Joseph William Morris, age 93, passed away peacefully on November 12, 2016 at his home in Stillwater, OK. Joe was born on July 3, 1923, in the family home in Mountain View, OK, to Al and May L. Morris. In his early years, the family also lived in Lawton, OK and Hobart, OK. Eventually moving to Carnegie, OK, Joe graduated from Carnegie High School in May 1942.
Upon graduation, Joe and six friends moved to OKC seeking employment, living at the downtown YMCA. After a stint in construction, including working at Will Rogers Airport, he was hired as a civilian to build radar stations for the U.S. Army in the Aleutian Islands in Alaska. He spent two years there and returned home to be immediately drafted into the U.S. Navy for WWII.
Joe spent basic training in Farragut, Idaho. He qualified for Electricians Mate School and was sent to study for one semester at North Dakota State in Wahpeton, North Dakota. In June 1944, he was sent for deployment as a Seabee, Construction Battalion Maintenance Unit # 577. During the war Joe spent time in San Francisco, Hawaii, Guam, Eniwetok, and Truk.
Upon returning to Carnegie after the war, he met and married Marguerite Horn in 1947 in the Methodist Church in Gotebo, OK. Their good friend, Donald Kuhn, was a new pastor there. They were very active members of the Carnegie First United Methodist Church. Joe helped rebuild the church, but declined accepting a stained glass window in his honor.
In 1955, Joe, Marguerite, and their first three children moved to Tulsa, OK where he worked for Douglas Aircraft. They lived there until 1959, returning to Carnegie to run the Morris Hatchery and Egg Farm family business until the early 1970s. At that time he became an electrician, carpenter, plumber, etc. He was a contractor on many homes and businesses.
Joe retired to Stillwater in 1999 because of his love of Oklahoma State University and the Stillwater community. There he met his good friend, Ruthe Batman, and they spent many hours attending music events, plays, and sporting events, to name a few. Additionally, he loved meeting friends for coffee in the morning and visiting at Whisperin' Richard's. He truly maximized the later years of his life.
Tennis was a big part of Joe's life. He played tennis for Hobart in junior high, making it to the state tournament. He was very proud that he and his best friend, Bennett Sullivan, played tennis on their own representing Carnegie High School. In 1979, he built a tennis court at his home in Carnegie and fostered a love of tennis in his children and grandchildren. His love of OSU Tennis inspired Michael and Anne Greenwood to be the lead donors for the new tennis complex at OSU, where the center court is named after Joe.
Family and friends will always remember Joe for his kind heart, generosity, and great sense of humor. We truly believe he exemplified the Greatest Generation.
Joe was predeceased in death by his parents; his wife, Marguerite Horn Morris; his brothers, C.A. and Lindsey; and sister, Mary Krause.
Joe is survived by his dear friend, Ruthe Batman, of Stillwater. Additionally, five children survive; Kay Rozzell and husband George of Pauls Valley, OK, Bill Morris and wife Gail Williams of Wichita, KS, Anne Greenwood and husband Michael of Stillwater, Brad Morris of Tulsa, and Kim Seagraves and husband Mark of Stillwater. He also had six grandchildren and seven great grandchildren.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests that memorials be made to the OSU Foundation and designated to the Joe Morris OSU Tennis Endowment (23-85300). Checks should be made payable to the OSU Foundation and mailed to PO Box 1749, Stillwater, OK 74076-1749. Memorial donations can also be made online at www.OSUgiving.com. A memorial service will be held on Sunday, November 27, 2016 at 2pm in Stillwater at the Michael and Anne Greenwood Tennis Center on the OSU campus.
Published on November 15, 2016