William J. Morrow

The nation was beginning to believe the United States was going to be drawn into the war engulfing Europe. Bill Morrow, a ROTC graduate of the University of Idaho, was working at the Douglas Aircraft Plant in Santa Monica, California. Tall, good looking, and very athletic, he was born and raised in Grand Forks, North Dakota and was a football player for the University Of North Dakota before he transferred to the University of Idaho to pursue his passion for Forestry. While at Idaho he earned a sports letter as a Heavy Weight on the Idaho boxing team. A Fraternity Brother, Fred Mueller, from Coeur d’Alene took Bill home on vacations. Bill Morrow fell in love with the North Idaho Panhandle and especially Coeur d’Alene. During his summers he worked on a lookout in the Coeur d’Alene Mountains, St. Joe Mountains, and the Selkirk’s. He wanted to be a forester and was enamored with the lore and tall tales of the North Idaho logging Industry. What better story teller could there have been, other than “pop” Mueller? But, I digress. Bill was living a bachelor’s life in Santa Monica, when he was called to active duty. He wanted to be a pilot, but circumstances landed him in the 25th Infantry Regiment at Ft. Huachuca, AZ He was training hard in the hot Arizona high desert near the Mexican border. Social life revolved around the Officer’s club on the weekends. It was there, at an Officer’s club mixer, Bill Morrow met Dorothy Frank.

Dorothy Frank was a Chicago girl. After graduating from high school she attended Knox College in Galesburg, IL and then transferred to the big school, University of Illinois in Champaign, IL. It was troubled times with the threat of war and Dorothy returned home and found work in the city. She had a very good friend, her age, who married an Army Man. Dorothy remembered with great fondness attending her friend’s wedding at West Point, NY. Soon her friend’s husband had orders to report to Ft. Huachuca, AZ Her friend had two small children and was overwhelmed at the thought of leaving the Eastern United States and going to Arizona. She asked Dorothy to come along and help her with the trip and get settled. This was the adventure Dorothy wanted. Big city, Chicago girl heads west. Dorothy convinced her parents to let her go and away she went. When 20 something young people had a day or evening off at Ft. Huachuca, one of the favorite places to go was the officer’s club. Dorothy met Bill.

It was an idyllic time, tucked away in the deep southwestern United States and love bloomed. After several months of steady dating, Dorothy felt she should inform her parents she had met a very nice soldier and was quite smitten. Norman Frank, Dorothy’s father was not happy about this situation and insisted on Dorothy returning to Chicago…immediately. No soldiers for his daughter! Bill and Dorothy continued their courtship through letters and telephone calls. Bill volunteered for a new infantry concept called the paratroopers. Paratroop training was at Ft. Benning, GA. Enroute to Ft. Benning, Bill Morrow went to Chicago, met the parents, and asked for Dorothy’s hand. Apparently this trip was a success. Before long the Frank’s were planning a large April, 1942 wedding. Bill went on to Ft. Benning to complete his paratroop training.

Then came December, 1941! Pearl Harbor followed immediately by declarations of war against Japan and Nazi Germany. Bill wasn’t sure if he was going to be shipped out immediately or not. The future was unknown. So, the decision was made…go to Columbus, GA and marry …now! Ah, Love. Dorothy and her first cousin, Ginny, jumped on a train for Columbus, GA and on December 20, 1941, Bill and Dorothy were married in Columbus, GA.

Bill didn’t ship out immediately. He was part of an Airborne Regiment that was sent to Ft. Bragg, North Carolina, for more training. The young Morrows spent several months at Ft. Bragg and finally Bill was deployed with the 509th Parachute Regiment. Dorothy returned to Chicago and took a position as a secretary which she held for the next three years while waiting for Bill to return. The 509th was the first United States airborne unit to ship to England in early 1942. Bill participated in the first US combat airborne assault during the invasion of North Africa. Bill participated in a number of combat actions throughout North Africa and eventually was assigned to Italy. Bill was badly wounded in Italy and spent nearly 12 months recovering in a hospital in Rome. Bill was overseas for 33 months before returning home to Dorothy on New Year’s Eve, 1944.

Similar to millions of other Americans, the young Morrow’s were anxious to start a family and resume a “normal” life. However, Bill was still on active duty and was still in need of Military Medical help. Before being discharged he had to spend several months at a convalescent center in Warm Springs, Arkansas. Dorothy was soon pregnant with their first child. The convalescence and discharge process did not go smoothly and Bill was not able to leave the service until late fall, 1946.

Bill never forgot North Idaho and especially Coeur d’Alene.   On one of his extended medical leaves he took the train to North Idaho and purchased 220 acres of forest land way out on Ramsey Road.  He envisioned a tree farm and eventually building on the land.  The Morrow’s first child, William J. Morrow, Jr. was born at Ft. Sheridan, IL in October of 1945.    Bill was making the preparations to move his young family to North Idaho and was actively searching for employment in the logging industry.   Finally, everything fell into place.  Bill landed job with the Potlatch Forests Industries Mill in Potlatch, Idaho.  In the bitter winter of early 1947, Bill dropped Dorothy and Bill Jr. in Grand Forks, ND and made a trip to Potlatch to secure housing and arrange for the move.  Oh, did we mention Dorothy was pregnant with child number two.

