Morris “Morry” Merton Mikkelson
Morris “Morry” Merton Mikkelson (the “story teller”) passed away on Wednesday Feb. 5, 2014, in Crosslake, Minn., at the age of 92. Services will be held Friday, Feb. 21, at 11 a.m. at Crosslake Presbyterian Church with Pastor Kate Stangl officiating with visitation one hour prior to services at the church.
Morry was born on June 24, 1921, in Walker, Minn., to Arthur C. and Velma (Dally).
He was preceded in death by his parents; his wife, Esther (Anderson); brother, Arthur “Burt;” and son, Steven.
He is survived by children, Gary (Rosemary), Brian (Lori), Scott (Annmarie), Todd and Mary (Phil); grandchildren, Lindsey, David, Paige, Joy, Max, Grace, Olivia, Greg and Andrew; great-grandchildren, Luca, Owen and Julia. Morry graduated from South High School in Minneapolis, Minn., in 1939 and went by the name of “Maurice” Mikkelson. Following high school Morry enrolled in the Maritime Service and graduated from United States Maritime Service Officers School in April 1945. Until his honorable and decorated discharge from the United States Maritime Service in August 1945, Morry had sailed the seven seas and served in every war zone during World War II. Following the war Morry returned to Minneapolis, Minn., and in October 1947 Morry married Esther Anderson. Morry and Esther settled in Minneapolis and Morry went to work as an assistant display manager at Dayton’s Department Store. While living in Minneapolis, Morry and Esther had two sons, Steven and Gary. In 1957, Morry and Esther moved their family to Duluth, Minn., where Morry became an assistant store manager at Stevenson’s Department Store. In 1959, Morry and Esther moved to Virginia, Minn., where Morry became the Stevenson’s Virginia store manager.
While living in Virginia, Morry and Esther had two more sons, Brian and Scott. In 1965, the Mikkelson family left Virginia, Minn., and moved to Eden Prairie, Minn. Morry was a sign painter and sales conductor for 40 years. Morry was a natural artisan and craftsman and has left his family many memorable paintings and creative stained glass pieces. Following Esther’s death in 1986, Morry retired and found his dream log cabin home on Velvet Lake in Crosslake, Minn. In 1986, Morry married Lucie Anderson.
Morry‘s life in Crosslake flourished. Morry’s log cabin home, life on the lake and connection to the Crosslake community were very fulfilling for Morry. Morry took great pride in his contributions to the Crosslake community. Morry was a founding and active member of the Crosslake Presbyterian Church, the Presbytery and was instrumental in the design and construction of the Crosslake Presbyterian Church. Morry was also a member of the Crosslake Parks and Recreation/Library Commission and loved working on the Crosslake Rec Center and especially the Crosslake Library. Morry loved fundraising for his church and his prized Park & Rec projects. Morry was the 2007 Crosslake Citizen of the Year and was a Minnesota Lake Advocate. Morry and his next door neighbor, Vern Sahr, were great friends and became the “Grumpy Old Men” of Velvet Lake. Morry was an avid walker and participated in many 5K and 10K events and won several races in the age 70-plus category.
Morry loved fly fishing for stream trout, camping and canoeing with his brother and their boys in the Boundary Waters, hunting wild turkeys, woodworking, working with stained glass, furniture building and refinishing. Morry was also a proud member of the Crosslake “Sunshine Boys” coffee group. Morry eventually moved off the lake and took up his new winter residence in the Golden Horizons Assisted Living Center in Crosslake until he became a full-time resident. Morry loved visits from his family and trips back to Velvet Lake. Morry met Marian Anderson at Golden Horizons and they became very close friends. Morry and Marian shared treasured and respected time together before Marian’s death in December 2013. Morry loved to sing gospel songs and Marian was a devoted listener.
We are grateful that Morry and Marian found lasting friendship for each other at the end of their lives. Morry was a respected principled man of many accomplishments; he was our dad and hero. Memorials may be directed to the Crosslake, Minn., Presbyterian Church. Internment with military honors at the Pleasant Hill Cemetery, Eden Prairie,
Minn., will occur at a later time.
He was a retired member of the International Union of Painters & Allied Trades and a Minnesota Mason.