Our mother and wife, Evelyn Viola Dyrud Morck, passed away quietly with a smile during the morning of the first day of Spring and Palm Sunday, March 20, 2016. Evelyn was born in Conrad to Adolph and Emily Dyrud on Dec. 6, 1933, fitting comfortably in the middle of a large Norwegian family. Along with her brothers and sisters, she grew up in Conrad, living there until beginning college at Eastern Montana College in 1953.
She obtained a teaching certificate and taught second and fifth grade in Livingston, Dillon and Miles City. While teaching in Livingston, she met the love of her life, Neil F. Morck, who was just finishing college at MSU on the GI Bill. It was love at first sight and they married in July 1957, beginning an adventure spanning much of the country. Evelyn raised two children, Erika and Fred; four Brittany Spaniels; and a Springer along the way. When Neil retired in 1989, they returned to Montana, settling in Billings to be close to family and away from the big city of Denver.
Evelyn loved all of her family very much and devoted her life to them above all else. She also enjoyed regaling anyone who would listen with tales of her Dyrud childhood during the Great Depression and World War II, growing up in a house fashioned from a former Great Northern wooden passenger car with seven brothers and sisters. A little known fact not lost to her family was her Montana State Championship title as a Drum Majorette in 1951, her performance ironically broadcast statewide live on the radio from Great Falls.
She was fond of her Norwegian Lutheran upbringing and loved to tell us about her Sunday morning adventures traversing the countryside with crazy Lutheran pastors that drove like “bats out of hell” over washboard roads to get to the various country churches surrounding Conrad, where she would play the piano and the pastor preached. She loved playing the piano and instilled a love of music in both Erika and Fred.
Later in life, she often complained about the moves she had to endure, but secretly, we think she enjoyed the experiences in different cities and towns all over the west, including Montana; Nevada; Wyoming; Washington, D.C.; and Colorado. She liked to recount the family’s many moves to those she met, often finishing her story with a quote from Johnny Cash: “I’ve been everywhere, man.” And she certainly had been — from such humble beginnings to living in the capitol of the United States and meeting dignitaries to boot!
In her later years, Evelyn suffered a series of health problems, but always seemed to rebound. She was in good spirits right to the end. Tucker, our beloved Brittany, went on ahead of Mom last spring to make sure everything was ready for Mom in Heaven. We are certain he has been waiting there patiently for her ever since, for his morning ear rub.
We love you, Mom and beloved Evelyn. Despite your wry assertion that “no one will even know I’m not there,” we will most definitely know and we will deeply feel your absence.
Evelyn is survived by her loving husband, Neil Morck; her daughter, Erika Morck; son Fred Morck (Kathie); sister Phyllis Branstetter; brothers Jim Dyrud (Joyce) and Charles Dyrud; sister-in- law, Mary Dyrud (Lester Dyrud); as well as numerous nieces, nephews, and cousins.
A memorial service will be at 11 a.m. Friday, March 25, at Lutheran Church of the Good Shepherd, 1108 24th St. W., in Billings. The family has requested that in lieu of flowers, donations be made to the Lutheran Church of the Good Shepherd Music Program.