Daniel L. Morris, 68, entered heavenly peace on December 6, 2018. He was born in Nampa, the fourth son of Thomas Richard Morris and Cruzie Tomása Peña Morris and raised in Assembly of God churches. He was fittingly named after the biblical character because he too spent time in the lion’s den and never ceased praying, especially during his battle with addiction. It is said that religion is for people who believe in hell and spirituality is for those who have been there. Danny was both deeply religious and deeply spiritual. He was baptized at a young age and again on July 9, 2017 at the New Life Christian Center in Emmett.
Danny was a native Idahoan attending several elementary schools where he excelled at spelling bees and math contests and won ribbons and certificates in baseball, basketball, football, and track. Danny’s educational experience was tarnished by racial bullying that began in grade school and accelerated in Boise junior highs and Borah High School. Never one to walk away in those days, Danny shut down racial taunts with his words or his fists. When the daily dose of prejudice exceeded the benefits of a formal education, Danny dropped out at 16 and applied his keen wits and intelligence to learning a trade.
Danny made his living as a Heavy Equipment Master Mechanic for MacGregor Triangle, Galey Construction, Welsh Construction, Gillingham Construction, and Wheaton Equipment. His special talent was saving companies money by coming up with cost effective ways of solving problems, particularly when he helped his Dad develop an inexpensive trolley system to move the huge arches to construct U of I’s Kibbie Dome. Danny was a take-charge kind of guy leading small, large, and multi-cultural crews from a young age. He was a member of the Operating Engineers union from 1968 – 1976. His finished his career the way it started, working with his Dad, and later all his brothers, at Morris Equipment Rebuild. Danny rewarded his hard work with the latest and fastest cars, trucks, and motorcycles. His career took him to many remote places in Idaho, Nevada, and Montana. In his down time, Danny enjoyed hunting, camping, and especially fishing, anytime anywhere. He had a special love for rural and coastal Oregon where he had many fun and formative childhood experiences.
Danny married twice, first to Janeal K. Churchill from 1980 – 2002 and then to Loretta J. Johansen from 2004 – 2007. Addiction entered Danny’s life at the tender age of 13. His sobriety began on January 25, 1983 when he checked himself into the Walker Center in Gooding. He became a true believer in Alcoholics Anonymous and sponsored many. Danny was the consummate “Big Book Thumper”, quoting page after page as he encouraged family members, friends, and relatives who struggled with this disease. Sadly, Danny’s 26-year period of sobriety was interrupted in 2004 and the spiral continued until June 2013 when he prayed for God’s rescue. Danny was saved through incarceration but he never complained about God’s method.
Danny came home Christmas 2014 and never looked back. He rebuilt his life with the love and support of his family and was of service to everyone who needed his help. When finances forced a move to Nampa last September, he cobbled together a workshop in his garage from scrapped tools and began creating canes, bird houses, and exquisite knives from pieces and parts he found. He finally had the time and serenity to let his artistic talents flow and it was a joy to see Danny’s reclaimed pride in his work when he gave these as gifts.
Despite intense physical suffering when his health started failing in May, Danny remained sober until the day God took him home. He was an amazing example of the power that comes from following God’s will. In the midst of all his losses and hardships, it was a marvel and inspiration how Danny’s faith empowered him to remain cheerful. He courageously accepted responsibility and consequences for past choices without complaint. Although we are heartbroken, his family rejoices with Danny that he is free at last; his addiction struggle is over and there is no more sorrow or pain.
Danny was a beloved brother to his five siblings: Carl T. Morris, Earl R. Morris, Emmett; Burl R. (Mari) Morris, Nampa; Virginia I. Morris, Garden City; and Mary C. (Jim) Harker, Boise. He was a much-loved uncle to his nephews and nieces. He was preceded in death by his parents, his brother Carl, his ex-wife Janeal, niece Ana Peltier, his paternal grandparents Ervin and Winnie Morris, and maternal grandparents Augustine and Delores Peña.
Services will be held at Cloverdale Funeral Home on Thursday, December 13, at 11am.