A Cowboy’s Faith: Teacher’s immeasurable influence recognized

A Cowboy's Faith: Click to read more from Frank J. Buchman.“Happy birthday to you. Happy birthday, Gordie. Happy birthday to you.”

Nearly 100 friends and family from throughout the country gathered in the front yard at the Morrison Ranch.

It was the 90th birthday party for Gordon Morrison. Gordie, to those knowing him from original stomping ground. He’s Gordon to acquaintances, since calling Cloud County home 49 years. But still Mr. Morrison to many students from a 40-year teaching career.

Smiles abounded from not only the honoree fit, vim, ornery like always, but everyone there. First and foremost his wife Janet, ramrod of the fling.

Unquestionably a big ordeal getting the ranch in tiptop shape and planning the country meal. Toughest challenge was spreading the word local to afar.

Not only immediate family, but distant relatives including nephews and nieces nationwide came to Gordie’s celebration. There were nowadays neighbors with decades’ gone-by faculty and chums chiding Gordon.

Former students from the early ’60s at Council Grove through Concordia college classes came to honor Mr. Morrison.

It was certain verification positive influence one growing up a Morris County country boy had on so many. And, deepest appreciation for that.

Covenant made in Korean wartime, Mr. Morrison was to be a teacher. Yet, farming implored his being attempting combined teaching and agriculture professions.

Classroom won out educating students about farming, accompanied by wisdom developing wholesome worthwhile lives.

Diligent hands-on training from the barnyard to the shop, Mr. Morrison advanced speaking and leadership abilities. Never shirking anybody in the school, the community, and country, his agriculture youth groups were honored state and national finest.

That brought others seeking his classroom skills. A difficult decision with wife Jean and three daughters, Mr. Morrison moved to teach junior college agriculture.

None too few challenges and harsh setbacks, Mr. Morrison continued cultivating young people in agriculture earning countrywide recognition.

Most difficult was losing his tender wife, but then Mr. Morrison married sweet May. They developed major ranching operations upon education retirements.

When life seemed best, May passed away. Faith never ceasing, Mr. Morrison married Janet, and they’ve became a lovingly working ranch team.

One man’s influence immeasurable, unrepayable, as token former students created an agriculture scholarship in Mr. Morrison’s distinction.

Reminded of Luke 20:21: “Teacher you speak and teach what is right and are not influenced by what others think.”


030615-franksmug2Frank J. Buchman is a lifelong rancher from Alta Vista, a lifetime newspaper writer, syndicated national ag writer and a radio marketing consultant. He writes a weekly column to share A Cowboy’s Faith.

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