Dallas Morris passed away very peacefully in his home on October 4, 2023, with his wife Carol, and daughters Suzi and Chelly, by his side.
Dallas’ parents were Margaret and P.D. “Pete” Morris. He was born September 7, 1939, in Gainesville, Texas, and grew up in Ada, Oklahoma, along with a brother, Prestley, and sisters Carolyn, Ruthi, and Jeannie. Their home was on a large acreage where they had a peach orchard and raised miniature horses. Dallas would ride his pony through the drive thru at a local ice cream shop, getting himself and his pony a treat.
Dallas was a curious and creative boy, taking things apart to see how they worked. He had his own agenda, and lived life on his terms. Several summers, starting at the age of 15, he rode his Ariel Square Four motorcycle to work on a ranch in Gunnison, Colorado, harvesting hay and rounding up cattle on horseback. He stayed at a boarding house and in his free time, he taught himself how to play the harmonica.
Dallas graduated from Ada High School, then attended Oklahoma State Tech in Okmulgee to study diesel mechanics. It was in Okmulgee, he met the love of his life, Carol Mansberger, when she was working concessions at the Orpheum movie theater. While dating, a Tom Dooley movie was being filmed. Dallas loaned a pair of his boots to the set to be used at the end of a mound of dirt for a scene in the movie!
Dallas and Carol married in 1960 in Green River, Wyoming and lived in Rock Springs while working for Halliburton. It was there they had Suzi in 1962. He later moved the family to Enid, where his youngest daughter Chelly was born in 1965. Dallas was a devoted father. As Suzi and Chelly were growing up, he was there for their Daddy/Daughter dinners, talent shows, contests, and music competitions. He continued his career with Halliburton until he retired in 1993.
Dallas was multifaceted. He was a vault of an incredible amount of knowledge and wisdom, and there were always opportunities to learn from him. He loved flying and received his pilot’s license on October 12, 1966. He was a member of the RC Airplane Club, the Shawnee Live Steam Engine Club, and he and Carol both belonged to the Antique Toy Club. He took his family to steam engine shows, popping popcorn and roasting peanuts in his 1909 Cretors steam-powered popcorn machine. As part of the Antique Toy Club, Carol and Dallas traveled to many conventions. A favorite destination of one of the conventions was when they flew to Holland.
Dallas would take Carol on many motorcycle trips. He loved the freedom he felt on a motorcycle, and loved that Carol shared his love of riding. One of their epic motorcycle trips was when they rode to Florida, dipped the tire in the Atlantic, and then rode to California to dip the tire in the Pacific! He then took Suzi and Chelly each on their own motorcycle trips with him, one to Memphis, the other to Colorado Springs. He also went on motorcycle adventures with his old high school friends, aka the Old Farts Motorcycle Club.
There was always music in his childhood home. At 8 years old, he sang “Send in Your Name and Address” on a local radio show. At 12 years old, Dallas’ mom purchased a Kay guitar for him. He taught himself to play, which could be seen in the unique ways he fingered the chords. He played trombone in the high school band, and was chosen as drum major. Bringing the band to attention was a show. At 6’4”, wearing the tall drum major hat, he'd blow his whistle, arch backwards, with his hat almost touching the ground, before leading the band to the field.
He and some of his bandmates also formed a Dixie Land Band. Mr. Austin Kidwell, his high school band director, took the Dixie Land Band to play in several towns in the area. Dallas played several instruments throughout the years: the Didgeridoo, hammered dulcimer, mandolin, harmonica, accordion, and guitar. One time, he built a cigar box fiddle for a couple who played odd instruments at the Silver Dollar City Music Festival. They were ecstatic and he was tickled when they incorporated his creation into their gig.
He’d play his guitar often, mainly old folk songs passed down from generation to generation. He found his retirement niche after Halliburton. He began getting out to listen to and encourage bands around Enid. He’d listen to any genre, saying, “If there’s talent, it doesn’t matter the genre–I like all of it!” Sometimes he’d be invited to sing a couple of songs on a band’s break, or even have a gig of his own, with friends joining him. His most requested tunes were funny ones, such as, ‘Want You to Love Me Like My Dog’ and ‘Chicken Truck.’ But he had a full repertoire of songs he played.
In recent years, when he started having health issues, he always kept a positive outlook. One time, he was asked how he stayed so positive in the hospital, he said, “There’s no sense in making anything worse than it already is!” He’d often say, “As long as I’m alive and kickin’ around enough to have fate handed to me, then I’ll deal with it!”
Dallas simply loved people and had many lifelong friends. Dallas also dearly loved the friends he met through the music scene. He cared about each of their life experiences. He would meet people for the first time, and after that day, he considered them a friend. He loved the uniqueness of everyone and truly took a vested interest in their lives.
Dallas is preceded in death by his parents and younger brother Prestley. He is survived by his loving wife Carol, daughters Suzi Kucko (Todd) of Stillwater, OK, Chelly Young of Los Alamos, NM, and sisters Carolyn Kay Layton of Catoosa, OK, Ruth Ann Smith of Ada, and Patricia Jean Sanford (Larry) of Edmond, OK, and nephews and nieces who have all excelled in their own musical talents.
Dallas lived a very fulfilled and adventurous life. He lived by the old adage, “Don’t grow up until you’ve exhausted all other possibilities!” He was most happy when friends and family gathered together to have fun, share stories, and fill the air with laughter. His family will make plans to celebrate his life with friends and family in the spring or summer of 2024. Thank you to everyone for loving Dallas for the wonderful, incredible man he was.