John Chapman Morris Jr.
1961 - 2018
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John Chapman Morris Jr.

Ventura / Fillmore, CA

It is with an impossible sadness that we announce the loss of Chap "Chappy" Morris Jr., who passed away suddenly on March 16, 2018, leaving behind the family he coveted and the thousands of friends he made during his remarkable life journey. It would take volumes to explain the meaning Chap held for so many-for his was a life of generosity, devotion, infectious laughter, and true interest and friendship in the countless people fortunate enough to cross his path. No one knows this better than the centerpieces of his life: his loving wife, Lori, and his adored daughters, Sydney and Maggie.

Chap was born August 5, 1961, at St. John's Memorial hospital in Oxnard, the second of the four children of John Chapman Morris and Geraldine Doud Morris. He came into the world boasting a head of red hair that exclaimed Here I Am!-and it was that red hair that would make him instantly recognizable to so many, no matter the size of the crowd.

Chap grew up in Fillmore with his siblings-elder sister Laurie, younger sister Tina, and younger brother Bill-and was surrounded by the many members of his generational Ventura county families. He was imbued with the traditions held by these families-most importantly, an adherence to the Catholic faith-and of treating all human beings with dignity and respect. He learned his family's primary business, a multi-line auto dealership in Fillmore, at a young age- first from his grandfather, William L. Morris, and then his father, Chappy Sr.-as well as horsemanship, the tenets of farming, and a love and respect of the outdoors.

Chap attended St. Bonaventure high school, where he excelled in athletics and lettered in a variety of sports, before playing football for Ventura College and then moving onto the University of Southern California. It was there that he completed a Business degree within the Entrepreneurship program, created endless pranks and laughter within the Kappa Sigma fraternity, and was in the right place at the right time, meeting his love, Lori. He proposed to her, in grand Chappy style, at the Rose Bowl game-of course utilizing the stadium scoreboard screen in the process-and they married on June 30, 1990.

Chap was probably best known in the community as the president of the William L. Morris Chevrolet dealership in Fillmore-his "Get Happy with Chappy" radio and television ads could not be missed-but his passions were extensive. He was a third-generation member of both the Rancheros Visitadores and Rancheros Adolfo riding groups, serving on the board of the latter, and was a skilled horseman, winning a wall full of ribbons in the various riding events through the decades. He was a major donor to USC, volunteered and donated to more charitable events and boards than can be listed here, and was a standard go-to for anyone organizing a fundraiser in Ventura county.

But for all these pursuits, Chap's greatest passion and joy was for his daughters, Sydney and Maggie. No conversation was complete without a recounting of their latest feats, with Chap's face lifted to its widest charismatic smile in love and admiration. They each carry individual and distinct traits of their father, and there is no mistaking Chap in their voices-joking, cajoling, touching, and understanding.

Chap's greatest talent was quite simple: he loved people, he lived for people, and he just couldn't get enough of them. In his mind, people were not good-they were great. His capacity and empathy for his fellow man was endless, and as his daily encounters accumulated throughout his life, the rollcall of his friends stretched beyond any normal person's line of sight. Early in their marriage, Lori gave Chap a leather-bound address book for Christmas, and watched as he transcribed contact information, adding two names in every space for one, nearly filling the book. At the end of that year, she gave Chap another with more pages, and watched as he transcribed each name from the first book-now completely full and without a space in the margins. And so it went, year after year, as the book got larger and the list grew to many thousands.

Chap was a human connector-what sociologists have referred to as a hub person-that created layers of familiarity and friendship among those that would otherwise be unknown to one another, leading to exponential connections between so many. He possessed unusual language skills, including fluency in Spanish extending to regional colloquialisms, as well as the ability to collect phrases from anyone speaking a foreign language, and this allowed connection into any culture introduced to him. His interest in everyone he met was genuine and intense, and manifested itself in a generosity that humbled even his closest friends.

That is the essence of the precious humanity he possessed. So many know and love each other because of Chap Morris. He was our gift, and his legacies are the friendships and love we now carry simply because he was being himself.

