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Jack L. Morris

Jack L. Morris, Jr. died peacefully on December 13, 2013 at his home in Chattanooga. He was born on February 11, 1944 in Oak Ridge, and was the oldest of four children. He was pre-deceased in death by his father Jack L. Morris, Sr. and mother, Doris Poindexter Morris as well as two younger brothers, Herbert Andrew Morris and Timothy Stratton Morris. He attended The McCallie School and graduated from Chattanooga City High and The University of Chattanooga where he was a member of the varsity tennis team and the Kappa Sigma fraternity. 

He was a lifelong resident of Chattanooga with the exception of his two years of service in the US Navy where he maintained a top secret security clearance as a Morse code operator. His Navy service with the USS Springfield, which was the flagship of the 6th Fleet, allowed him to see the world including one tour of “brother duty” with his mischievous younger brother Herb-this tour provided the fodder for a number of stories that Jack shared with his kids every Christmas.  

Jack’s career was spent in the Employee Group Benefits field where his detailed knowledge of the industry’s many arcane rules and regulations served his clients well. His children will remember his enduring passion for English MG sports cars with his last 2-3 years spent meticulously restoring both a Midget and a 1959 MGA for his two sons. He was a well-known contributor to online MG forums, a member of the local British Sports Car club, always rooted for the underdog, taught himself to weld, played guitar, had beautiful penmanship, was interested in archaeology and dowsing, and was a skilled swimmer as a result of growing up on Battery Place which resulted in numerous trips as a young boy across the Tennessee River onto neighboring McClellan Island where he lived a Huck Finn-like existence. 

Jack was married five times and admitted that he “did not do well under contract.” His children expressed their appreciation to Betty Garner, who married Jack two months before his death, for her help in taking care of him as his health declined. They also recognize the enduring and dedicated support of his loving sister Paula Parker and Laura from Hearth Hospice.

Jack leaves behind four children, Parke Stratton Poindexter Morris (Whitley) of Memphis, Lt. Col Madison Lansden Morris (Claire) of Shreveport, Louisiana, Jenny Morris Gossett (David) of Austin, Texas, and Tiffany Hamilton of Blue Ridge, Georgia; four grandchildren (with two more expected in the next three months.) 

In lieu of flowers, the family asked monetary donations be given to Manker Patten Tennis Center to help with a membership for a young deserving player or to the McCallie School to assist with tuition for “an underdog.” Jack was grateful for every day after his terminal diagnosis in 2009 and his children hope that he has found his own paradise which he declared to be a “one room house over a 40 car garage.”

A private internment of his ashes as well as his brother Herb’s was held December 19th at the National Military Cemetery in Chattanooga where they were laid to rest side by side as they always requested. The family had a celebration of his life on Friday, December 27.

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Arrangements were entrusted to Covenant Funeral & Crematory in Chattanooga. 

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