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Pinedale Online > News > March 2010 > Obituary – Murland Morss

Murland Martin Morss. Photo by Morss family.
Murland Martin Morss
Photo courtesy Morss family.
Obituary – Murland Morss
March 2, 2010

Murland Martin Morss was born December 30, 1931 in Pinedale Wyoming to Herbert L. Morss and Lorna Coats in the house that Ethelyn Worl made her home. Murly had one brother Everett (Gene) Morss, a half brother Marvin (Squeege) Mathill and one half sister Twila Mathill.

Murly passed away at his home on February 25, 2010, a mere ¼ mile from where he was born. He spent his entire life in Pinedale. Always claiming that he never had enough money to leave, although he never really wanted to leave.

As a young man at the age of twelve, Murly rode broncs in the rough string for the Upper Green River Cattlemen’s Association. He worked for the Association summers while in school. During that time of his life he developed lifelong relationships with Rex Wardell, Max Orgill and numerous others. He rode and broke horses all his life and found his joy and love of life in the saddle.

Murly married Dona Rae Shanley on June 20, 1952. Murly and Dona Rae have three children Marilyn, Tom and Mart. Murly’s kids learned from him that anything worth doing was worth doing right the first time.

Together, Murly and Dona Rae rode for the Upper Green River Cattleman’s Association, later they worked for the Circle S Dude Ranch.

In 1964 Murly went to work for the Fayette Ranch as Ranch manager, and was there for twenty nine years. In 1989, Murly retired from the Fayette after a serious heart attack. They then moved to their home on Faler Lane. Murly couldn’t give up the cowboy way, so after a brief recovery period, Murly and Dona Rae decided to lease the Doyle place and raise cows and hay. Murly also worked as ditch rider for twenty two years.

Murly was a man of many talents. He did all his own mechanic work. He took classes in Veterinary medicine so he could do his own vet work. He was his own maintenance man and did whatever carpentry work that needed to be done. Early in his life, his saddle needed fixing and he taught himself how to use the leather tools and work with leather. Each of Murly’s grandchildren have a saddle handmade and tooled by him. If it was made of leather, Murly probably had made it, and many cowboys are still riding in his saddles today, although, he never guaranteed that they wouldn’t leek.

Murly took a painting class but ultimately developed his own style. His paintings usually depicted some part or event in his life. As a young school boy, Murly would forego his school work in favor of drawing pictures, much to the dismay of one of his teachers, Madge Funk. In his later years painting became his passion. His life story can be seen on his canvases. Many a horse wreck is portrayed in his paintings, some of him and many of friends who may not have seen the humor, as he did.

Murly liked to play cards and played a mean game of poker. He had a cutter team and competed in the races in Pinedale for several years. Murly played Hugh Glass and Kit Carson in the Rendezvous Pageant in Pinedale. Usually the whole family would dress up and participate in the pageant.

Murly loved snow machining and at the top of nearly every ridge, the snow machines would pull over, out would come the peach schnapps and a story of past years would be told. Trail riding wasn’t his style; he preferred to go "adventuring" in the Wind River Mountains.

Murly didn’t travel far distances, but he claimed to have been everywhere there was to go in Sublette County. Murly truly knew and loved the mountains and spent many summers pack tripping into his favorite camps. Hunting season was one of his favorite times of year. He enjoyed hunting for big horn sheep and elk and usually had at least one of his kids along for the ride. Fishing was also a favorite pastime when the work was done.

The greatest testament to Murly is the enormous love and respect that he always had from his children and grandchildren. He was very well respected by his neighbors.

Murland is survived by his wife Dona Rae, children Marilyn and Craig Jensen, Thomas and Ray Ann (Trink) Morss, Martin and Donna Morss, grandchildren Robin and Corey Jensen, Luke and Cassie Morss, Micki Morss and Bo Morss, and Aunt Dortha Nelson.

Pinedale Online > News > March 2010 > Obituary – Murland Morss

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