March 20, 1929 - October 03, 2018
Mary Elizabeth Alligood Morris, born March 20, 1929, in Durham NC, died October 3, 2018, at the age of 89. During her lifetime, she was a daughter, sister, wife, mother, aunt, grandmother, great-grandmother and great-aunt. Mom was preceded in death by her parents, sister, brother, and also by her husband, James Gary Morris. She is survived by her children Steve Morris and wife Michele, Amy Bruce and husband Victor, Betsy Stinson and husband Greg, Michael Morris and wife Roye Ann, as well as niece Cathryn Lee and husband Albert, and nephew Charley Chandler and wife Lisa. There are fifteen grandchildren whose lives she touched and whom she loved and cared about very deeply. There are nine great-grandchildren who had the opportunity to meet her, four of whom knew and shared experiences with her often. She also leaves behind loving friends Lola and Bob Kendrick and Sheri and John Mayo, as well as those that came into her life as children or teenagers—now adults who remember finding an open door at the Morris home, some unique mothering, forced feedings, a listening ear, and the perfectly happy dysfunctional atmosphere of our family (you know who you are).
Our mother worked from a young age, did well in school, and graduated from Greensboro College as a teacher. She married our father, and after his service in the Korean Conflict, they settled into married life as he finished college and they started a family. They worked hard to provide and care for us, remained close to extended family even though we lived far away, and were good examples of faithful service and church attendance. Mom was never a morning person, was usually late for church, drank coffee by the pot-full, walked quickly wherever she went, always had a purpose, and everyone who knew her knew she talked a lot! Mom watched the evening news with her eyes closed and always had a few insightful comments and responses for the anchorman.
As a family, we moved often as our Dad’s position at Western Electric changed. We were so fortunate to have lived in multiple states while growing up and Mom made sure we explored and visited every aspect of our new location, as every good teacher would. It was important to her that all four children were at home wherever we lived. Our home didn’t change, just the location. Although never able to meet Daddy’s planned departure times-whether for a move, dinner out, or vacationing- my mother was an organizer and packer. After moving to Shreveport in 1966, we became part of the Christ United Methodist Church family.
Teaching was Mom’s gift and she was excellent at her job. She loved her students and their parents and made long- lasting friendships along the way. Mom's retirement and widowhood happened very close together, prompting a “focus” on her children and grandchildren. The grandkids loved being at Gran’s house and they have happy memories of the time spent with her.
As hard as it was to leave Christ United Methodist and her friends, Mom moved away for many years. She fulfilled a dream to live at the beach and was so very happy in Emerald Isle, NC. As all good southern Methodist women do, she immediately became a part of the local church and UMW, where she reconnected with college roommates and friends. Leaving NC, she moved to Arkansas for several years, and then returned home to Shreveport with reluctance, as she was a very independent woman. It was soon after that dementia crept into her life. Moving to The Oaks as her health changed was a blessing. It quickly became home to her and she didn't meet a stranger while there. It was not uncommon to hear “slow down Ms. Mary” or “watch the speed limit…” as she buzzed about. She stayed busy —helping others, making friends, loving bingo, enjoying social lunches, feeding the fish, finding the feral cats, and many other activities.
There was so much more to the life of Mary Alligood Morris. She loved us as she knew how to and her family is thankful for the years we have had with her. Our hope is that you remember her with a smile, with friendship, and with love. Our family wishes to thank those who have helped us care for Mom—the exceptional staff of The Oaks Health Center West Wing for their excellent care, support and love, and some very special friends who stepped in with their time, prayers, and support.