Gwynna Marie Morris
September 23, 1946-
September 2, 2010
Wife, mother, daughter, sister, grandmother, friend-Gwynna Marie Morris passed away peacefully at home September 2, 2010, surrounded by her husband David of 38 years, and her children Paul and Angela Morris after a valiant battle with cancer. Born September 23,1946, Gwynna was raised in Smith River with her six sisters and brother; she graduated from Del Norte High in 1964. During after-school hours, she worked in the family store where she no doubt gained a love of business. At Humboldt State University, Gwynna met her future husband David Morris who was also a business major and they were married in November 1971. She graduated from HSU in 1973, earned her teacher's credential in 1974, and shortly after she and David moved to Fortuna.
Gwynna loved traveling to all corners of the world with her husband and friends. She was always ready for a new adventure and met every challenge with gusto, whether getting up before dawn for a safari ride in Tanzania, floating down the Yangtze River in China, or exploring underground caves in Turkey (this last may not have included so much gusto as it did determination). She and David looked forward every summer to their family cabin in Willow Creek where with their sister and brother-in-law, Claire and Mike, they floated the Trinity and relaxed in the sun for two weeks. In all things, Gwynna's joie de vivre prevailed as she lived her life with joy, tenacity, compassion and love.
Gwynna was larger than life through her leadership and passion for civil activism in our county and state. She was Vice President of Beacom Construction, but dedicated the remainder of her time after her children left home to being a model leader of the community. She was the impetus behind organizing the Benefit Ball fundraiser for Redwood Memorial Hospital and has been its Chair for most of the past 28 years during which time the Benefit has raised over $1.7 million for hospital equipment. She was state CSU Alumni Council President two terms; a board member of CSU Humboldt; currently on the HSU President's Advisory Board; a member of the HSU Alumni Council; and the Chair of the HSU Advancement Foundation. She has served on the Grand Jury, the local board of directors for Umpqua Bank, was the Chair and board member for the Area 1 Agency on Aging; and President of the Board for the Ferndale Repertory Theatre (1985-87). In 2001 Gwynna received the Distinguished Alumni Award from HSU; and in 2002 the university granted her the Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters. The Fortuna Chamber of Commerce declared Gwynna the 2003 Citizen of the Year; and in 2008 she received the League of Women Voters Civic Contribution Award. She was a member of Southwest Rotary of Eureka. Gwynna's public service and incredible leadership and hard work was always presented with grace and the highest degree of professionalism. Those who worked with her on committees and service boards were drawn to her organizational skills, intelligence, professionalism, warm personality and especially her humility. She was a gracious, hardworking, beautiful person, Gwynna leaves her husband David Morris; son, Paul Morris of Ukiah; daughter, Angela Morris of Santa Rosa; grandson Paul Morris Jr. of Ukiah; mother Emogene Westbrook of Smith River; sisters Kay Roberts (Jay); Donna Engelke; Gaye Minion; Jeanie Maples (Ken); brother Owen Westbrook (Kathy); sisters-in-law Suzanne (Lee) Felde and Claire (Mike) Rogers; niece Stephanie Trego Halley who lived with Gwynna and David for a time; and her other beloved nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her stepfather Ted Westbrook, and sisters Joan Carpenter and Jane Westbrook.
She will be deeply missed by her family, her wide circle of friends and all those who love her.
The family would like to thank all of its family and friends for their support and love during Gwynna's courageous battle with cancer. She expressed her gratitude for those who provided her medical care and assistance. Her family is especially appreciative.
A memorial service for Gwynna will be held at the River Lodge in Fortuna on Thursday, September 9th, at 1:00 PM, Memorial contributions may be made to the Redwood Hospital Benefit Ball, c/o P.O. Box 457, Fortuna, CA 95540 or a favorite charity.
Arrangements under the care of Goble's Fortuna Mortuary, Fortuna, Ca.
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