SARANAC LAKE — Forrest "Dew Drop" Morgan, age 90, of Saranac Lake, died Saturday, Nov. 10, 2012 at AMC-Uihlein Mercy Center in Lake Placid.
Born in Saranac Lake, N.Y. on August 16, 1922, he was the son of Wilbur and Anna (Leonard) Morgan.
Dew attended St. Bernard's School, Saranac Lake Central Schools and Tilton Prep School in New Hampshire. The nickname "Dew Drop" was given to him in high school by Murph O'Donnell as a way of teasing him by saying "You're as fresh as the dew on the grass."
He married Sheila O'Reilly, Sept. 12, 1946 when she came here from Montreal (Westmount) to work at Dr. McDougall's camp. She predeceased him in 1988.
He served for one year (1946) as an officer with the Saranac Lake Police Department.
Dew Drop with his wife Sheila bought the Bridge Bar & Grill (Ratskeller) from Max Shapiro in 1947 and changed the name to the Dew Drop Inn which they operated for 42 years. He also opened the Dew Drop Up in Potsdam in 1966 and the 13 Morgan's in Plattsburgh in 1967. After selling the Inn in 1988, he enjoyed his title as Raconteur at the Lake Placid Lodge until his retirement at the age of 86.
He was drafted into the Army Air Force in Dec. 1942 and was discharged on July 6, 1945. He was later called into service from the reserves during the Korean War but did not go overseas. It was well documented in an Enterprise story only a couple of years ago about Dew and his crew being shot down. They flew the famous V Grand, (which was the 5000 liberator bomber) to their base in Bari, Italy, where they became part of the 15th Air Force. They were shot down on their 18th bombing mission over German-occupied Poland. Five of the 10-man crew was wounded.
Dew volunteered to go back flying, but on his third combat mission the landing gear would not open as they approached their base. He had seen a B-24 belly-land when the sparks caused it to explode, so when the pilot gave permission for the crew to bail out, he was the only one to jump. The landing gear eventually came down, the plane landed safely and the MP's had to go pick up Dew Drop from the hillside vineyard where he had landed.
Dew Drop was a 1959 national bobsled champion, member of the Saranac Lake Bobsled Club and served on the U.S. Bobsled Board of Directors. He was also named an honorary member of FIBT-federation international bobsleigh toboggan in 2002. His passion for the sport started in 1932 when he attended the Olympics in Lake Placid with his father. Dew Drop had some issues with the "Little S" curve and became known as the greatest crash artist at Mt. Van Hoevanburg. He was manager of USA Olympic bobsled team in 1976 and manager of USA world teams in 82 and 85. His enthusiasm for the sport carried over to his family and many Saranac Lakers.
Dew Drop is a lifetime member of the Saranac Lake Elks BPOE 1508, Saranac Lake Veterans of Foreign Wars Post # 3357. In 1945 he was given the American Flag by a Spanish American War Veteran to carry in the Memorial Day Parade in Saranac Lake which he carried for the next 54 years until 2009.
Dew Drop was a huge supporter of the Saranac Lake High School Sports programs and was named to the Saranac Lake High School Hall of Fame in 1987. He was inducted into the Lake Placid Hall of Fame in 2002. He also served as King of the Saranac Lake Winter Carnival in 1997.
He is survived by five sons, John F. Morgan and his wife Marie of Lake Placid, Terrance O. Morgan of Oklahoma City, Okla., Sean R. Morgan and his wife Tammy of Saranac Lake, Bryan T. Morgan of Saranac Lake, and Dermott P. Morgan Saranac Lake; four daughters, Kelly Ann Morgan and Dennis Duprey of Saranac Lake, Colleen Anne Fossi and her husband Herman of South Hero, Vt., Mary Bridget Curlin and her husband Rick of New Bern, N.C., and Casey Kathleen Eurich and her husband Gordi of Montpelier, Vt.; 12 grandchildren Evan and his wife Lauren, Garrett, Jordan, Jamie and her husband Shawn Rohe, Katie, Forrest, Kevin, Sheila, Ellen, Jimmy, Haleigh and Dermott Jr.; one great-grandson, Blake Patrick; and many nieces and nephews.
He was predeceased by two sons, James P. Morgan and Kevin M. Morgan; a daughter-in-law, Elizabeth Morgan; three brothers, Leonard, Harold and Jerry; and four sisters, Anna Morgan, Ethel Cushman, Lillian Morgan and Helen Munn.
Calling hours will take place from 4 - 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 13, 2012 at the Fortune-Keough Funeral Home. A Mass of Christian Burial will take place at 3 p.m. on Wednesday Nov. 14, 2012 at St. Bernard's Church. Burial will take place at St. Bernard Cemetery in Saranac Lake.
Friends wishing to remember Forrest W. Morgan may make memorial contributions to High Peaks Hospice and Homeward Bound Adirondacks in care of the funeral home. Family and friends can also share their memories and sign the online guestbook at fortunekeoughfuneralhome.com. Arrangements are in the care of Fortune-Keough Funeral Home, 20 Church St., Saranac Lake, N.Y. 12983 518-891-3613