Donald E. Morgan

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Donald E. Morgan, 79, of Beaumont, Texas passed away Friday, November 23, 2012 at his home. He was born in Beaumont, January 31, 1933 to Ernest and Lorena Daigle Morgan. A celebration of his life will be held Wednesday, November 28, 2012 at 10:00 a.m. in the chapel of Claybar Kelley-Watkins Funeral Home. Interment will follow in Forest Lawn Memorial Park. A gathering of friends and family will be held from 5:00-7:00 p.m. Tuesday at Claybar Kelley-Watkins Funeral Home in Beaumont. Donald E. Morgan was his given name but you might have known him as Don (by his work buddies), Sam (by his army buddies), Buzz (by his high school friends), Uncle Donnie (by his nieces and nephews), Dad (by his three sons), Pop (by his grandchildren and great grandchildren), or if you didn't know his name but you were around him for just a little while, you would have called him a good guy. He had an infectious smile and a great sense of humor. Those around him couldn't stop laughing when he started telling one of those jokes of his, not because it was so funny but because he could hardly tell the joke without laughing because he knew the punch line. There were times when the listener couldn't tell what the punch line was because Donald was laughing so hard, but they laughed anyway. Donald graduated from French High School in 1951. He led the FHS Class reunions for the 1950/1951 classes. When it came to the French Buffalos, he bled orange and white. Donald lettered and was the captain of the football team. He made All- District as a sophomore in football and as a senior in basketball. In basketball, he was top scorer in three playoff games his senior year. The amazing thing was that he had a sprained ankle and was not even supposed to play in any of those games. He also lettered in baseball and track. Donald received a football scholarship to Texas A&M but was unable to complete his degree because of financial issues. Donald was a member of the United States Army. He enlisted in 1952. While he never saw combat, he performed duties on behalf of his country in many places both stateside and in Europe. He was Honorably Discharged in 1954 and was a strong supporter of Veterans rights. Donald was a member in good standing of the International Brotherhood of Ironworkers, Local Union 125. He joined the union in May 1952 until he enlisted in the United States Army. Upon his return to civilian life, he helped construct many of the buildings and refineries in southeast Texas and around the country. He even spent one year with his family in California pursuing the Ironworking trade. Donald volunteered his time as a Little League baseball coach. As a matter of fact, he and his brothers built the original Vidor Little League baseball park including bleachers. He spent many hours teaching young players the right way to do things in the game of baseball. He loved coaching the different teams over the years and even won a championship. Donald was a member of the Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks. He held the position of Trustee and Entertainment Chairman, for which he was extremely well- suited. While a member of the Elks, he became proficient at square dancing and he and Lillian danced competitively around the area with others as the Belles and Beaus. In 1984, at the age of 52, Donald suffered a stroke that left him partially paralyzed. That never slowed him down. He and Lillian travelled the world. They went to China, France, Germany, Italy, Switzerland, Japan, Egypt, Greece, England, Spain, Portugal and Mexico to mention a few. When it came to family, Donald was always there. If one of his sons asked for a little money to go to a movie, he gave it. Even though it may have been his last dollar until the next payday, he didn't want his family to do without. He wanted his family to have more than he had as he was growing up and worked hard to accomplish that goal. It didn't matter how many grandchildren there were or how many games or programs they had, he was always there, always encouraging, listening and praising their efforts, regardless of the outcome. Donald married Lillian McConnell in the early 1950's. After spending 24 hours a day together since his stroke, he still loved doing things with his bride of almost 60 years. They took cruises, world tours, family trips and weekend visits to the beach. They were always together. Just a few months ago Donald was diagnosed with Lymphoma. He handled the news with dignity. He didn't suffer and was able to spend time with his family and make sure they understood what he wanted for them and how he thought they should handle the situation. All in all, when considering Donald's life and trying to summarize him and all that he was, one would have to say, He was a good guy. Donald is survived by his wife, Lillian Morgan; sons, Glen Morgan and his wife, Teri, Daniel Morgan, and Harold Morgan; grandchildren, Carmen Millican, Matthew Morgan, Amy Morgan Pyburn and her husband, Ryan, and Michael Morgan; great-grandchildren, Adelyn Millican, Aidan Millican, Ava Millican, and Alyse Millican; and sisters, Daisy Morgan, Doris Robinson, Bessie Wardwell and Jeanette Mazzolo. He was preceded in death by his brothers, Cecil Morgan Vernon Morgan.

Published in The Beaumont Enterprise on Nov. 27, 2012
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