Morris Burger, the second generation leader of Burgers' Smokehouse and a standout member of the California community for decades, passed away Dec. 16 after succumbing to stage 4 pancreatic cancer.
Burger was first diagnosed with cancer in May 2013. The disease was in remission following rigorous treatment by December 2014 but returned early this year.
Burger was born May 2, 1935, in Sedalia. A graduate of the University of Missouri and a U.S. Army veteran, Burger would eventually return home to work with his father, E.M. Burger, at the family business, which would eventually become Burgers' Smokehouse.
Burger led the company after his father's death in 1972, until his retirement at 65 in 2000.
Burger earned accolades even after the third and fourth generation took over the family business, earning induction into the National Meat Industry Hall of Fame last year. Burger was also co-founder of the National Country Ham Association and served as its president.
Burger is survived by his wife, Dolores; sons, Steven and Phillip; daughter, Sara Rohrbach; and a host of grandchildren.