Obituary: Morton Stanley Dismuke
March 9, 1922 – January 27, 2022
Morton Dismuke passed away peacefully in Denver on January 27, six weeks short of his 100th birthday. He was born to Stanley Dismuke, an engineer and surveyor in Steamboat and Marion van Duesen who taught youngsters to play the piano. In the company of his three brothers, Morton enjoyed a Tom Sawyer/Huck Finn childhood full of adventure and escapades. Morton was even quoted in a 1930 Steamboat Pilot saying that he wanted to “fly airplanes and search for gold.”
Dismuke attended Texas Tech in their engineering program but missed skiing so much that he would hitchhike over weekends to New Mexico Ski Areas. At the University he met Virginia Tucker and they married just days before he was to be deployed overseas. He served in the Army’s 440 Ordinance Co., the 7th Army Division, which crisscrossed Europe moving heavy equipment with maintenance support for the war effort. When WWII ended, he participated in the 7th Army Ski Team competitions in ski jumping and downhill. While awaiting orders to return to the States, the team was welcomed and celebrated across the Swiss, Austrian, and German Alps.
Once back in the U.S. Morton and Virginia lived in Houston with their two daughters. He worked as Vice President of 1st American Life Insurance Co. and Virginia did design work in the post-war housing boom. When the Dismuke family returned to Steamboat in 1962, Morton worked with his father in the Routt County Surveyor’s Office. This eventually evolved into the creation of Dismuke & Dismuke, an engineer and surveying firm. During the 1970s Morton chaired the Routt County Regional Planning Commission.
An unexpected invitation launched Morton’s long quest for gold in Alaska. Despite bears, moose and mosquitoes he spent many summers in the Alaskan Interior on this adventure. In the winter months he began hand building a float plane called the Spencer Air Car, an experimental aircraft, and was active in the local EAA. His craftsman skills were perfect for its wood construction. He would spend nine years on his first plane but enjoyed the process so much he began another in retirement.
Morton is survived by his two daughters, Dr. Jenny Demeaux of Denver and Edie Dismuke living near Missoula, Montana. Virginia passed away in 2011 but he always claimed she helped him fulfill his dreams.
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