Morris "Mike" Mahlon Hathaway, D.V.M., 91, passed away on March 12, 2014 at his home in Manhattan, Mont. He was born Jan. 9, 1923 in Huntington, Ind. to Leslie Claude and Grace Amelia (Dustman) Hathaway.
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Morris was raised in Flint and Elba, Mich., and shared a family with two stepsisters and one brother following the marriage of his mother, Grace, to his stepfather, Elmer Lee Edwards. Morris graduated from Davison (MI) High School, were he excelled in wrestling; winning two consecutive state championships and earned a wrestling scholarship to Michigan State University.
His college studies were interrupted by World War II, and he served in the U.S. Army for 20 months and then in the U.S. Navy for 20 months during the war. While serving in the Navy he met his future wife, Jean Ruth Dunbury. They were married Feb. 17, 1945 in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho. After his honorable discharge from the Navy, he returned to Michigan and resumed his education, earning a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree from Michigan State University.
Morris started his own veterinary clinic on their farm, with the assistance of his wife, Jean, and stepfather, Elmer. He retired from his practice in 1980, although he continued to serve the public as a relief veterinarian around the Flint and Saginaw (MI) areas until 1986.
In 1986 Morris was able to realize a longtime dream of living in Montana. Jean and Morris moved to the Bozeman area and made a home there and lived happily among many friends until the passing of Jean in 1993. In 1994, he married Lois V. DeMarr and continued to live in the Bozeman area. Following his divorce from Lois in 2004, Morris moved out to reside in Manhattan.
He continued to enjoy a rich life in the Gallatin Valley among many old and new friends, which he lovingly called his "support groups:" his fellow brethren in the OFT&LB (Old Farts Trap & Lunch Bunch), fellow swimmers and friends at the Bozeman Swim Center, his friends in the Bozeman Octogenarians, and friends in the Clark's Fork Coffee Klatch. Morris was a longtime member of the Bozeman United Methodist Church and cherished his fellowship in the Church, especially his annual participation in the Vacation Bible School program.
Morris had many hobbies and pastimes and pursued them with a passion: he was a lifelong hunter and fisherman, an amateur photographer, he enjoyed the shooting sports and shot trap and skeet competitively in Michigan, and Jean and Morris played cards, went dancing and enjoyed dining and entertaining in the company of their many friends.
He was preceded in death by his parents and step-father; his wife, Jean; a son, Morris Jr.; and a daughter, Susan K.; his step-brother, Lyle Edwards and step-sister, Virginia Chrisman.
Survivors include his three sons, Mark (Michele) Hathaway of Burton, Mich.; Michael (Suzin Kratina) Hathaway of Missoula, Mont. and Martin Hathaway of Beaver Island, Mich.; three grandchildren, Phillip M. Hathaway, Anicka Kratina-Hathaway and Zoë Kratina-Hathaway; and step-sister, Leora Cronin of Belmont, Calif.
A special thanks to Hospice of Bozeman Deaconess and the wonderful staff at Parkhaven Community in Manhattan.
A memorial service will be held at 2 p.m. on Friday, March 28, 2014 at the United Methodist Church in Bozeman followed by internment in Davison, Mich. at a later date.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made in Morris's name to The Salvation Army, the Bozeman United Methodist Church, and the Manhattan Wildlife Association or the
Condolences and memories may be shared with the family at www.dahlcares.com.
Dahl Funeral Chapel
300 Highland Boulevard
Bozeman, MT 59715
Published in Bozeman Daily Chronicle on Mar. 23, 2014