Morris Gene Hallock: 1926 – 2018
Morris Gene Hallock
1926 – 2018
Morris was born in Springview, Nebraska, February 17, 1926, to George and Mae Hallock. His childhood consisted of the Depression, the Dust Bowl, and World War II. He graduated from Keya Paha County High School. Morris’s middle name was optimism. His can-do and productive life has too many accomplishments to name.
Morris joined the Navy in 1943 as a signalman. He served at Iwo Jima, Okinawa, and at the Japanese Surrender. He met the love of his life, Miriam Louise Olson and married her in 1954. They had 59 glorious years together. Morris cherished and loved his 3 daughters, their husbands and children. Family was always a priority to him.
Morris was “bigger than life” and manifested a lifetime of achievements including; Budget Officer of the State of South Dakota, owner and publisher of 7 hometown newspapers (Sturgis Tribune, Black Hills Press, Tri-State Livestock News, and Rapid City Guide to name a few), State House of Representatives, and Director of Highways. In his second career he became a successful realtor. His devotion to community and civic activities few can match: supporter of higher education, Chamber of Commerce, VFW, DAV, Shriners, Presbyterian Church, Chiesman Center for Democracy, Mt. Rushmore Memorial Society Board, South Dakota and National Newspaper Associations.
His awards are too many to count. He received awards from National Association of Conservation Districts, Soil Conservation Society of America, first inductee into Black Hills Stock Show Hall of Fame, and Top Selling Realtor.
In his free time Morris enjoyed, golfing, fishing, hunting, gin, bridge, and travel.
Morris and his wife, Miriam, traveled to most all of the states in the USA including Hawaii and Alaska, also to the Mediterranean, Europe, Toronto Canada, Spain, Ireland, and the British Isles.
Morris was “Mr. Hospitality” and with Miriam’s great cooking and support, hundreds of people were welcome in their home and treated as honored guests. Many have called him Mr. Sturgis. His love of family, country, Sturgis, and South Dakota was his passion to the end of his life.
His last words were Red, White and Blue, America won’t crumble. America does not win wars with guns, they win wars with their brains.
Morris Gene Hallock is at peace and passed away Saturday, August 11, 2018, at the age of 92. He will be so missed. His love of life, storytelling, holding court, sense of humor, and wisdom were gifts. While his public persona was something, there are many people he helped and supported that no-one will ever know about. Simply said Morris had a huge heart and zest for life.
He is survived by daughters, Debra (Walter) Shine, Rohnert Park, California, Lori (Chuck) Kaiser, Fallon, Nevada, and Karen Hallock, Rapid City; his grandchildren, Devin Bearden, San Rafael, California, Tessa (Luke) Mickelson, Rapid City, Charles Chase Kaiser, Sturgis, and Matthew (Nevena) Kaiser, Reno, Nevada; great-grandchild, Leo Mickelson; and nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his parents, brothers, sister, and his wife.
A celebration of Morris’s life was 1 p.m. on Thursday, August 16, 2018, at First Presbyterian Church in Sturgis with Rev. Denzel Nonhof officiating. Inurnment, with military honors, will follow at Black Hills National Cemetery near Sturgis.
In lieu of flowers, memorials can be made to the First Presbyterian Church.