May 5, 1967 - November 20, 2020

 

David D. Morris, 53, of Sartell died suddenly on Fri., Nov. 20, 2020 at the St. Cloud Hospital from complications of colonic obstruction surgery. A private service for immediate family members this Friday will be followed by a public celebration of life at a later date.

He was born May 5, 1967 in St. Cloud to Harold Dean and Mary Ellen Morris. He graduated from Paynesville High School in 1985 and from the University of Minnesota in 1991.

Lessons learned in his earliest years -- delivering The St. Cloud Times, detasseling corn, mowing lawns for widows, sending thoughtful cards -- shaped the values of his life: Work hard, show respect, and give back.

As the son, grandson and nephew of veterans, he was proud to have grown up with words like service and sacrifice. His role in Memorial Day ceremonies grew from Boy Scout leading the pledge, to trumpeter playing taps, to Boy Stater reading the Gettysburg Address.

He loved to explore the world, from racing up the stairs of the Statue of Liberty when he was six to practicing his German and Russian on business trips.

In 1989 he was traveling in Berlin when the wall came down, and in 1999 he married Catherine Bystritskaya, so proud that his parents flew from Minnesota to Moscow to attend.

His 30-year career in hotel management began at the Radisson Plaza in downtown Minneapolis in 1991 and led to a dozen assignments in Russia, Kazakhstan, Latvia, China, Azerbaijan, Tatarstan, and Armenia.

During his return visits to Minnesota he found that “Yes,” was the easiest answer to the frequent question of “Are you the brother who works in Russia?”

Since returning full time to the U.S. in summer 2019, he served as General Manager of the Holiday Inn & Suites in St. Cloud and said he was honored to work with such a strong team.

His family was excited to put down roots in Sartell, where he recently taught their older daughter how to drive and their younger daughter how to roast perfect marshmallows for backyard s’mores.

He is survived by his wife Catherine; daughters Mary and Julia; mother Mary Ellen of Paynesville; brothers Jared (Jodi) of Portland and Scott of Sacramento; aunt Mary Ann Tourres of Waite Park; uncles Bill (Rose) of St. Cloud, Bob of Avon, and Dick (Carol Jean) of St. Thomas; many cousins and friends.

He was preceded in death by his father Harold “Dean”; uncles Al Tourres and Tom O’Connell; grandparents Harold and Marcella Morris of St. Cloud, James and Agatha O’Connell of St. Thomas, and step grandmother Marge Esser-O’Connell of Shakopee.

His family sends thanks to the neighbors for the pans of lasagna, to the medical teams who gave it their all, and to Fr. Frederick for asking God during last rites “to send angels and saints to greet David.”

Memorials are preferred for the education funds of daughters Mary and Julia.