Garrett James Morgan
11 Apr 1963 - 23 May 2020
Written by Garrett himself
Garrett James Morgan died peacefully in Gresham, Ore., May, 23, 2020. He is survived by his loving husband, Walter Roy Bayless; three children, Robert L. Morgan, Patricia K. Morgan and Rebecca J. Cavalli; his grandchild, Riley Opoka; parents, Alferd L. Morgan, Jr. and Sharon R. Morgan (Los Angeles); and his adopted sister, Laura M. Deriquito (Albuquerque, N.M.). He was preceded in death by his adopted brother, J. Graham Hookings (Barry, Vale of Glamorgan, United Kingdom). Garrett was born and raised in Southern California. He attended university at the University of Portland (BBA) and University of Colorado (MBA) and received his CPA designation in 1990. He began his career at Arthur Andersen & Co. After marrying, he traveled extensively world-wide as a Regional U.S. Treasury Officer for the U.S. Air Force and Department of Defense. His assignments included Lowry Air Force Base (Colorado), the U.S. Air Force Academy (Colorado) and Loring Air Force Base (Maine). During Operation Southern Watch, he deployed to Kuwait and Saudi Arabia, stationed at King Abdulaziz Air Base in Kuwait, serving as the sole Department of Defense Regional Paying Officer for Southwest Asia. While in Kuwait he lived in the Khobar Towers housing complex, narrowly escaping its bombing June 25, 1996. Nineteen U.S. Air Force personnel were killed, several of them Garrett's close friends.
After returning to Portland, Garrett worked briefly for Coopers & Lybrand & Co., before becoming Controller and Personal Assistant to philanthropist and art collector Jordan Schnitzer (President, Harsch Investment Properties). Later he became Director of Finance for John G. Vlazny, Catholic Archbishop of Portland in Oregon and as Controller for the Oregon Health Sciences University Foundation. He worked for numerous local non-profits before retiring in 2010. He continued to travel all over Europe, making a second home in Paris , France. Finally, in 2016, Garrett was able to marry again. This time he married the love of his life, Walter R. Bayless. This was due in part to the U.S. Supreme Court ruling that the fundamental right to marry is guaranteed to same-sex couples.
Garrett suffered from acute forms of Fibromyalgia and Lyme disease, living in intractable pain for over 30 years. Despite myriad of treatments, medications and even participating in clinical trials, he was unable to find relief from the debilitating pain. Because Oregon's Right to Die Laws only permit lethal prescriptions be given to terminal patients, Garrett sought the help of a Swiss non-profit organization named DIGNITAS. With the help of Swiss doctors, DIGNITAS helps patients suffering from an unendurable disability, wanting to end their life and suffering through a dignified and accompanied suicide. After waiting months to receive his GREEN LIGHT to travel, Garrett was unable to travel to Zurich because of Covid-19 travel restrictions and his pain now prevented him from making the long trip. Despite the support of his family, Garrett was unable to have his family present at his passing for fear of their prosecution in a perceived assisted suicide, an illegal act in Oregon. Sadly, people suffer every day in intractable pain, unable to obtain relief and left to suffer until they die a miserable, lonely and undignified death.
Because of his immense love of roses, Garrett has asked that no flower be cut/clipped/defamed or killed because of his passing. Contributions may be made to Multnomah County Animal Services, the primary agency responsible for lost pet care, animal abuse investigations and animal rescue in Multnomah County at https://multcopets.org/donating or by mail at 1700 W. Columbia River Hwy., Troutdale, OR 97060.
Final entombment will be at the Morgan-Bayless Family Crypt, Portland Memorial Mausoleum, McKinley Atrium Wing, 6705 S.E. 14th Ave., Portland, OR 97202. He will be hosting parties often in the newly renovated marble ballroom in the center of the crypt -- decorated by many pink flamingos.
-The Oregonian 29-31 May, 2020