My dear dad died over the holidays. Early Christmas afternoon I got a call from my sister Amy saying that he had taken a bad fall at her house, shortly after they had opened Christmas gifts. He was being loaded into the ambulance as we spoke. Immediately I knew this was bad-I buried my head in my hands and took a very deep breath.
Over the course of the week Dad’s surgery for a nasty broken leg was repeatedly postponed due to one thing or another. He was immobilized and in great discomfort. I was able to get a plane ticket to Dallas for December 29 and arrived at 2pm, the exact time Dad was scheduled to begin surgery. But fortunately the surgeon was running late and when I arrived at the hospital he was still waiting in his room with my mother and sister. I was taken aback by how he looked- my 6’4 father was an ashen and shrunken old man. He could barely speak and was very agitated from the morphine. But I was granted a marvelous gift…2 hours in a quiet room by my dad’s side.
Later in the afternoon he was taken to surgery and towards the end he had a serious problem with his heart. He died a few minutes later in intensive care, my mother and sister by his side. I was at the airport, picking up Emily.
The surgeon was a quirky type-big tattoo down his arm and a cross around his neck. He said something along these lines: When the Lord calls someone home, there’s not a thing I can do about it. While I might not have phrased it like that, I do think we all have our time and I believe that my Dad’s had come.
My happy memories of time with Dad could just about fill a book. We rode horses together, rewarded ourselves with banana splits, enjoyed the annual Father-Daughter Day at the Lions Club and drove around Texas looking for the right college for me. He came to my rescue a number of times, such as when my apartment in Beaumont flooded and I needed to move NOW. And one New Year’s Eve, when I was desperate to get back to Dallas and my new love, Bill, the roads were icy and I dared not drive the 350 miles alone. He came right home from work and drove me nonstop across the top of the state. We stopped by the airport for him to catch a flight, and well, you know the rest of that story.
We had 2 beautiful services for Dad- a memorial at my parents’ church in Irving and a graveside at the family plot in Lubbock. He was a very special man to many folks, as witnessed by the attendance at these services and the many, many cards and calls. I have not yet begun to grasp what my own life will be like without his living presence or the size of the gaping hole his death has left. But I know that I am one lucky woman, to have had my dad for 56 years.
George Edwin Morris, beloved husband, father, grandfather and friend, died on Thursday, December 29, 2011 at Las Colinas Medical Center in Irving. A memorial service was held on January 1 at Woodhaven Presbyterian Church in Irving. Visiting hours will be Monday, January 2 from 6-7 pm at Sanders Funeral Home in Lubbock, with burial and graveside services following on Tuesday, January 3 at 10 am at Resthaven Memorial Cemetery.
George is survived by his wife of 60 years, Janice Berry Morris; two daughters: Julia Morris-Myers of Ellsworth, Maine, and Amy Rangel of Farmers Branch; and four grandchildren: Emily Myers Stein of Washington, DC, Jacob Luther Morris of Amarillo, and Lauren and Trevor Rangel of Farmers Branch. He was predeceased by his son George Edwin Morris, Jr. of Amarillo.
George was born in Lubbock on June 4, 1929, the son of Harry and Ulma Morris. He graduated from Lubbock High School and Texas Tech University, where he played clarinet in the marching band. He served four years in the United States Air Force and was stationed in Alaska. For many years he and his father owned Lubbock Auto Company, the local Ford dealership. George ended his working career at University Medical Center in Lubbock, serving as Assistant Director of Volunteer Services. George served as a deacon at First Baptist Church, as president of the Lubbock Lions Club and the Boys Club, and was a member of the Scottish Rite Masonic Order. He also served as chairman of the Armed Services Committee, an alliance between the city of Lubbock and Reese Air Force Base.
George took great joy in sharing life with his wife Jan and their children and grandchildren. He was known for his kind and quiet ways and his infectious smile.
Memorial donations may be made to the Scottish Rite Learning Center of West Texas, 1101-70th Street, Lubbock, TX 79412.