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Old 04-20-2009, 02:54 PM
GyBill GyBill is offline
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Morris Lee Estess Jr., 78, San Antonio, TX

Morris Lee Estess Jr. (Morrie) passed away on April 11, 2009 at the age of 78 after a period of declining health. He has been a resident of San Antonio since 1977. Morrie is survived by his beloved wife of 51 years, Mary Lee Estess, his daughter Amy Estess Donovan and her husband Mike of Round Rock, his daughter Ann Kathleen Thornton and her husband Mat of San Antonio and his grandsons Mark Charles Richter Jr. and Kevin Austin Richter both who are attending college in the St. Louis and Indiana area. He also is survived by his sister Joyce Greer of Pflugerville, Texas, his sister Janet Clementi of Pueblo, Colorado and countless cousins, nephews and nieces. Morrie was born in Amarillo, Texas April 30th 1930 to Morris (Lee) and Lena Estess. He was the oldest of seven children including his brother Raymond and two sets of twin sisters, Judy & Joyce, Janet & Joan and sister Kathleen who died in childhood. Morrie attended Amarillo High School where he played basketball, boxed and became a Cadet Captain in the R.O.T.C. He was also very proud of obtaining the rank of Eagle Scout in the Boy Scouts. Later in life, he become a Boy Scout leader. He enlisted in the US Marine Corps in 1948 where he attended radio operator's school and was assigned to the First Marine Division Reconnaissance Company. After the Korean war began, Morrie was assigned to the Air Naval Gun Fire Liason Company (ANGLICO) to provide support for the Republic of Korea army. While in Korea, he survived the battles of Inchon Landing, Wonsan Landing, Task Force Drysdale and the "Hell Fire Valley". On November 29, 1950 Morrie was taken prisoner at the Chosin Reservoir while on special assignment with the British Royal Marine Commandos. They were then marched many miles north and held near Kanggye and the Yalu River. After six long months of indescribable cold, starvation, dysentery and every type of physical and mental abuse, Morrie and eighteen other prisoners were able to escape their captors. Morrie was awarded the Bronze Star (with V for Valor) for his rescue performance and a Purple Heart for injuries sustained at "Hell Fire Valley". Although his actual assignment in Korea was with ANGLICO, his heart was always with the Korean War Recon Marines. He was honorably discharged in May of 1952. Morrie then attended Amarillo Junior College and the University of Texas at Austin where he achieved a degree in Business Administration. During this time he loved working as a park ranger in the summers at Rocky Mountain National Park in Colorado. It was also in Denver, Colorado in 1956 that he met the love of his life. Morrie and Mary Lee were married November 2, 1957. He worked for an oil company for many years and then became a hotel-motel real estate broker. Morrie had many favorite activities including golf, gambling and especially shuffleboard where his skills were legendary! He was a Spurs season ticket holder for many years and loved attending games with his two grandsons and daughters. Morrie was always the "life of the party" and will be missed by so many of his dear friends. Morrie and Mary Lee celebrated 50 years of marriage in 2007 with a memorable renewal of vows, party and fabulous trip to Hawaii. Morrie and Mary Lee are members at the Wayside Chapel Evangelical Free Church in San Antonio. Morrie is also a member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW), the American Legion, the Military Order of the Purple Hearts, the Korean War Recon Marines and the Chosin Few. The family would like to say a very special thank you to Dr. Prang and his amazing staff at the VA Extended Care Treatment Center (ECTC) who have taken such very good care of Morrie this last year. Your kindness and professionalism are unsurpassed. The family will receive friends from 6:00 to 8:00 P.M. Thursday, April 16th at Porter Loring Mortuary North.
APRIL 17, 2009
1:00 P.M.
Interment with Military Honors will follow in Fort Sam Houston National Cemetery. Pallbearers will be Mark Richter Jr, Kevin Richter, Michael Donovan, Michael Thornton, Ken Gaede, Jon Livingston and several special honorary pallbearers. Donations can be made to the Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson's Research at Rest in Peace Morrie. We will continue to celebrate his life, until we see him again.
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