James Morris

Obituary
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    - Matt Rinker
  • "Jim was a great American. He was always there to serve his..."
    - Kent Hance
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  • "Betty, it is with fondest memories that I think of Jim and..."
    - Marga Simmons

James Garnett Morris LUBBOCK- James Garnett Morris passed away on April 8, 2012. He was born June 26, 1922 in Lingleville, Texas. He attended schools in Wichita Falls where he was the editor of the school paper and graduated with honors, two years early. Jim, as he liked to be called, received a scholarship to Rice University at the age of sixteen and was in route to Houston when he stopped in Waco, Texas where he fell in love with Baylor University. He decided to forgo his scholarship at Rice to enroll at Baylor. He secured employment as custodian as well as a waiter in the student cafeteria to pay for his education. In addition, he was employed by Baylor University as the school photographer, and was editor in chief of the Baylor yearbook, The Roundup. During his junior year at Baylor, he attended a freshman mixer and met whom he later described as the prettiest girl at Baylor, Betty Jane Cross. They fell in love and were married on September 15, 1944. Jim graduated in 1942 with a Bachelor of Arts degree with a major in chemistry. Upon graduation he served two years in the United States Army during World War II. He then attended Baylor University School of Medicine in Houston, Texas. Upon graduation from medical school in 1946, he interned at St. Louis City Hospital, St. Louis, Missouri and performed his residency in the department of obstetrics and gynecology at the U.S. Naval Hospital in San Diego, California. Upon completion of his internship, he and Betty moved to Betty's hometown of Lubbock, and he went into the medical practice with his father-in-law, Dr. Denzil D. Cross. During that time, he was also appointed as the physician for the football team as well as the athletic department of Texas Technical College. Jim joined the United States Navy at the beginning of the Korean conflict and was the ship's doctor for the U.S.S. Piedmont. He was very proud of the fact that he received the highest fitness rating from his captain, Charles Hooper. Upon his return to Lubbock, he continued the practice of medicine for many decades. During that time, he was chief of staff for West Texas Hospital, President of the Lubbock Crosby Garza County Medical Society, President of the Panhandle District Medical Society and Chairman of the Texas Tech Medical School Foundation. He held the office of the secretary of the Texas Medical Association and was chair of the Benevolent Fund. He served on the Board of Councilors, was a member of the American Medical Association and of the Texas Association of OB-GYN and served on the Executive Committee of Baylor College of Medicine Ex-Students Association. He published a paper in the Texas State Journal of Medicine-Exfoliative Cytology , Volume 59, 1136-1140, was an associate professor in obstetrics and gynecology at the Texas Tech University School of Medicine, and received the Texas Tech University School of Medicine Dean's Distinguished Service Award. Additionally, he was on the Board of Visitors at M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston and served with Dr. Michael DeBakey. For many years he also served as the Lubbock County Sheriff's office physician. Jim was also known as an astute business man and had numerous business accomplishments. He was Chairman of the Board and C.E.O. of Llano Estacado winery. He also served on the boards of various banks including First National Bank of Lubbock, First National Bank of Post; Ford bank group-all of which are now a part of Wells Fargo and Company. He also served on the boards of the State National Bank of West Texas and BBVA Compass Bank. He served on the Board of Directors and as Secretary of the Lubbock Health Facilities Development Corporation, Chairman of the Community Planning Council of the United Way and was on the board of the South Plains Food Bank. From an early age Jim was known for his fair dealings and he always said It's not a good deal unless it's a good deal for everyone. Jim was a man of integrity, honor, and distinction and was also very active in civic and social organizations. He was President of the Texas Tech Red Raider Club, President of the Lubbock Club twice, the only non-golfer to be president of the Lubbock Country Club and he was on the Board of Stewards of the First United Methodist Church. He was also President of the Maedgen elementary school P.T.A. He was a lifelong enthusiast of college athletics and remained a staunch supporter of both the Texas Tech University and his Alma Mater Baylor University's football programs. He donated athletic scholarships yearly, beginning in 1970. His support for Baylor University was recognized by having a room of the sports rehabilitation named in his honor. Jim was preceded in death by his parents, Opal and George Cales, and a grandson, James G. Morris. He is survived by the prettiest girl at Baylor University, Betty Cross Morris, his wife of sixty-seven years; a sister, May Janice Graves and husband Dick; a sister, Louise Baxter; four children, son, James D. Morris and wife Helen; son, Craig Morris and wife Donna; daughter, Anne Hazlewood and husband, David; and daughter, Catherine Mitchell-Baker and husband Jerry; four grandchildren, Beckie Morris, wife of James G. Morris, John David Hazlewood and wife Kimberly, Justin Morris and wife April, Amanda Heffley and husband Andrew, and Jerry Glenn Mitchell; and five great-grandchildren. Visitation will be held on April 9, 2012 from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. at Sanders Funeral Home, 1420 Main Street, Lubbock, Texas. A memorial service will be held at 11 a.m. on Tuesday, April 10, 2012 at the First United Methodist Church, 1411 Broadway, Lubbock, Texas. A private graveside service will be held at the City of Lubbock Cemetery.
Published in The Lubbock Avalanche-Journal on Apr. 9, 2012
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