John L. “Jack” Morgan


John L. “Jack” Morgan, aged 89, passed away peacefully on Christmas Morning, 2020, surrounded by loved ones, at his home in Niles, Michigan.

Jack was born on February 6, 1931 to Chester and Phyllis Morgan in Mitchell, South Dakota. After graduating from Mitchell High School, Jack attained his bachelors and law degrees at the University of South Dakota. He served as a Second Lieutenant in the U.S. Army in Korea, landing there on the day of the Armistice in 1953. After his service In 1957 joined his father, Chet, and his brother, Bob, at the firm Morgan & Fuller in Mitchell.

Jack, at the time an eligible bachelor, met Nancy Wagner of Elgin, Illinois, at a resort near Brainerd, Minnesota, where she played the piano. They were married at Holy Family Catholic Church in Mitchell on August 24, 1963. Jack and Nancy raised their three children – Pat, Pete and Sheila – to also be proud graduates of Mitchell High.

Jack continued with the firm for 42 years. While his brother, Bob, was elected to the South Dakota Supreme Court in 1976, Jack Morgan and partner Jack Theeler continued to build the firm, which traces its roots in Mitchell to 1893. He retired in 1999, and Morgan & Theeler, LLC, remains today one of the most well-respected firms in Eastern South Dakota.

Jack was a lifetime member of the South Dakota Bar Association, and an invited member of the American Board of Trial Advocates. In addition to his distinguished career in the law, he was a member of the Elks Club and the Knights of Columbus, and he served as board member of the former Crippled Children’s Hospital in Sioux Falls, known later as the Children’s Care Hospital, and today as LifeScape. He was a patient and caring father and grandfather, a respected member of his community, and a loving husband to the end of his days to his wife, Nancy. He loved to hunt pheasants and ducks, to play golf, spend time with good friends, to watch sports and to take in the news.

Jack was predeceased by his parents, Chet and Phyllis, his sister, Constance, who died as an infant, and his brother Bob. He is survived by Nancy, his beloved wife of fifty-seven years, and by their three children, Pat, of Danville, California, Pete of South Bend, Indiana, and Sheila, of New Canaan, Connecticut, and six grandchildren.

An intimate family funeral was held for Jack at St. Augustine’s Parish in South Bend, Indiana, where he and Nancy were members, on December 28th. The family has planned a Memorial Mass on Friday, August 6, 2021 at 10:30 a.m. at Holy Spirit Catholic Church in Mitchell, followed by a luncheon in the church hall. In addition, Jack’s family is hosting an Open House Celebration of Life from 4:30 to 7:00pm on Thursday, August 5th at the Lake House at 2700 N. Main in Mitchell. Friends and colleagues of Jack’s and of the Morgan family are welcome to attend either or both events. In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to Holy Spirit Parish or in memory of Jack Morgan to the Abbott House of Mitchell, SD at Arrangements are under the direction of the Will Funeral Chapel.

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