Catherine Helen Gist Morgan
April 19, 2023
Catherine Helen Gist Morgan was born September 25, 1928 in Big Sandy, Montana, to Leo and Pauline (Boehmer) Gist. "Cassie" was the third of six children who were raised in the Missouri River Breaks. She attended elementary school at Gist School, built by her dad on their homestead 75 miles south of Chinook, where most of her classmates were her brothers and sisters. Catherine and her sisters moved to Chinook for high school, and she graduated in 1946 at the age of 17. She immediately began her teaching career after attending Northern Montana College for one summer quarter, paid for by a loan her dad took out on her behalf since she was too young to borrow. The first rural school at which she taught was Lower Dog Creek where she had six students. Over the next 16 years, Cassie went on to teach in several rural Montana schools, including Warrick, Mountain View, Kabo, East Chinook, and Lone Tree Bench, as well as serving as the Blaine County Superintendent of Schools from 1957-1960. After 16 years of teaching and taking summer and winter college quarters, Catherine finally achieved her goal of earning her Bachelors degree from NMC. In 1963, she and her family moved to Chandler, Arizona where she continued teaching and completed her Master of Education Degree from Arizona State University in 1970. Cassie continued to work as a dedicated educator until her retirement in June 1988.
One of Cassie's greatest pleasures was traveling. In addition to seeing most of the lower 48, she visited Hawaii and Alaska multiple times. She traveled extensively in Europe, touring Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Norway, Sweden, Scotland, Wales, and her favorite, Ireland, as well as Australia and New Zealand. Her other great love was dancing, and she and Curt were well known for their waltzing, polka, and schottische at country dances from Cleveland to Warrick. They were also long-time members of the Sagebrush Squares Square Dance club in Chandler, AZ. In her later years, Cassie belonged to many card groups through which she met many wonderful friends.
Although Catherine accomplished many notable things in her life, her greatest joy and pride was her family. She married Curtis H. Morgan in 1951, and they ranched on Lone Tree Bench before moving to Chinook. She helped raise Curt's children, Carla and Donald, before having three daughters, Carmen Luanne, born 1954, Leah Annette, born in 1959, and Valerie Dawn in 1960. Curt and Cassie enjoyed adventuring with their children, including camping, hiking, traveling, and boating. When she became a grandmother, Cassie loved following her grandchildren's events and took great pride in their many achievements.
Catherine was preceded in death by her parents; siblings Francis, Betty, Jack, Sonny and Esther; her husband Curt; Carmen Morgan, Carla Turk and Ryan Morgan.
She is survived by stepson Donald (Linda) Morgan, daughter, Leah Clark and her daughters Lyssa (Jack) Stewart and Lauren (Tyler) Bell; daughter, Valerie (Doug) White and her children Logan (Julie) Terry and Laurel (Daniel) Cahill; the children of the late Carla Morgan Turk, Corinna (Shawn) Damm, Camille (Jeff) Randolph, Craig (Lisa) Turk and their families; her great-grandchildren, Anna and Brooklyn Terry and Christian and Miles Pitkanen; and many dear friends and relatives.