Mable Iris Sundberg Morrow, born April 13, 1931, in Ogden, Utah, to Ernest O. Sundberg and Lenora (Horsefield) Sundberg, passed away peacefully on Saturday, April 9, at her home in Evanston. She was 90 years old.
Iris grew up living in railroad houses from Echo, Utah, to Cheyenne, living in Wamsutter for the longest period of time. In Wamsutter, she learned to love the wide-open spaces, beautiful sunsets and the ever-present Wyoming wind. While living there as a young girl, her pet was a baby antelope named Jesse James.
She met Bill Morrow at The Blue Bucket Dance Hall in Evanston when she was a young teen, probably too young to be frequenting a dance hall known by local boys as “The Bloody Bucket.” She visited Evanston from Castle Rock, Utah — where her dad was working as a signal maintainer for the Union Pacific Railroad — accompanied by her older sisters Edna, Shirley and Betty. Iris was the baby of the large family, which also included older brothers Jay, Marvin and Reid. Her one younger sister Ida was stillborn.
She married Bill on Feb. 15, 1947, in Randolph, Utah. According to her telling, when asked, “Do you take this woman?” Bill said, “Yep.” Her reply to the same question was, “Yeah.” Because the newly-married couple had no money, they celebrated their marriage by sharing a sandwich at a café across the street from the courthouse.
They raised seven children in Evanston, Vickie (Paul Vozakis), Jim (Jolene Six), Colleen (Mark Kunz), Dan (Stephanie Day), Wayne (Kim Hutchings), Scott (Charlene Henriette), and Don (Brenda Cox). Iris had 22 grandchildren, 50 great-grandchildren and four great-great-grandchildren.
Bill worked on the B&B (bridge and building) department of the UPRR for 33 years. Iris worked at the Best Western Dunmar in Evanton for 33 years, where virtually all of the family worked with her over the years doing everything from cleaning rooms to mowing lawns to waiting tables to maintenance to management. Every possible job one could think of at the motel was done by either Iris or one of her kids or grandkids. A great many people who worked at the Dunmar during that time credit Iris with teaching them work ethic.
After she retired from the Dunmar in 1993, she worked some part-time jobs for the next seven years before Bill’s health failed and she spent the next 2-1/2 years caring for him. He passed away June 29, 2002. At that point her son Scott and Char moved in with her and were her caretakers. Their loving care allowed her to stay in the home she and Bill shared all their lives. All her children helped her a great deal and she often said she was blessed with such a loving family.
She was a voracious reader and loved movies and music and travel. She earned her high school GED certificate at the age of 65, just because she wanted it. More than anything, Iris loved parties and any occasion was an excuse to have one, including Easter, Christmas, birthdays and anything else. She hated COVID because of the interruptions it caused in the family traditions, including the Easter and Christmas parties held every year for as long as any of them can remember.
Iris believed in laughing and having fun. She wanted everybody to have fun — not just her family, but everyone. She made everything an adventure and even scrubbing walls in the Legal Tender could be fun with Iris in charge. Work hard and play hard was her motto.
She was preceded in death by Bill; her daughter, Vickie; son-in-law, Paul; daughter-in-law, Stephanie; and several siblings.
She is survived by her children and the huge tribe she and Bill founded and her best buddy, Spike — her loving and devoted Brussels Griffon.
Services will be held at 11 a.m. on Friday, April 15, at the Evanston Roundhouse. All friends and family are welcome to attend and celebrate her life.