Obituaries » Dr. Alpha L. Morehouse Al
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September 27, 1923 - October 27, 2018
DR. ALPHA L. MOREHOUSE
MUSCATINE, Iowa – Dr. Alpha ‘Al’ L. Morehouse, 95, of Muscatine passed away on Saturday, October 27, 2018, at his home surrounded by his family.
A funeral service will be held at 10:30 a.m. on Friday, November 9, 2018, at the Ralph J. Wittich-Riley-Freers Funeral Home. Reverend Brian Oliver will officiate. A time of food and fellowship will be held at Wesley United Methodist Church following the service.
Burial and Military Honors will take place in Memorial Park Cemetery at 11 a.m. on Friday, November 23, 2018.
Visitation will be held from 4 until 7 p.m. on Thursday, November 8, 2018, at the funeral home. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Purdue Center for Cancer Research, Wesley United Methodist Church or Iowa City Hospice.
Alpha L. Morehouse was born on September 27, 1923 in Lafayette, Indiana, the third child of Alpha Logan and Elsie Marshall Morehouse. Growing up, he was often called “Alphie, Jr.” after his father. He was raised on a mid-sized grain and livestock farm where horses supplied a lot of the energy for planting and harvesting. He graduated from Klondike School in 1941 and began his university studies at Purdue until World War II broke out interrupting his schooling.
Enlisting in the Army in 1943, Alpha initially began training for the Army Air Corps. But as the war intensified, he was transferred to the 13th Armored Division as a gunner in the 45th Tank Battalion. After the war was over, he returned home to finish his BS degree in Agricultural Chemistry from Purdue University. He met a young nursing student on a blind date that his sister arranged. With encouragement from his mother, Alpha fell in love and married Dorette Ann Walters on August 23, 1947. After graduation in 1948, Alpha moved his young family to State College, Pennsylvania where he spent the next 3 years earning his MS and PhD degrees in biochemistry from Penn State University.
Dr. Morehouse joined the American Chemical Society in 1950 to take advantage of the job placement services they offered. This resulted in his accepting his one and only job with Grain Processing Corp. (GPC), in Muscatine, Iowa in 1951 where he worked until his retirement in 1990 and later as a consultant from 1990 to 1994.
Dr. Morehouse described himself as a hands-on bench chemist involved primarily with the development of new or improved products or processes from corn, soybeans, or oats. While employed at GPC, Dr. Morehouse acquired 12 patents but the patent he was most proud of was his 1972 patent on the Hydrolysis of Starch. This process allowed GPC to get a head start on the commercial production of maltodextrin and its use in a wide variety of food products. In his words, “It has been a continuous source of satisfaction and a sense of accomplishment to see this product commercialized and grow to the size it is today.” To his end, Al still enjoyed finding new food products in the grocery store that contain maltodextrin.
He was a lifetime member of the American Chemical Society, and was also a member of Wesley United Methodist Church. Al also served as a past president of the 13th Armored Association. He raised purebred Suffolk sheep for many years. He enjoyed golf until he could no longer walk the course refusing to ride in a golf cart. Al and Dorette enjoyed square dancing; they loved to travel together; he was an avid bird watcher; a handyman and enjoyed gardening. He was active in his children and grandchildren’s lives, helping with their home projects and attending their many activities. Even with all his accomplishments, one of Al’s most admirable traits was his undying humility.
Those left to honor his memory include his children, Catherine ‘Cathy’ Goddard and husband, James, of West Branch, James Morehouse and wife, Mary Jo, of Keokuk, Steven Morehouse and life partner, Diana Huffman, of Illinois City, Illinois, and Mary Danner and husband, John, of Letts; 10 grandchildren, Heather Grau, Danielle Goddard, Mishell Kneeland, Amanda Searsen, Anna Searsen, Collin Morehouse, Erik Fults, Chelsea Fults, Megan Danner, and Jacklyn Lingenfelter; several great-grandchildren; several nieces and nephews; and an international friend, Seishiro Ishii and wife, Atsuko, of Tokyo, Japan.
Al was preceded in death by his parents; his wife; one brother, Alan Morehouse; and two sisters, Jeanne Kowalski and Mary Margaret ‘Peggy’ Klaverenga.