Hank Morin, a U.S. Army veteran and retired Mare Island sheet-metal worker, died Jan. 30 at Kaiser Permanente Vallejo Medical Center following a long illness. He was 73.
Henry Joseph Morin was born on Dec. 2, 1944 at Naval Station Norfolk in Virginia to Albert and Gladys Morin. Albert was a career Naval officer, and the family lived in Texas, California and Japan, where Hank, then in his early teens, enjoyed playing on an organized baseball team.
The family settled in Napa, California, where Hank was a member of Napa High School’s Class of 1963. He enlisted that same year in the U.S. Army and was sent to Fort Ord on the Monterey Peninsula for basic training.
Hank was stationed as a military policeman in Hanau, Germany. Upon his honorable discharge in 1966 he returned to Napa and took up an apprenticeship in sheet-metal work at Mare Island.
One afternoon Hank was driving near his family’s home in Carneros when he spotted a young woman he knew from the neighborhood riding a horse. Slowing down, Hank yelled out to ask when she might let him ride, too.
“That was pretty much it,” Margie Matheson recalled.
The pair began dating and were married on June 23, 1967 in Austin, Nevada. The couple went on to have two children.
At Mare Island, “Hammerin’ Hank” worked on nuclear submarines, a job that required to him have a security clearance. He retired in 1989 but continued to be employed as a carpenter.
Hank enjoyed being with his children, Clint and December. He accompanied them on their school field trips, helped with their sports teams and worked with them to restore their first cars.
The family went on many camping trips. Hank and the kids went fishing and for boat rides. He enjoyed putting in lines at the Napa River and fly-fishing for trout in Sierra-Nevada streams, a dog almost always at his side.
Hank continued to remain active after he suffered a stroke in 2001. He was an avid bowler and attended adaptive physical education classes at Napa Valley College. He enjoyed taking trips to casinos, where he could parlay $20 into several hours of enjoyment and still walk away with money in his pocket.
To his three grandchildren, whom he adored, Hank was known lovingly as “Papa.” He enjoyed watching the kids grow up and cheering them on from the sidelines, be it baseball or ballet.
Hank was preceded in death by his parents and his son, Clint. He is survived by his wife, Margie, and daughter December Moore and her husband Derek, as well as two sisters – Lucille Falasco and Dorothy Valva. All reside in Napa.
Hank also is survived by a half-brother, George Palmer, and three grandchildren – Alexander Morin of Sacramento, California and Jack and Claire Moore, both of Napa—and daughter-in-law Sandra Morin, also of Sacramento. Several nieces and nephews will miss their Uncle Hank.
Hank will be interred in a private ceremony featuring military honors at Tulocay Cemetery Funeral Home and Crematory in Napa. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations to Pets for Vets or a favorite charity.
A celebration of Hank’s life will take place Feb. 17 at Napa Bowl. Friends and family are welcomed to stop by anytime between 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. For more information, phone 707-495-4039.