Despite a long history of community service, Dick Morley was surprised to learn he was named Stayton’s First Citizen.
“Generally those of us who get involved in things don’t do them to be recognized, but it’s always nice when you are,” Morley said. “It feels pretty good.”
Morley is a Rotarian, having served as secretary, garage sale vice chair, and helping with many events including wine tasting, SummerFest and the Christmas Toy and Food Drive.
“Dick has been a long-serving member of the club,” said Michael Jaeger, president of the Stayton Area Rotary Club. “In addition to helping support many presidents, he has consistently kept members informed of club activities on a regular basis.”
Jaeger commended Morley for assisting with club fundraisers, which have raised more than $30,000 for kids’ programs in the Stayton area the past decade.
“Dick is currently spearheading a four-way Test Essay and Speech Contest with all the middle schools,” Jaeger wrote. “Dick has a heart for the community and a heart for kids.”
Dave Kinney called Morley “a consummate volunteer and civic leader.”
“He has served as an elected official for the city, the North Santiam School District and the Stayton Fire District,” Kinney said. “He has been on countless boards and committees and led election campaigns for bond measures and special levies.”
Morley served on the Rebuild the Jordan Bridge Committee and serves on the Stayton High School Booster Club.
“He is tough to miss at Stayton High’s sporting events when he uses his ‘radio’ voice to announce, ‘two points – Matt Olson,’ or whoever the current year’s player is,” Kinney wrote. “He recognizes both the ‘star’ and the ‘bit player’ who makes a contribution to the team.”
Kinney added Morley’s contributions don’t stop at football games. “Much of his work is behind the scenes,” he said.
Morley has led the selection process for the annual Booster Club scholarship winners at SHS for many years.
He can also be found knee-deep in water putting together the Rotary Duck Trap to capture 800 yellow ducks in the Salem Ditch during SummerFest, Kinney said.
“As a business owner, he and his wife, Joan, quietly provided financial support to programs at all our local schools,” he added. Morley, who was also named Man of the Year for Stayton in 1991, remains humble about being chosen First Citizen. He credits the honor for his work to the youth he so faithfully supports.
“Being able to be a part of helping kids to be successful is a neat thing,” Morley said. “This is something that is worth the effort.”
Morley plans to run again for the NSSD and SFD boards. And he has no thoughts about ending his connections in the near future with Rotary, SHS Booster and other clubs he participates in.
“To be able to be involved with these folks in these things is great,” he said.
Jaeger called Morley “a pillar of the community whose steadfast devotion to a multitude of causes has made a huge difference in the Stayton area.”
Kinney wrapped up his observances about Morley by saying, “Dick cares deeply about Stayton. What is most impressive is that Dick’s daily life exemplifies that commitment.
“If you need someone to help on a project, he will answer the call, then jump in with both feet and stay until the bitter end,” he added. “Dick Morley is a true civic leader.”