ONALASKA

Dr. David L. Morris
June 4, 1929 — Feb. 1, 2017

Dr. David L. Morris, 87, of Onalaska, passed away peacefully at Gundersen Health System on Wednesday, February 1, 2017, following a long battle with Parkinson’s disease. He was born in Waukesha on June 4, 1929, to Leslie and Kathryn (Davies) Morris.

At Carroll College, the cute, brilliant boy in the front row of freshman English caught the eye of Sacia Brewer of Menomonie. They married on July 7, 1951, and he loved and cherished her everyday for more than 65 years.

David graduated from the University of Wisconsin Medical School, where he served as class president all four years. Following medical school and completing an internship in Duluth, Minn., David proudly served in the U.S. Air Force as a flight surgeon, caring for airmen and their families. His service included time aboard the first Strategic Air Command B-47 based in Guam. In 1957, he joined a private practice in West Salem, where his longstanding interest in allergic disorders propelled a life-long quest to find better ways to treat patients suffering from a myriad of medical issues.

David was a natural-born problem solver, researcher and advocate. His focus on finding the best options for his patients led him to international travel to learn from others who might offer insights into his own patients’ needs, and to pioneer treatments that impacted so many. He was ahead of his time with his use of ear tubes for chronic ear infections before they became standard treatment, and being one of the first U.S. doctors to use an external defibrillator outside of surgery. He is most widely known for his pioneering allergy treatment using sublingual immunotherapy, treating patients who traveled from around the country at the Allergy Associates of La Crosse practice he founded in 1970. He was most proud of getting to practice with his daughter and partner, Dr. Mary Morris, for 22 years. His legacy will continue through Mary’s dedication to their patients. He and his partners published the La Crosse Method Protocol that he shared freely and humbly with thousands of U.S. and international providers, and founded Allergychoices in 2000 as a means to help patients get the care they need closer to home through their local providers. To date, his methods have served over 195,000 patients around the country.

Aside from his professional accomplishments, David was a model of optimism and kindness. He loved his work and caring for his patients. He loved his family and modeled joy — taking his children along on house calls in the early days while singing loudly with the windows wide open. He inspired them to do the right thing, even if it wasn’t the popular thing, understanding that criticism was OK as long as they were doing what was ethical and honorable. He strongly believed in giving back, resulting in the initiatives including the Morris Institute of Respiratory Research at UW-Madison, local behavioral health initiatives, and countless others that serve a variety of community needs.

David is survived by his wife, Sacia; his children Tim (Lisa) Morris of Boca Raton, Fla., Mary (Jim Killoran) Morris of Onalaska, Kathryn (Greg) LeMond of Medina, Minn., and Greenback, Tenn., Lisa (Scott) Kee of Plymouth, Minn., and Galesville; 11 grandchildren, Andrew Morris, Spencer Morris, Preston Morris, Sacia Killoran, Moira Killoran, Emma Killoran, Geoffrey LeMond, Scott LeMond, Simone LeMond, Charlie Kee and Elisabeth Kee; one great-granddaughter, Lennon LeMond; and extended family, friends, colleagues and patients with whom he shared a special bond.

He was preceded in death by his parents, brother John, and sister Helen.

Memorial services will be held at 3 p.m. today, February 4, at First Presbyterian Church, 233 West Ave. South. The Rev. J. Taylor Haley will officiate. Private family burial will take place at a later date. Friends may call on the family at the church on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Schumacher-Kish Funeral Home, 608-782-1252, is serving the family. The online guestbook may be signed at www.schumacher-kish.com.