In Memory

Jim L. Morris

Jim L. Morris


 

Jim L. Morris

April 25, 1943 ~ 14 January, 2001


                               

 


The following account of Jim's life has been assembled from pictures and notes furnished by his sister; and from his obituary, service record, gravesite visits, his father's obituary and information from other sources:


LAS VEGAS, Nevada and OGDEN, Utah - 

Jim L. Morris passed away in his Las Vegas home on January 14, 2001 after a life of military and other public service to his country in both peacetime and war.  The cause of death is not specified in his obituary.

Jim was born April 25, 1943 in Pocatello, Idaho, the son of Chester L. and Genevieve Morris. His father had a naval career during and after World War II and the Korean war, including a Purple heart and a an official commendation for his conduct during the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor in December of 1941.  

Jim would later follow in his father's military, and ultimately his Navy footsteps.  After his father's naval retirement as a Warrant Officer, the Morris family, Chester, Genevieve, and their children Jim, Jan, Debra, and Wendy settled in or near Roy, Utah, where Jim attended and graduated from Weber High School in 1962 while his father worked at Hill Air Force Base.  

We aren't sure how long Jim was in school with us. He is not in the 9th grade Roy Jr. High yearbook, and of our1960 to 1962 Golden Spikes he appears only in the '62 edition.  A sister, Jan Morris, later attended Weber as well, while his much younger sisters Debra and Wendy remained in the area at least until attending the new Roy High School.  

Our only picture of Jim in "civvies," date unknown

His service records indicate he joined the Army in January of 1962, meaning this was likely a "deferred enlistment" taking effect immediately after high school graduation. He served in the Army as a partrooper until 1965, experience he would soon put to work in other public service as a Smoke Jumper for the US Forest service, work that his obituary notes he was particularly proud of.

At some point, he married Theresa Trujillo (date unknown).  They had two children, Shane and Angela. The couple were later divorced, again all dates unknown to the Committee.

Jim later married Maria Encarnaceon (date also unknown); they had two children, Natasha (1983) and Jesse (198?).

Jim and his wife Maria, with children Natasha and Jesse in approx. 1990

Jim rejoined the military in 1969, this time as a Marine, where he was a Vietnam Veteran and achieved the rank of Sergeant before re-separating from the service in 1975.  We have no details about his life between 1975 and 1980.

As US Marine Corps Sergeant in the early 1970's - Jim was a Vietnam War vet

However, as noted in his obituary, Jim loved the military, and so five years later, he re-joined again, this time in his father's branch, the Navy, where he served as a Data Technician Specialist until retiring in 1991 with the rank of Petty Officer.

Jim's Naval retirement, 1991, 20 years of service

After leaving the Navy with 20 years of total military service, Jim completed a unique "tour" of all four the major US military service branches by becoming a (civilian) employee of the US Air Force - the only one of our classmates we know to have had this distinction as this is posted.  

He was working at Nellis AFB, northeast of Las Vegas, NV) and was living in Las Vegas with his family at the time of his death.

Jim loved to play the guitar, and he also truly enjoyed telling jokes.  However, his sister Wendy notes that he would laugh so hard while telling them, it was often difficult for him to get to the punchlines.  

He was survived by his wife Maria and four children; Shane, Angela, Natasha, Jesse; his mother, Genevieve Morris, and his three sisters, Jan (Jim) Kenyon; Debra (Tony) Trent; Wendy (Gavin) Wood. He was preceded in death by his father (1918-1997).

A memorial service was held January 18th, 2001 where Jim was accorded full military honors. We believe the ceremony was held in Las Vegas, however we do know that his gravesite marker is at the Aultorest Cemetery in Ogden, Utah not far from his father's. The obituary notes he was to be buried at sea at a later date.

 

               

Jim's (left) and his father's (right) gravesite markers at Aultorest Park, Ogden, Utah


Memory Comment from Jim’s Sister Wendy

Our family was Jim, Jan, Debra, and then me. Jim and Jan attended Weber High and I believe Jan is 3-4 years younger than Jim. Debra and I attended Roy High and sadly Debra also passed away a few years ago.

Jim and Jan were much closer in age. Jim was all but moved when I came along, he was 17 when I was born.

I do remember that he had a way of lighting up a room because his laugh was so contagious. He loved to tell jokes but would start laughing so hard he could hardly ?nish it.

Thanks for putting this together. I know my mother will love to see it when it's done.

--Wendy Morris Wood, 8/7/2012


Jim’s Official Military Service Record and Rank Patches:

("M" under Jim's second enlistment refers to the Marine Corp)

 

Jim's Navy Rankon his gravesite marker is Petty Officer Second Class - Data System Technician, DS2.  His Marine Rank was Staff Sergeant. His army rank is unknown to us.


Jim's Obituary (from the Las Vegas Sun, we believe) 

     


The Weber Class of '62 In Memory Project expresses its sincere appreciation to Jim's Sister, Wendy Wood, for furnishing his obituary, her recollections and most of the photos above.  The Project also wishes to thank Wendy Simmons Johnson, daughter of Classmates Serge Simmons and Jane Chugg Renstrom, along with Classmates Earl Henstra,  James Keller and Richard Crawford for their assistance in creating this page.  Page Posted 8/7/2012.


                                                                     



 
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03/18/14 02:18 PM #1    

Ann Penman (Gustafson)

Kudos to everyone responsible for creating this wonderful profile and tribute for Jim Morris.  The photos and script are just beautiful, touching and so well done.  It is so nice to know that so many cared enough to make such a great posting.  Thanks to everyone who helped and contributed!!!!

 

"SHOW ME THE MANNER IN WHICH A NATION OR COMMUNITY CARES FOR IT'S DEAD AND I WILL MEASURE WITH MATHEMATICAL EXACTNESS THE TENDER SYMPATHIES OF ITS PEOPLE, THEIR RESPECT FOR THE LAWS AND THEIR LOYALTIES TO HIGH IDEALS.  

                                                                  -WILLIAM GLADSTONE

                                                                   BRITISH PRIME MINISTER / VICTORIAN ERA

Sincerely,

Ann Penman Gustafson


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