Sunday, October 17, 2010

Obituary: Bernard K. "Barney Morgan - Class of 1944

BARABOO - Bernard K. "Barney" Morgan, age 84, son of Bernard Erich and Etta (Gage) Morgan, passed away peacefully on Oct. 14, 2010, at St. Clare Hospice House in Baraboo.

He was born on Sept. 5, 1926, in the Richland Center area, and was raised on Madison's south side. He attended Madison Central High School, and upon graduation in 1944, he enlisted in the U.S. Navy. He served aboard the USS Gage and USS Marathon in the South Pacific and participated in the invasion of Okinawa, during early April 1945. On July 22, 1945, he was aboard the USS Marathon when she was hit by a one-man suicide torpedo. After extensive repairs the USS Marathon was pressed into duty as a minesweeper. He volunteered to serve with the "Guinea Pig" minesweepers until his discharge in 1946, when he returned home to Madison.

He married the love of his life Dorothy Jean Van Wormer on Sept. 27, 1947, in Madison, and they made their home Portage, Madison and Monona Grove, before moving the family to Waterloo, in 1963. Barney worked two full-time jobs for 22 years. He worked days driving truck for LCL Trucking and nights for the Oscar Mayer Company. He worked for the Oscar Mayer Company for a total of 47 years. After retirement from Oscar Mayer, Barney and Dorothy moved to the Lake Delton area. With time on his hands and a desire to stay active Barney returned to work at the Lands' End Company in Reedsburg, where he worked for several years.

Barney enjoyed the outdoors. He enjoyed spending time in the fall helping friends, harvest cranberries and hunting ducks and deer in the Babcock area. However, Barney's favorite pastime was fitness. He was passionate about fitness before fitness was "fashionable." He coached little league baseball for more than a decade in the Waterloo area, and for as long as his family can remember he always had a gym in the basement. It was common for Barney to spend his first hour home from Oscars every day "lifting his weights."

Barney is survived by his wife of 63 years, Dorothy of Baraboo; and his six daughters, Connie Morgan of Stoughton, Susan Morgan of Stoughton, Michelle (Joseph) Schwarz of Prairie du Sac, Melinda Morgan of Lake Delton, Jan (Butch) Galson of Sun Prairie, Jill Wholley of Fall River, Mass., and a son, Russ (Lori) Morgan of Gaston, Ore.; as well as 12 grandchildren; and 10 great-grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his parents, Bernard Erich and Etta; and his brothers, Robert, Donald and Ronald; and his sister, Valerie "Jean" Gugel.

Visitation will be held on Wednesday, Oct. 20, 2010, at 10 a.m. until 11 a.m. at which time the funeral services will begin. Services will be held at ST. PAUL LUTHERAN CHURCH in Baraboo. The Rev. Richard Collier will officiate. Burial will follow at Oak Grove Cemetery in Portage.

The family would like to thank the staff at Golden Living Center, St. Clare Meadows, and St. Clare Hospice House for their compassionate care. In lieu of flowers, please honor Barney's life through memorials gifts to the Parkinson's Disease Foundation (

The Picha Funeral Home and Crematory of Lake Delton assisted the family with arrangements. For online condolences and information, go to

Originally published in the Wisconsin State Journal on October 17, 2010

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