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Emily Elizabeth Gatzke Morris


1920 - 2016 Obituary Condolences
Emily Elizabeth Gatzke Morris Obituary
EMILY ELIZABETH GATZKE MORRIS, 96, of Riverside died October 28, 2016. She was born on March 12, 1920 in Niles Center (now Skokie), Illinois, a farming community near Chicago, to the late Edward and Johanna (Riekert) Gatzke. She attended a small country school where she skipped two grades and excelled in academics, especially spelling. In 1932, she placed first in the Cook County, Illinois Spelling Bee, shattering a 20-year record by posting a perfect score. She worked at various jobs in her young adulthood, including on the family produce farm and domestic and factory work. After World War II, she became an American Red Cross Gray Lady volunteer at a government hospital in Chicago, where she met Mathew Morris of Fairfield, Montana, a patient recuperating from internment in a Japanese prison camp. They were married in 1949 and settled in Glenview, Illinois where she lived until her relocation to Riverside in 2002. In addition to her homemaker duties, she worked as an office clerk, and volunteered in service to her community as an elementary school tutor, at a food bank, and in many church ministries. She was also a devoted volunteer at the Chicago Botanic Garden where she shared her passion for gardening. She was a long-time member of Holy Trinity Lutheran Church in Glenview and is a current member of Eden Lutheran Church in Riverside. She was preceded in death by her parents; her loving husband of 59 years, Mathew Morris; and a brother, Edward Gatzke. She is survived by her daughters, Kathleen Hodges of Valdosta, Georgia and Marilyn Morris (Larry LaPr‚) of Riverside; grandchildren, Jamie Speldrick and Nathan LaPr‚, and two great-grandchildren; a sister, Alma Kessler, of Des Plaines, Illinois; and many nieces and nephews. Emily's family wishes to thank many people for their kindness: Pastor Linda Brown and the congregation of Eden Lutheran Church; the staff of VNA and Vitas Hospice, and Home Instead; the amazing caregivers at Sunrise Canyon Crest; and many caring friends. A funeral service will be held at Eden Lutheran Church, 4725 Brockton Avenue, Riverside, 92506 on November 2, 2016 at 1:30 pm. In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to the Chicago Botanic Garden (chicagobotanic.org/tribute).


Published in Press-Enterprise from Nov. 1 to Nov. 2, 2016
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