June 21, 1950—July 1, 2019
On July 1, 2019 Mike Morgan, my longtime friend and employee departed this earth. Back in 1992, I was in need of a project manager to run my construction projects. A concrete sub with whom I was doing a lot of business, the late Joe Morello from Morello Concrete, recommended Mike Morgan for the position. I interviewed Mike and learned that one of his hobbies was bird hunting. At that time I was a trap shooter and had never actually been hunting for anything so this subject really piqued my interest. I hired him on the spot on the condition that he take me bird hunting with him, which he wholeheartedly agreed. From then on up until this year we, including Joe Morello, spent every bird season hunting in the Mexicali valley for dove, quail, pheasant and duck, sometimes making 6 to 8 trips per season. Mike and I also made several trips to Alberta, Canada for geese, Hermosillo Mexico for dove, duck and Gould’s Turkey, Wyoming for Merriam’s Turkey, Campeche Mexico for Ocellated turkey and several fishing trips including a week in Costa Rica fishing for Sailfish and Tarpon.
In between the bird hunts and fishing trips, Mike and I actually worked and worked hard. Mike and I built hundreds of projects together, mainly in Southern California but also in Arizona and Texas. Some of the more recognizable local projects include Kearny Mesa Ford with the big tower on Clairmont Mesa Blvd., DCH Honda in Lemon Grove (which is now owned by the Mossy Auto Group), Mossy Ford in Poway and San Marcos, at least five TGIF Fridays restaurants in town and 20 more out of town, several carwashes, lube and tunes and gas stations–his last one was the Valero Service Station on Laurel and Pacific next to the Airport–and several church projects including St James Catholic Community, Good Sheppard Parish, Our lady of Guadalupe Catholic Church, Saint Marks Catholic parish, Formosan Evangelical Church in Del Mar and Ocean View Church in the South Bay.
Mike had a commanding knowledge of construction procedures, methods and scheduling and had a calming personality that our superintendents, subs and clients greatly appreciated. One of Mike’s greatest assets was his ability to solve problems without getting everyone bent out of shape. Mike was a dutiful employee for me for the last 27 years. He was not just an employee for me but a cherished friend and hunting and fishing partner. Mike was totally dependable and both of us spent many Saturday’s working in the office together to try and stay on top of things so we could take a couple of days off to go bird hunting or fishing. Mike truly loved his occupation and had a very successful career and fittingly, he died at his desk the morning after a great fishing weekend with me, Bud Coberly and Sergio Estrella Jr. in Kino Bay, Mexico. We will miss him dearly.