‘It’s time’: Harvey Morgan retires after 61 years at IMS Fabrication

Published 12:00 am Sunday, May 19, 2019

By Liz Moomey

SALISBURY — After 61 years, Harvey Morgan is saying goodbye to IMS Fabrication, Inc.

Through those years, Morgan, the company’s general manager, has made a lasting impression. On Friday, his family with his co-workers over the years gathered to celebrate and wish him well into retirement.

Many described Morgan as helpful, honest and fair. He was the type that would give you his shirt off of his back. He was a great boss.

“He’s very honest,” said Elsa Brown, IMS Fabrication president. “He’s very straight forward, and they know that whatever he says is what it is.”

His daughter, Carolyn Barger, described her dad as a grizzly bear with a teddy bear heart.

Dale Ketchie worked with Morgan for 44 years and said that he enjoyed working with him.

“He’s always been a fair man,” Ketchie said. “He expected the same things back.”

Dana Ingold, the engineering manager, said Morgan was a mentor and a tough but fair boss. He said to him that IMS Fabrication wasn’t work.

Barger worked at IMS Fabrication for several years, but her sister Sheila Morgan works at the front desk and has done drafting with the company for 36 years.

“He will be missed more than he’ll ever realize,” Sheila Morgan said. “Not only was he my boss, but he was my dad. He was dedicated to his employees and IMS.”

She said her dad greeted employees in the morning and said goodbye to them as they left in the evening. He would also come in on Saturdays and refuse to take vacation.

Jo Earnhardt was Morgan’s secretary for six years. She said she wished it was longer.

“He was someone to be admired,” Earnhardt said. “He is a good man.”

When Earnhardt came to wish Morgan well in his retirement and thank him for being a great boss, he pulled out a framed dime that he had as a result of a bet between the two.

Sheila Morgan said her father would look out for every employee that he had.

“There wouldn’t be managers like that these days,” she said.

Brown said if Morgan gave you his word, he kept it.

“Whatever he says, is,” Brown said. “If he says it, it’s done. We’ve done everything and a handshake, haven’t we Harvey?”

Barger explained the value of a handshake to her father.

“I remember him saying this because he would get so mad when corporations had to dot the i’s and cross the t’s the way that they do now to protect themselves,” Barger said. “I heard him say a gentleman’s handshake and his word means more than the piece of paper the contract is written on.”

Tim Lowman, a mechanist, shared he wouldn’t be in the place he is today without the guidance of Morgan. He said he trained him in all that he could learn so he was able to move up in his career and adapt well.

Morgan said he enjoyed working at IMS Fabrication because there was a challenge everyday. He recalled his former boss taking him on a business trip to London for a day. On Friday, he had already received multiple calls from international clients.

IMS Fabrication started with Brown, Morgan and Andy Clayton. Clayton retired several years ago.

Ingold said with Morgan’s loss he’ll leave a void, but it gives the company an opportunity to take it to the next level.

Billy Smith has worked there for 20 years and considers Morgan his family.

“I’m just glad to see my dad retire,” Smith said.

Morgan fell early in the year and has been out of work recovering, but Friday the company welcomed his return with a send off. Food from Smoke Pit, cake and presents were enjoyed.

In his retirement, Morgan plans to spend time with his John Deere tractors. Brown gifted him a iPhone to replace his old flip phone, so he can now text Elsa Brown, the company’s president. 

“I’m going to retire his phone,” she joked. 

Morgan is ready for the end of an era.

“It’s time.”