In an emotional, standing-room-only ceremony to honor the legendary offshore racer Bob Morgan—who died while racing in Key West, Fla., in 2011—Morgan’s wife, Sue, and his daughter, Mandy, pulled the cover off the Bob Morgan Memorial Shootout Hall of Fame on the Captain Ron’s property in Sunrise Beach, Mo., to kick off the Lake of the Ozarks Shootout racing competition on Saturday morning.
During the ceremony, Ron Duggan, owner of Captain Ron’s, introduced Sue, who spoke for a couple of minutes about Bob, his teammate Jeff “JT” Tillman and all of the race team members and employees Morgan was affiliated with over the years. After Sue finished speaking, seven planes flew over as a tribute to Morgan.
“First of all, and most important, I want to thanks Nicole and Ron Duggan for including me in the 25th anniversary of the Shootout,” Sue said, while holding back tears. “I’d also like to thank all of my family, the race team members and the employees we’ve come to know and love.
“This is a weekend I will never forget and I’m sure that Bob and JT will be with us all,” she continued. “Bob completed me. His integrity was absolute, his spirit immeasurable, his approach to life fearless—he will be forever in our hearts.”
Sue went on to add that the only regret she has is that she wished she could have kissed him and said goodbye. After the cover was pulled off the metal sculpture constructed by Mike Mistler of Jefferson City, Mo., Sue said she had no words to describe the memorial. “He’s even got the wraparound glasses,” she said with a smile.
Mandy, who lives in Virginia and hasn’t been to the Shootout in “forever,” said the memorial as well as the turnout to honor her father amazed her.
There’s no doubt Morgan would have been a part of Shootout lore forever, but the memorial, which includes plaques recognizing all 24 Top Gun winners on one side and the 10 inaugural Hall of Fame members on the other side, will solidify Morgan’s place in Shootout history.