Charles Edward Morrisson, 89, was born in Eagle, Idaho to James Aiken Morrison and Reta Mace Morrison on Dec. 9, 1922. He passed away on June 7, 2012.
“Charlie” grew up in Eagle, Idaho and attended a one-room school, going on to high school at Gem State Academy in Caldwell, Idaho. There he met Vera Ellen Coleman, his first and only sweetheart. Charlie graduated in 1940 as both student body and class president. His training and work in bakeries, both in high school and in college, led him to open his own bakeries in Camas, Ore. and Orofino, Idaho.
He and Vera were married in 1942 in Orofino. After starting their family, Charlie began working as a logger and was part of the historic log drives on the North Fork of the Clearwater River. Charlie was deferred from serving in the military due to a traumatic childhood injury, but diligently supported his country by agricultural means.
He volunteered for “skywatch” at the Orofino courthouse on many nights during the war. His brother, Jimmy, served in the Navy and Carl served in the Air Force. In 1958 he moved his family to Ephrata, Wash., where he and his father developed farms in the early Columbia Basin Project, turning desert into productive farmland.
Charlie moved his family to Tonasket in 1965 when he purchased the Jake Vernier ranch on Siwash and Toroda Creeks. The family loved the beautiful ranch and together, they worked diligently to make their dream succeed. Charlie’s independent and entrepreneurial spirit allowed him to improve the ranch he loved. After it was sold in 1979, Charlie and Vera retained a portion of the ranch near Siwash Creek as their home, where they continued to care for the land and their animals.
Charlie was a faithful, lifelong member of the Seventh-Day-Adventist Church. He had a strong belief in Christian education and served as school board chairman for many years. Family gatherings were always highlighted by his beautiful, sincere prayers, ever filled with gratitude to God. He was a gifted story teller and student of nature, His children and grandchildren spent hours at his knee and always begged for more stories.
Charlie loved the outdoors. He especially loved to go into the forest and “make wood” for the winter. He prided himself on keeping his woodshed full and the wood stove hot. Many families enjoyed warm winters as the result of his love for “making wood.”
He enjoyed raising horses and mules to use for pack trips. Together, Charlie and Vera explored their beloved northern Idaho woods, hiking, riding, and camping. This love spread to the entire family, and yearly family camp outs became the much loved tradition every year. He instilled in his children and grandchildren a deep love and respect for the great outdoors. He enjoyed elk hunting with his dad, brothers and friends, and was an excellent shot.
He and Vera traveled extensively in their camper and motor home to Idaho, the Southwest, Alaska, the Yukon and Northwest Territories. In April, they celebrated their 70th wedding anniversary and traveled to Caldwell, Idaho where they were surrounded by family for their special day.
Charles Edward Morrison was preceded in death by his three older siblings: James Morrison of Boise, Idaho, Evelyn Vale of Charleston, W. Va. and Carl Morrison of Palm Desert, Calif.
Vera, his wife of 70 years, survives him at the family home on Siwash Creek. Also surviving are his four children: Roland Morrison (and Vicki) of Caldwell, Idaho. Larry Morrison (and Daphea) of Beaverton, Ore., Linda Donley (and Kenneth) of Bellingham, Wash. and Karen Coleman (and Rollie) of Tonasket. Charlie and Vera have six grandchildren and 11 great-grandchildren.
At Charlie’s request, there will be no funeral. Instead, a Memorial will be held at their home on Siwash Creek on Aug. 25 to share memories of Charlie’s life with his family and friends.
Any donations in his memory may be made to North Valley Hospital in Tonasket.