Monsignor John W. Morgan, a beloved priest who served the church in Idaho for more than 60 years, passed away peacefully on the morning of Sunday, Aug. 16, 2020. At the time of his death, he was a resident of The Bridge at Valley View.
Monsignor Morgan was born Oct. 22, 1932, in Pocatello to Weldon and Frances Maly Morgan. He spent his childhood years in the small town of Inkom, near Pocatello, where he attended grade school. After his father died, Frances married Louis D. Yates and the family moved to Nampa. Monsignor Morgan briefly attended St. Paul’s Catholic School before beginning his studies at Mt. Angel Seminary in Oregon. After graduation, he continued his studies at St. Edward’s Seminary in Seattle. He was ordained as a priest on May 25, 1958, by Diocese of Boise Bishop James J. Byrne.
He was assistant pastor at the Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist (1958) and at St. Alphonsus, Wallace (1958-63). His first pastorate was at St. Michael’s in Mullan from 1963 to 1966. While in Mullan, he worked to establish a mission church in Avery. His later pastorates were at St. Hubert’s in Homedale (1966-69); St. Pius X in Coeur d’Alene (1969-74); St. Mary’s in Caldwell (1974-84); St. Mary’s in Boise (1984-95); and Our Lady of the Snows, Sun Valley, (1995-2007). While serving in Sun Valley, he was also the administrator for St. Charles Borromeo in Hailey.
In 2008, Pope Benedict XVI named him a “Prelate of Honor to His Holiness.” It was at this time that he was given the title, “Monsignor.” His fellow priests accorded him great respect, electing him dean of the West Central Region for 20 years (1975-95), dean of the Southern Region in 1995-96, and chairman of the Presbyteral Council for many years. He was known throughout the diocese as a hard-working priest. Even after retiring, he helped the church he loved in whatever capacity he could. He continued to help the diocesan tribunal with marriage cases from 1970 through 2018. When he wasn’t caring for the sick or celebrating Mass, Monsignor Morgan enjoyed the great Idaho outdoors fishing, hunting, prospecting for gold and flying planes.
After retiring in 2007, Monsignor John moved to Boise to be near his sister, Francie. He spent the last few years at Garnet Place Senior Living before relocating to The Bridge in July.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Weldon and Frances; stepfather, Louis; sisters: Ann Morgan Young, Johnna Morgan Schmidt, Louise Yates Heckenkamp, Marguerite Yates Spiker, Sr. Mary Cornelia Yates, Kay Yates Berg, Ruth Yates Dodge, and Uva Yates Morris; and his brother, Edward Morgan. He is survived by his sister, Francie (Chuck) Link; sister-in-law, Linda Morgan; and numerous nieces, nephews, and cousins and their families.
At the request of Monsignor Morgan’s family and due to COVID concerns, there will be a private funeral Mass. The Mass will be livestreamed from St. Mark’s Catholic Community, on Tuesday, August 25th, at 10 a.m. Please visit www.StMarksBoise.org for the livestream. Remembrances may be left for the family at www.AccentFuneral.com. Services are under the care of Accent Funeral Home, Meridian.
“May the souls of the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace.”