Bill and Dorothy settled in Potlatch, but always with an eye for moving to Coeur d’Alene.   A second child, David, was born in Potlatch in September 1947.  Soon an opportunity arose and Bill and Dorothy moved their young and growing family to Coeur d’Alene.   In 1948 they settled first in an apartment on Garden Avenue; then moved to a house on Pennsylvania Ave., right next door to one of the Mueller boys, William.  Bill Mueller was the brother of Fred Mueller and also a University of Idaho fraternity brother.   Other immediate neighbors included the Dr. Woods, the Parm Nelson’s.  The Morrow’s stayed on Pennsylvania Ave. for several years, but with the birth of Marjean in 1950 and Richard in 1951 the family had outgrown the house and in 1952 moved to a larger house on Lakeside. 

Bill had his own logging business.  He owned a portable sawmill and several Army surplus trucks and did custom sawing throughout North Idaho, Eastern Washington, and Western Montana.   He continued to develop his property out on Ramsey Road and soon he had a couple of buildings, a few horses, and a few cows.   Billy, David, and Marjean all attended Central grade school.   Finally, the time was right.  Bill had been able to drill a well on his property on Ramsey road and clean water was available.  It was time to build.  In 1958 the Morrow’s sold the house on Lakeside and moved to the “country”. 

The Ramsey Road house was simply a hole in the ground.  Bill and his carpenter friend, Obie Tomilson, were building the frames to pour the concrete for the basement.  It was June and still cold at night in Coeur d’Alene.  What an adventure.  The family camped out all summer while the house was built and moved in just before school began in 1959.  The Morrow place on Ramsey Road took shape, but it remained a work in progress for nearly twenty years.  The need for some more funding was obvious and the Inland Asphalt Company made Bill an offer to purchase a few acres.  Soon the 220 acres was down to 200.  As the years passed more of the property was sold; some to the county for a landfill, some to the city for the building of the Coeur d’Alene Public Golf Course, and some to developers.  The Morrow’s became farmers, tree farmers, cattlemen, and horsemen.   After a few years there was an impressive barn, 25 irrigated acres, 15 non irrigated acres, several horses, and up to a dozen cattle. Dorothy’s garden was a marvel.    It was huge:  corn, potatoes, tomatoes, asparagus, lettuce, cabbage, squash, pumpkins, beets, strawberries, and Raspberries.

Every year Dorothy entered her produce in the Kootenai County Fair and she was proud of her collection of blue ribbons.   Her squash always seemed to win a blue.  As the years unfolded, Dorothy became quite well known for her Raspberries and she took starter plants with her wherever she went.  The Morrow children were involved in Scouting, 4 – H, and were active members of the First Presbyterian Church.  The church was walking distance when living on Lakeside.  However, after moving to the country, church was a centerpiece on Sunday as all four children participated in different Sunday school events and then stayed for the church service. 

Many of Bill and Dorothy’s social outlets were related to friends they made through participation at Church. One of their favorite activities was Pinochle; their Pinochle club lasted more than 30 years. The members of the Pinochle club proved to be their closest and most enduring friends over the years. Another activity Bill and Dorothy enjoyed was dancing. Going to the Elks Club or the Eagles Club for Friday night dancing became a regular part of their social lives. Bill enjoyed the camaraderie of clubs and for many years was an active in the local Masonic Lodge and the Elks Lodge. He was a lifelong Republican and remained involved in city, county, and state political activities throughout his life. Bill was also a sportsman and outdoorsman. He enjoyed hunting, fishing, camping, and skiing in the beautiful North Idaho Panhandle. As the years passed they developed another passion – boating and fishing. They started small and ended up with a beautiful cabin cruiser named “All the Way” – a famed motto of the paratroopers of World War II. One of Bill and Dorothy’s most exciting adventures was to take the boat to the Puget Sound and sail through the Inland Passage to Alaska. This was a High Adventure that spawned many stories and memories.

Bill and Dorothy remained in the house on Ramsey Road long after the children moved on with their own lives. They continued to renovate, add to, and modify their home. After the kids were out of the house, they enjoyed traveling. Dorothy finally got Bill to Hawaii – a major travel event. They visited Europe, and made many trips around the United States and parts of Canada in their Camper. Bill died in a tragic automobile accident in June of 1983. He was returning from his semi-annual salmon fishing trip to the Washington coast. Dorothy continued to live on Ramsey Road for a couple of years, but eventually sold the remainder of the property and began splitting her time between Coeur d’Alene and Arizona. She became a snow bird. Bill and Dorothy were wonderful grandparents, but Dorothy lived to become a great grandmother. She loved visiting her grandchildren and seeing all the “little ones”. Dorothy lived another 20 years and remained devoted to her family. She traveled and enjoyed coming home to Coeur d’Alene every year in April to link back up with her friends and family. Dorothy died in Coeur d’Alene, May 2003 at 83 years old.


Dorothy and Bill had four children: Bill Jr. David, Marjean, and Richard. All four children attended Coeur d’Alene Senior High School.

