JONAS MORRIS

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MORRIS JONAS MORRIS (Age 80) Jonas Morris, 80, died peacefully on March 22, 2014, at The Methodist Home of DC. The cause of death was Multisystem Atrophy, an atypical parkinsonian disease. Born May 26, 1933, in Boston, he moved to Washington in 1944, graduating from Alice Deal, then Wilson HS (1950). In 1955, he received a BA in English and History from Hobart College in Geneva, NY. From 1955-57 he served in the Pacific with the U.S. Navy, achieving the rank of LT JG on the destroyer USS Lofberg. In 1960, after working as a journalist in California, he settled permanently in the Dupont Circle neighborhood of Washington. The focus of his life's work was mental health policy. After working for Congressional Quarterly, and then for Reps. Henry Reuss (D-WI) and Richard Lankford (D-MD), he established Morris Associates, Inc., a governmental affairs consulting, lobbying, and publishing firm focused on health issues. He served as Executive Director of the National Council of Community Mental Health Centers, and was an independent consultant for AARP, the Appalachian Regional Commission, the National Parks and Conservation Association, the National Mental Health Association, and the National Association for Retarded Citizens, among other groups. His book Searching for a Cure: National Health Care Policy Considered (Universe Books, NYC) was published in 1984. In 1994, he received an MA in Health Services Management and Policy from George Washington University. His considerable volunteer work focused on emergency medical care and youth services. He was a member of the PHS-1 Disaster Medical Assistance Team of Washington, DC. With the American Red Cross of the National Capital Area, he was a Disaster Assistance Team member and a Disaster Services Human Resource member. He was a mentor at Ross Elementary School, and a Court Appointed Special Advocate for Children. In 1961, he and his wife bought farm and forest land in West Virginia's eastern panhandle, where he enjoyed a new kind of work. He harvested walnut, poplar, oak, and maple trees, and used the lumber to build bookshelves, tables, and desks for his family. He also served as an EMT with the Back Creek Valley Volunteer Fire & Rescue Service. Through his significant effort to preserve the farm, woods, and wildlife of these 112 acres for posterity, the development rights were sold to the Berkeley County Farmland Protection Trust. Deeply interested in local and national politics, Jonas also partook in the cultural life of Washington, attending theater, symphony, and chamber music performances. Shortly before he was diagnosed, he set out on an extended solo tour of Europe, returning by cargo ship. He is survived by Judy K. Morris, his wife of 53 years; a son, Hugh Morris (Tania Lee); a daughter, Willa Day Morris (Chapman Todd); four grandchildren, all of this city; a sister, Barbara Morris Dickey of Exeter, NH; two nieces and their spouses; and two grandnephews. He donated his body to the School of Medicine & Health Sciences at the George Washington University. Memorial gifts may be made to the Parkinson Foundation of the National Capital Area, 7700 Leesburg Pike, Suite 208 South Lobby, Falls Church, VA 22043. A memorial service for the family will be held at a future date.He is survived by Judy K. Morris, his wife of 53 years; a son, Hugh Morris (Tania Lee); a daughter, Willa Day Morris (Chapman Todd); four grandchildren, all of this city; a sister, Barbara Morris Dickey of Exeter, NH; two nieces and their spouses; and two grandnephews. He donated his body to the School of Medicine & Health Sciences at the George Washington University. Memorial gifts may be made to the Parkinson Foundation of the National Capital Area, 7700 Leesburg Pike, Suite 208 South Lobby, Falls Church, VA 22043. A memorial service for the family will be held at a future date.

Published in The Washington Post on Apr. 4, 2014
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