By Jacalyn Sticha
Minnesota State Patrol
Donald Earl Morris, 87, of New Ulm, died Saturday, April 13, 2013, at Divine Providence Community Home in Sleepy Eye, Minnesota. Visitation will be 7:30 - 10:30 a.m. Wednesday at the Minnesota Valley Funeral Home, North Chapel, in New Ulm. Funeral service will be 11:00 a.m. Wednesday, April 17, 2013 at the Minnesota Valley Funeral Home, North Chapel, in New Ulm. Burial will be in the New Ulm City Cemetery with full military honors being conducted at the cemetery by the New Ulm Area Comrades of Valor Honor Guard.
Don was born March 13, 1926, in Des Moines, Iowa, to Earl and Elsie (Mueller) Morris. Don spent his youth in the St. Cloud and St. George areas, living with his foster parents, Tony and Lucy Klingler.
He entered the U.S. Army on January 22, 1945. He served on Iwo Jima, Saipan, Guam, and Japan, and was awarded the World War II Victory Medal upon his discharge on September 15, 1946.
On November 5, 1946, he married Bernice Ann Domeier at St. Marys Catholic Church in New Ulm.
Don worked as a mechanic for the Siebenbrunner Car Dealership in downtown New Ulm. From 1949-1955 he and Bernice operated Domeiers Grocery Store. In 1955 they established Dons Cafe on the south side of New Ulm and worked there, side-by-side, for 31 years. The cafe was a popular and bustling place, serving good coffee, delicious food, and plenty of interesting conversation. The cafe closed in 1986. After retirement, Don worked at Domeiers German Store, and drove school bus part-time for the New Ulm Bus Lines.
Don enjoyed composing old time German music. In 1959, he established the Jolly Germans Band, which played in the four-state area from 1959 to 1972. He and the members of the band made six records and two cassettes. His band was known for its excellent music and German costumes. They also played at Polka Days in New Ulm and New Years Eve dances at Georges Ballroom. They were the band of choice for area fire department dances and wedding dances. They received the Citation Award from the Entertainment Operators of America for outstanding contributions to the music industry, for the bands neat appearance, top quality danceable music, and wholesome form of entertainment. Don played trumpet, clarinet, saxophone, accordion, and keyboard.
Don also enjoyed travelling throughout the U.S. He loved his family, taking care of his yard, and his grand dog, Emily. He was deeply patriotic and never failed to hang out the flag on national holidays. He was a member of the American Legion, German Bohemian Society, Catholic Order of Foresters, and St. Marys Church.
Bernice preceded Don in death on June 2, 2012. Don is survived by sons John Morris of New Ulm and Patrick Morris of Mankato; daughter Anne Morris of Saint Paul; sister Doris Brand of Waite Park, Minnesota; sisters-in-law Kathryn DeMarce of Mankato and Marlene Domeier of New Ulm; many cousins, nieces, and nephews, and his best friend, his grand dog Emily. All family, friends, caregivers from Divine Providence Community Home, and acquaintances are invited to a lunch with live polka music at the St. Marys church basement following the burial.