Bill Jr. was active in Student Government and played football and golf. He graduated in 1963 and went on to the University of Idaho. Upon graduation he received a commission as a Second Lieutenant in the United States Army. He stayed with the Army and served 24 years; retiring as a Lieutenant Colonel. Bill Jr. served in Vietnam and had military assignments throughout the United States and Europe. Bill Jr. had one daughter, Kathleen, who is now married to Coeur d’Alene City Council member, Michael Kennedy and living in Coeur d’Alene. Bill retired from the Army in 1993 and he currently lives and works in Arlington, Virginia; directly across the Potomac River from Washington DC.

David attended Coeur d’Alene Senior High School and he participated in basketball and track. Of the four children, David was the only one to stay in Coeur d’Alene. He went to work for the Ohio Match Mill as a teenager and remained with the mill as it became Diamond Gardner, Diamond National, thru the final owner, Crown Pacific. He started as a tail sawyer and moved up through various positions to become the head filer. David retired from the mill after 35 years. David splits his time between Yuma, Arizona and San Carlos, Mexico. David has two children who have remained in the local area, Tracy and Brock. Tracy is married to James Dickinson and lives near Rathdrum. Brock lives in the Hayden Lake area.

Marjean graduated from Coeur d’Alene High School and attended the University of Idaho. She was very active in Job Daughters, Campfire Girls, and High School Band. She was the Honored Queen of her Jobs Daughters Bethel and went on to be a camp counselor for Campfire Girls. She became a member of the University Marching Band at U of I. After college graduation, Marjean took a position as a teacher in Pocatello, Idaho. She recently retired as a principal from the Pocatello School system – having served as both a teacher and administrator for over 34 years. Marjean continues to live in Pocatello and has been married to Gordon Waford for 25 years. She has two sons, Kristofor and Kyle. Kristofor is married and living in Logan, Utah. Kyle lives in Pocatello.

Richard graduated from Coeur d’Alene High School and also attended the University of Idaho. In high school he played football and golf. Richard taught school in Alaska and St. Maries, Idaho before deciding to become a professional Golf Course Greens Keeper. He worked for over 20 years as a Greens Keeper for golf courses in Washington, Idaho, Montana, and North Dakota. He returned to Coeur d’Alene and is employed by the North Idaho Resort. “Captain Richard” drives the boat between the resort and the famous golf course. Richard and his wife, Kristine Ratliff, have built their “dream house” near Worley. They have two children, Amanda and Julie; both of whom live in North Idaho.


Tracy Dickinson: Tracy is David’s daughter and the firstborn of the Grandchildren. She has remained in the Coeur d’Alene area. After graduating from Post Falls High School she went into banking and worked for several years in Post Falls. She married James Dickinson, owner of Dickinson Insurance Co. Tracy and her husband JD live near Rathdrum and have three children: David, Wyatt, and Morgan.

Kathleen Kennedy: Kathleen is Bill’s daughter. Being a military child, she lived all over the United States, but Idaho was her “home”. After college, Kathleen returned to Coeur d’Alene, became a roommate of one of her best friends, her cousin, Tracy Morrow. Kathleen married Michael Kennedy and has six Children: William, Nora, Maggie, Max, Quinn, and Jack. Kathleen and Mike live in Coeur d’Alene.

Brock Morrow: Brock is David’s second child. Brock has also remained in the Coeur d’Alene area. He attended Post Falls High School. Brock, like his Grandfather and Father, is a great outdoorsman and sportsman. He enjoys hunting and fishing. Brock has two Children: Mason and Maddison.

Kristofor Kvarfordt: Kris is Marjean’s first born. He graduated from high school in Pocatello and went on to attend Utah State University in Logan, UT. Kristofor married Melanie Marchant from Peoa, UT and they have five children: Kleese, Keeran, Kobe, Kaemon, and Kieon. Kristofor and Melanie have made their home in Logan, UT where Kris is a landscape Architect and teaches at Utah State.

Amanda Weed: Amanda is Richard’s first born daughter. Similar to her cousin Kathleen, Amanda also lived a nomadic life, attending schools in Washington, Montana, and North Dakota, before finally returning to Coeur d’Alene. She graduated from the new Lakeside High School where she was, like her Aunt Marjean, active in band. She attended the University of Idaho and taught school for several years in the Coeur d’Alene school system. Amanda married Matthew Weed and they have three children: Alex, Katie, and Allison. The Weed’s live in Post Falls.

Julie Kasner: Julie is Richard’s second born daughter. Julie also lived the nomadic life and attended several schools throughout the Northwest. Finally returning to Coeur d’Alene and graduating from Lakeside High School. Julie married Jeremy Kasner and they have four children: Victor, Malcolm, Bethany, and Titus. The Kasners’ have remained in North Idaho and live in Rathdrum.

Kyle Waford is Marjean’s second child. Kyle graduated from Century high school where he excelled as an athlete playing basketball, football and soccer. Since graduating, Kyle has attended ISU, played football, and traveled and lived and worked in New York City. He has returned to Idaho and lives in Pocatello.

Bill and Dorothy’s family now has 23 great grandchildren.