It’s fitting that a man in the mortality business has a penchant for living.
William Homer Morgan Sr, patriarch of Morgan Funeral Home in Advance, Mo., has outlived his father by 38 years and his older brother by 26.
The funeral home, which has been around since 1929, was a haunt of mine growing up.
My father ran the furniture store and later became a florist down the same street. With the flowers and the funerals, death was a Morgan monopoly.
To locals, my uncle is known as “Big Bill,” lest one confuse him with his middle son, “Little Bill,” who eventually assumed the family business.
With his three-piece suits and shined shoes, Big Bill (the middle Morgan at left) was the picture of sartorial splendor. His raspy, reassuring voice seemed straight from the heavens. If if was your time to go, you wanted Bill to take you there.
As a boy, I will always remember the funeral home for its royal blue carpet and the dinger on the door. I liked to saunter to the back room, where the men drank coffee and read the morning paper.
I have become closer to my Uncle Bill since my father died. The oldest living Morgan had known him longer than anyone, and his stories about their exploits always make me smile.
I love your crappie dinners, delectably cooked by your wife, Joy. I love your time-worn tales. I love you, Uncle Bill.
Happy Birthday to you.