Morris A. Skiles passed away peacefully on Dec. 30, 2019, surrounded by family. He was tough as nails and fought hard to remain with his family as long as possible.
He was born Jan. 6, 1947, in Moscow, Idaho to Donald and Rose (Boller) Skiles. He began first grade in Garfield, Wash. where he attended for three weeks before the family moved to St. Regis, Mont. The family lost their St. Regis home to a fire and eventually relocated to Superior, Mont. where Morris attended school through the 8th grade.
Morris enlisted in the United States Marines in 1964 and served proudly until January of 1968. While stationed in California prior to deployment he was introduced to Frances Rodriguez through their best friends, Bobby and Brenda. They were married June 1, 1968, in Lindsay, Calif. They lived in Superior before moving to Kamiah. They moved to Lewiston before returning to Kamiah in 1976. During their 51-year marriage they had five children: Gilbert, Kenny, Amanda, JoEllen and Juanita.
After the service Morris worked many different jobs, mainly driving an 18-wheeler. Morris loved to drive truck. He hauled Christmas trees, beets, grain, chips, and lumber. He retired while working for KBC but continued to drive for them on an as-needed basis until he suffered a stroke in 2016.
He was the family mechanic and story teller. He loved bartering and got his first car by trading his pet squirrel and a gun. Later in life he traded away a Ford Courier for a cord of wood. He had a one-of-a-kind sense of humor. He was loyal, hard-working, honest, and stubborn. He enjoyed camping, hunting, gold panning, boating, and flying. He loved his family and cherished his wife. He was very proud of his children and had a unique relationship with each one. He enjoyed his grandchildren and had a special relationship with them.
He was preceded in death by his maternal and paternal grandparents; his father and mother; and his brother Charles LaVerne.
He is survived by his wife, Frances; their children, Gilbert (Cynthia) Skiles, Kenny (Gena) Skiles, Amanda (Bryan) Schulz, JoEllen (Elliot) Barnes, and Juanita (Brian) Kirkland; 22 grandchildren; five great-grandchildren; sisters Rose Roberts and Betty McKenzie; brother Gene Skiles; and numerous members of the extended family. He was laid to rest at the Kamiah Cemetery on Jan. 3, next to his beloved mother.
Morris will be dearly missed by family and friends but will live on in the stories that will be shared for years to come. He will be thought of anytime his children hear, “You make a better door than you do a window,” “Your dad wasn’t a glass maker,” or “Were you born in a barn?”.
A celebration of his life will be held in Kamiah at a date and time to be set in the future. In lieu of flowers, the family is accepting donations to assist with final expenses. Arrangements are under the direction of Trenary Funeral Home, Kooskia.