guardian, as she did for many other cats and dogs. She had such a great fondness for them, especially the many German short-haired pointer hunting dogs that made her and Jim so proud.
Lois was feisty and strong-willed, and she celebrated her Norwegian ancestry by declaring "Uff da!" as her daughter Jody often recounted. She even drove a maroon Camaro sports car that seemed to manifest that spirit. She had an incredibly sharp, almost forensic mind, and never feared the give and take of debate. After hearing a complex conceptual explanation of something, she could easily predict the logical conclusion.
She added a whole dimension to her daughter Jody's and her grandchildren's youth that can only be described as taking action and seeking adventure. Her grandchildren cannot express enough gratitude for the love and excitement she introduced to them in their youth. She will be dearly missed.
Arrangements: Park Lawn Northland Chapel (816) 781-8228.
June 21, 2017
5:30 PM to 7:00 PM
June 22, 2017