Colleen (Aldrich) Morris RN (1937 - 2014)

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INDEPENDENCE – "We cannot all do great things, only small things with great love."-Mother Teresa.
Colleen Morris, RN, born in Mullenville, Kan. on May 23, 1937 did many small things with great love for her family and patients and received extensive on the job training at home tending to three children, Craig, Christie and Corinne. Leading up to her passing on Monday, Feb. 3, she still worried over her children, grandchildren (Sabrina, Zachary, Benjamin, Mary and John) and about any other soul that came across her path.
As with any great caretaker Colleen never lacked for soothing words and if one was fortunate, she would sing those words. Music was a centerpiece in her life and was shared generously. Just as she gave of herself so willingly in caring for others, she recognized the healing and comfort that the universal language of music provides. Beyond that, music was just fun for Colleen and she often sang to her very best friend, Scarlett Anne, the "not so miniature" dachshund that constantly shadowed her.
Her family and patients were not the only creatures that Colleen tended to. There are a great many plants that owe their continued existence to Colleen. Absent any research or instructions, she always knew exactly the ingredients to assure her plants thrived. She did not have a skill for caretaking rather she had a gift that no amount of education could provide.
If laughing is indeed the best medicine then that was Colleen's hidden weapon. She was mischievous and always ready to share a funny story or listen to one. And often those anecdotes were shared over mounds and mounds of food that she insisted be eaten when visiting her home. Of course, silly movies that call for belly laughs were usually the order of the day for her. She was always pleased to be joined huddled down in the cushions of her comfy sofa and giggling.
And as she walks away, we hear her laughter and admonishments to be strong and take care of one another. Her three children, Craig and Kim Morris, Pheonix, Ariz., Christie and John Gales, Cedar Rapids, and Corinne Railey, Clinton, N.C., along with her grandchildren, sisters; Kathleen Morris, Quasqueton, Vicki Cornwell, Cedar Rapids, and brother; Larry Aldrich, Cedar Rapids, all know that we must listen because we learned from the very best.
She is predeceased by her parents; Stewart and Marjorie (Graham) Aldrich, her infant son Harold Todd, and twin granddaughters Heather and Sara Gales, one sister Dixie Smith, two nephews; Randy Morris and Scott Aldrich, with capable hands, she is again looking after them.
We honored her life at a service of commemoration held at 11:30 a.m. Friday at the Union Church in Quasqueton, culminating with laying her to rest in the Quasqueton Cemetery, Quasqueton. The family shared the memory of her life from 4 to 7 p.m. Thursday at the Reiff Funeral Home & Crematory in Quasqueton.
Memorials may be directed to the Buchanan County Animal Shelter, P.O. Box 360, Jesup, IA 50648 in her memory.
For more information or to leave an on-line condolence please go to under obituaries.
Funeral Home
Reiff Funeral Home & Crematory
216 3Rd Ave Se
Independence, IA 50644
(319) 334-2501
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Published in Independence Bulletin-Journal from Feb. 6 to Feb. 22, 2014