Paul Oliver Morrow, 100, of Sunnyside passed away peacefully on Friday, November 26, 2010.
He was born Sept. 25, 1910 in Sunnyside to Eluster and Flossie Mae (Crooks) Morrow.
Paul Morrow witnessed a century of change and growth in the Lower Yakima Valley.
A Sunnyside native, Paul was a retired businessman, whose interests outside work included family, the outdoors, gardening, carpentry, sports and community service.
He led an active retirement for more than three decades after selling Sunnyside Tent & Awning, the business he and his wife, Patty, operated from 1959 until 1976.
He was honored as a living pioneer in 2001 with a plaque in Sunnyside Centennial Pathway. The Sunnyside Kiwanis Club honored Paul for perfect attendance at meetings for five decades, a period when he was a leader of the club and a tireless worker on projects, including the annual Kids Day Parade and serving coffee to travelers on the road to Vernita. He was also a member of the Sunnyside Jaycees.
He was a lifelong member of the Sunnyside United Methodist Church.
Paul Morrow was born Sept. 25, 1910 the youngest of five sons of Eluster and Flossie Morrow. His father was a blacksmith and machinist who raised his boys in the family home on Cemetery Road back in the days when travel was in horse-drawn wagons and clothes washing was by hand with a tub and scrub-board.
Young Paul's chores included fastening the chicken house door each night to keep the hens safe from coyotes, as the Cemetery Road neighborhood was well outside the town limits. That, also, made outdoor plumbing a fact of life. A trip to Goldendale before Satus Pass Highway was built was by covered wagon, following wagon tracks. It took two days to reach Goldendale. "I was about two when we had our first car, a Marion with take-down top," Paul recalled in memories written a decade ago. "The roads followed section lines and were full of chuck holes and powdered dust that concealed the holes. Broken axles and springs were common, and everyone carried tire kits and used them almost every trip." His first airplane ride was in the 1920s with a barnstorming pilot who took off from a pasture north of Sunnyside.
After graduating high school in 1928, he went to Business College in Seattle and worked for Western Electric on the west side until he returned home to work for the Sunnyside Cannery, becoming its manager. After it closed, he was a hay-buyer for the Valley Hay and Implement until buying the tent and awning business.
Paul married Patty Hutchings on July 19, 1936, in Yakima. They raised two daughters, Barbara and Janet. As a young man, he was a three sport-athlete and excelled as a fast-pitch softball pitcher.
Paul enjoyed camping and fishing along Cascade lakes and streams and led outings that grew with his family to include his daughters' husbands and his grandchildren.
Drawing on skills as a carpenter and handyman, he designed and built a home for his family on Beckner Road in the early 1950s, hiring help only for a brick fireplace. Later, he built an addition to the home of his daughter, Barbara and her husband, James Galbraith.
Over the years Paul used his talents in the shop to craft china cabinets and other furniture for family members and repaired almost anything that broke. Those skills served him well in the tent and awning business, where he custom-designed trailer and boat covers and "clod-busters" for farm tractors, as well as repairing tents and installing awnings.
He and Pat worked side-by-side greeting customers and doing the work in their shop on the Yakima Valley Hiway.
Pat Morrow died in 2004.
Paul Morrow is survived by two daughters and their husbands, Barbara (James) Galbraith of Sunnyside and Janet (Marty) Thompson of Santa Rosa, Calif.; three grandsons, Chris (Sharon) Thompson of El Dorado Hills, Calif., Sean Thompson of Brooklyn, N.Y. and Craig (Melissa) Galbraith of Cave Creek, Ariz.; and by one great-grandson.
The family wishes to express their thanks to the Sun Terrace staff for their excellent and loving care.
Graveside services will be held Monday, Dec. 13, 2010, at 1 p.m., at Lower Valley Memorial Gardens in Sunnyside, followed by a memorial service at 2 p.m., at Sunnyside United Methodist Church in Sunnyside.
Graveside services will be held Monday, Dec. 13, 2010, at 1 p.m., at Lower Valley Memorial Gardens in Sunnyside, with Memorial services to follow at 2 p.m., at United Methodist Church in Sunnyside.
In lieu of flowers, gifts in Paul's memory may be made to the Sunnyside United Methodist Church or charity of the donor's choice.
Those wishing to share their memories or sign Paul's on-line memorial book may do so at www.funeralhomesmith.com
Smith Funeral Home LTD and Crematory in Sunnyside is in charge of arrangements.