Stephen Morse

Stephen R. Morse, of Keller, Texas, formerly of Orion, Illinois, passed away unexpectedly on Wednesday, January 20, 2021 at the wise age of 88.

He was born on May 14, 1932 in the quaint town of Maquon, Illinois, the son of the late Clyde and Bertha(Fennell) Morse. On March 17, 1951, Stephen married his high school sweetheart, Cloma Suydam, daughter of Gene and Edith of Fairview, Illinois. Over their 69 years of marriage, Stephen and Cloma had two children, Douglas (Melanie) of Muscatine, Iowa and Charisse Byrne (Bill) of Justin, Texas; six grandchildren who he was extremely proud of, Andrew Preston of Dallas, Texas, Michael Morse (Erin) of Calgary, Alberta, Canada, Ashtin Preston (Sarah) of Haslet, Texas, Philip Morse (Melissa) of Muscatine, Iowa, Dain Preston (McKenzie) of Princeton, Texas, and Drake Preston (Alyssa) of Houston, Texas; and five great grandchildren, Finn, Soleia, River, Corbin, and William. Stephen is survived by two sisters, Katherine Sharpshair of Canton, Illinois and Hazel Steagall of Norris, Illinois.

He is preceded in death by six brothers, Laverne “Buns”, Wallace “Kite”, Herbert, Keith, Ted, Roland, and Leroy, along with three sisters Vernice Weber, Wanda Morse, and Phylis Baker.

Stephen attended Fairview Valley High School and competed as a first string basketball player, football quarterback, and track and field athlete. After graduating in 1950, he and Cloma were married and resided in Knoxville, Illinois, just southeast of Galesburg where Stephen began working for Butler Manufacturing. In 1952, he was drafted into the United States Army to serve with I Company, 31st Infantry Regiment, 7th Division in the Korean War where he became a decorated combat veteran, reaching the rank of Staff Sergeant. After returning home from the service in 1954, he and Cloma moved to Orion, Illinois where he began working for Deere & Company as a welding engineer. During his time in Orion, Stephen was incredibly active in the community serving as the school board president for Orion School District, a town trustee, a little league baseball coach, a Webelos scout master, and an active 32nd degree Mason. Stephen was also an avid fisherman and loved to take his grandson’s fishing. After a 37-year tenure, Stephen retired from Deere & Company and moved to Keller, Texas with his wife, Cloma.

A Funeral Service will be held on Tuesday February 2, 2021, at 12:00 Noon  at Oaks-Hines Funeral Home in Canton. Where a visitation will be held one hour prior to the service. A masonic service will be held at 11:45 a.m. at the funeral home. Facial coverings and social distancing will be followed. Burial will immediately follow the service at Fairview Cemetery in Fairview.

In lieu of flowers memorials may be made to the donor's choice.

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Posted online on January 27, 2021