Vilas Lester "Sid" Morris Jr.
September 18, 1932- May 18, 2021
Vilas Lester "Sid" Morris Jr., 88, died peacefully in his sleep on May 18, 2021 at Unity Point Allen Hospital, Waterloo, IA
Sid was born on the family farm in rural Taylor County, IA on September 18, 1932, the son of Vilas Sr. and Ruth (Salen) Morris. He grew up on a farm near the Missouri border, attended K-8 grades in Gay Center Township School (a one-room country school). He attended Bedford High School his freshman year, then transferred to Blockton High where he graduated in 1950.
Rather than staying on the farm and farming with his dad, Sid chose a different path. He enrolled in a two-year elementary teaching program at Clarinda Jr. College where he earned an elementary teaching certificate in May 1952.
Sid was drafted, inducted into the Army, took basic training at Camp Chaffee, AR, trained in fire direction, and shipped out to Korea. From his arrival the fall of 1952, until the June 1953 cease-fire, his artillery unit saw action along the MLR from mountains with names such as Old Baldy and Pork Chop Hill. After he left Korea he was stationed at Camp Carson, CO.
Upon completion two years of military service, he returned to Iowa and unexpectedly was offered an elementary teaching position. His goal then became to complete a BA degree in teaching.
On August 18, 1956, Sid and Alvira Stock were married in the First Methodist Church Bedford, Iowa. They left Bedford to attend and complete BA degrees at ISTC (now UNI). They did that and have lived in Cedar Falls since then. Sid and Alvira raised two sons, Jeff and Dan, and have had the privilege of enjoying grandchildren and now great-grandchildren.
Upon completion of a BA degree in January 1958, Sid was offered an elementary teaching position at Edison Elementary/Jr. High School, in Waterloo. In 1960 he became the Assistant Principal which was the beginning of a long career in school administration. He culminated his career as the Administrator of River Hills School from which he retired in 1995.
Over the years Sid served on numerous foundations and boards: Sartori Hospital Foundation, Hawkeye Community College Foundation, Western Home Foundation, Iowa Scottish Right Foundation; Goodwill Industries Board, EPI, Black Hawk–Grundy Mental Health, Cedar Falls Historical Society, to name a few. He held leadership roles in many of the organizations to which he belonged.
He also served on boards that promoted Cedar Falls: Community Main Street, Visitor and Tourism, the former Cedar Falls Chamber of Commerce. Sid was involved in numerous fund-raising activities - most notably Veterans' projects: Veterans Park, the Shelter House, the Black Hawk County Freedom Rock.
Sid served his city through terms on: Board of Adjustment, Planning and Zoning, City Council and Cedar Falls Utilities.
Sid was a proud member of several Veterans organizations. He was a life member of the American Legion, Veterans of Foreign Wars, AMVETS, and Korean War Veterans Association. He also belonged to 7th Infantry Division Association, in which he served on the Board of Governors for many years. He was a member of 40 & 8, member, and past president of Iowa Chapter 99, KWVA and PO2 Taylor Morris Chapter 323 of KWVA. Sid also served on the Black Hawk County VA Commission.
Sid was a member of the First United Methodist Church, Cedar Falls. He was a 50-year member of Black Hawk Lodge #65 where he served two terms as Master and was the Grand Marshall of the Grand Lodge of Iowa 1989-1990. He was a member of the CF York Rite Bodies, Scottish Rite, El Kahir Shrine, P.P. 1986, and ROJ.
It is said "You can take a boy off the farm, but you can't take the farm out of a boy." That was apparent by Sid's love of their acreage; tilling the soil for his expansive gardens, planting an orchard, riding his John Deere garden tractor for mowing grass hours on end, trimming trees and clearing brush. His asparagus, rhubarb and raspberries were well known. He became fascinated by the many varieties of plants in the "Morris Tall Grass Prairie" he and Alvira had planted.
Sid was preceded in death by his parents Ruth and Vilas Morris Sr., siblings; Jack, James, John, Judy Cox, Joanne, Scroggie, Jillene Casey; and an infant granddaughter, Meggy.
Left to cherish Sid's memory are his wife, Alvira, sons: Jeff (Christy) Tempe, AZ,
Dan (Juli) Cedar Falls, grandchildren: Lindsay McQillan, Tempe, AZ, Jordan Terrones, Waterloo, Molly Morris, Taylor (Danielle) Morris, Riley (Lauren) Morris, and Claire Morris, all of Cedar Falls, great-grandchildren: Celise McQillan, Tempe, AZ, Arlo Morris and Rosalie Morris Cedar Falls, a brother-in-law Gary Scroggie, Clarinda, IA, several nieces and nephews.
A gathering to share memories and honor Sid, "A Time to Remember the Life of Sid Morris" will be June 19th, 2:00 – 4:00 pm at The Diamond Event Center, Western Home Communities, 5307 Caraway Lane, Cedar Falls, with Military Honors at 3:00. Please come with a memory or story to share.
A private family service will be held. The family requests no flowers. In lieu of flowers: memorials may be made in the name of Vilas "Sid" Morris to: Western Home Foundation,
First Methodist Church, Cedar Falls, or Shriner's Children's Hospital Twin Cities, 215 Radio Drive, Woodbury, MN 55125
Online Condolences may be left at www.richardsonfuneralservice.com.