Sid Othneil Morgan

Posted: Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Sid Othneil Morgan died peacefully at home during an afternoon nap August 10, 2010. He was 90. He was born May 21, 1920 in Glendive, Mont., the youngest of three children. He was raised in Montana, Florida, and Southern California (most of the travel in a Model T Ford on the typically rutted and muddy roads of the period). When he was 14, his family moved permanently to Castle Rock, Wash. While there he developed a lifelong interest in hunting, fishing and camping. He graduated from Castle Rock High School in 1940. He married his high school sweetheart, Erna, on January 1, 1941. While working in the shipyards as a welder during the early part of World War II, he was drafted into the army in 1943; he served honorably with the 101st Airborne Division in Europe and was discharged in the fall of 1945.

Returning to Seattle following the war, he worked as one of the last ice men in the city, delivering ice to those households that had not yet converted to refrigerators. Between 1948 and 1952, he worked seasonally for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in Bristol Bay in various capacities, including building and operating the Ugashik River Weir, operating boats, and participating in the management of set net and gillnet fisheries in the region and enforcement of related federal regulations. In 1953 he was appointed to the permanent position of assistant district agent in Dillingham, where his family joined him.

While in Dillingham he was also appointed as a U.S. Deputy Marshall. In 1957, he was appointed the assistant district fisheries agent in Juneau, and in 1958 he was promoted to Cordova as the district fisheries agent. In 1959 he accepted the job of Petersburg district agent for the Department of Fish and Game, Division of Protection. In the fall of 1960, he was promoted to the Deputy Director of the division, and he and his family returned to Juneau.

In 1963 he returned to federal service as a special agent with the newly formed foreign fisheries unit within the National Marine Fisheries Service. While on U.S. Coast Guard Cutters he enforced federal fishing regulations in the North Pacific/Bering Sea to ensure foreign vessels were not encroaching on U.S fishing grounds. Later he worked with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service eagle studies program, cataloguing nests and population densities throughout Southeast. He was instrumental in erecting the eagle tree at the state museum. He also worked on enforcement issues related to the Antiquities Act. He retired in 1977 and is remembered fondly by the many hunters he came into contact with on Juneau's duck flats.

He was a most excellent and loving husband and father who throughout his life reminded his family of how grateful he was for his beautiful wife family and for having a job that didn't seem like one.

He was preceded in death by his wife on January 4, 2010 and their infant daughter, Vicki, in 1947. He is survived by daughter, Sherie (Lee) Dye; sons, Sid (Karen), Rod and Jef Morgan, all of Juneau; grandchildren, Trina York of Studio City, Calif, Kathy Dye of Juneau, Yuri Morgan of Fairbanks, Leon Morgan of Eagle River, Aaron Morgan of Tulsa, Okla., Ira Morgan of Petersburg, Michael Morgan of Denver, Colo., Dylan Morgan of Skagway, and Amy, Kelly, Nicholas and Brooke Morgan of Juneau; and twelve great-grandchildren.

A memorial service will take place 2 p.m. Wednesday at the Chapel by the Lake log cabin. At a later date, his ashes will be interred beside those of his wife at the Shrine of Saint Therese Columbarium. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in his name to Ducks Unlimited or the Juneau Raptor Center.

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