Thora Ross Morris
Published 6:10 am Thursday, February 26, 2009
Thora Ross Morris, of 20 Meadowlark Lane, Hilton Head Is, SC died on February 23, at her daughter’s home on Spring Island, SC. A longtime native of Jacksonville, NC, Thora Morris was born on March 20, 1923 in Lowland, NC, the daughter of Sina Rice Ross and Ellis X. Ross. She grew up in Belhaven, NC and graduated from John A. Wilkinson High School in 1939. She graduated from The Woman’s College of The University of North Carolina in 1943 with a B.S. in Secretarial Administration. She married her husband of 59 years, Sam J. Morris, Jr. of Raleigh, NC in August 1943 in El Paso, TX where Mr. Morris was stationed at flight school with the U.S. Army Air Corps.
Retiring in 1985, she worked for over 20 years with the North Carolina Employment Security Commission and was awarded the State Employee Award of Honor, for her outstanding performance and dedication. As Manager of the Jacksonville, NC Employment Security Commission, she won praise from businesses and local citizens alike for locating hundreds of workers throughout Onslow County, NC.
She was an avid gardener and member of the Gardenerettes Garden Club in Jacksonville, NC. Her home and garden were recently featured on the Cypress Tour of Homes. She and Sam Morris were longtime members of the Jacksonville Country Club and founding members of the Onslow Cotillion. During their later years together she and her husband enjoyed traveling to Latin America, the Caribbean, Europe, North Africa, and Asia.
Known as Mamatoo to her grandchildren and their friends, she is remembered by her family and friends most of all for her extraordinary graciousness, warmth, and loving kindness.
She is survived by her daughter and son-in-law Betsy Morris Chaffin and James J Chaffin, Jr. of Spring Island, SC, and Snowmass Village, CO; a son, Samuel J Morris III, of Washington DC; two grandchildren, Anna Chaffin Lambiotte of Truckee, CA, and James Christopher Chaffin of Waynesville, NC; and three great-grandchildren, James Hutson Chaffin and Celia Frances Chaffin of Waynesville, NC, and Scout Ross Lambiotte of Truckee, CA.
A memorial service will be held Saturday, February 28 at 4 p.m. at The Cypress Club on Hilton Head Island, SC. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to Friends of Caroline Hospice, 1110 13th Street, Port Royal, SC 29935.
The Island Funeral Home and Crematory is in charge of arrangements.