Chap was preceded in passing by his parents, John Chapman Morris and Geraldine Doud Morris, and is survived by his beloved wife, Lori Farrell Morris, and daughters Sydney Anne and Margaret Rose Morris, his sisters Laurie Smith and Tina Thomson, and his brother, Bill Morris.

On Tuesday, March 27, a Rosary is planned for 8:00 p.m., in St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church, 1048 W. Ventura St, Fillmore. On Wednesday, March 28 another vigil/rosary is planned for 6 p.m. in Our Lady of the Assumption Catholic Church, Ventura.

His life will be celebrated in a funeral mass at Our Lady of the Assumption Catholic Church, 3175 Telegraph Rd., Ventura, CA, at 11 a.m. on Monday, April 2nd. A reception will follow on the adjacent football field at St. Bonaventure high school.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made directly to the Health Care Foundation for Ventura County, Inc., for the benefit of the Ronald McDonald Family Room at Ventura County Medical Center, in memory of Chap Morris, 300 Hillmont Ave., Ventura, CA 93003. One hundred percent of all donations will go directly towards the establishment of the Ronald McDonald Family Room, with no administration fee taken.


To Plant Memorial Trees in memory, please visit our Sympathy Store.
Published in Ventura County Star from Mar. 24 to Apr. 1, 2018.
06:00 PM
Our Lady of the Assumption Catholic Church
Memories & Condolences
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29 entries
May 14, 2020
Chappy I'll miss you. Thanks for being such a great guy.
Trent Moore
August 23, 2018
My most sincere condolences to the Morris family on the sudden tragic loss of Chap. I first met Chap when he was a freshman at SC. We hit it off and our friendship grew over the years. He was a genuinely decent human being. We shared many a good laugh together and some spirited discussions on business, food and occasionally on politics. I will miss him as will all those that he touched.
John Garner
April 21, 2018
Rest In Paradise Chap, you were the man...♡
Seraphs, Pirates, Trojans
Neva Ziegler
April 21, 2018
To all the Morris family and especially Bill,

I am so sad for the loss of Chap. I really enjoyed the time we spent with Chap and your Dad having breakfast together, the laughs and what I learned from him during the time I worked for you. Chap was someone I always looked up to and had great respect for. Just thinking about Chap puts a smile on my face thinking about how fun a person he was. He will be missed by so many people and Im sure the town will not be the same with out him. May God comfort your whole family. I am glad and fortunate for the time I got to spent with him.
Jason Merry
April 3, 2018
So sorry to hear about Chappy. We both went to high school together. My mom went too school with Chappys parents. My prayers for the family.
Luke Gajefski
April 3, 2018
Chap was a gentleman..a man of honor and courage...a man of zeal, yet intelligent man...a man of truth ... one who tempered action with wisdom and, above all else , one who walked in the light of god ..
fall 1983
April 3, 2018
The Sunset of a life well lived.
To Chap's Family, deep condolences for your unimaginable loss, he was taken from us far too early, there is a giant hole in our collective hearts. I pray that you find comfort in God's Love, and the enormous ocean of love that sorrounds you from all who Chap touched. Chappy you live on in our hearts.Pierre Tada,
Pierre Tada
April 2, 2018
So sorry to hear about Chap's passing. He was an amazing man. I will always remember our balloon flight from Fillmore to Santa Paula. He was a legend in his time. I can't believe in all these years we haven't run into each other. I now live in Santa Paula and have a hangar at the airport there. If you ever have time come on by!
Peggy Watson-Meinke ( was Cooksey)
April 2, 2018
Dearest Morris Family,You are in our hearts and prayers. We know that Chap and Rigo are probably having a grand party! They are also watching over us! Families are forever! Be well and God bless you all.Much love, Laura Landeros
Laura Landeros
April 1, 2018
I really got a kick from my dad when he talked about my nephew Rick Fausset and Chappy and all their buddies going down to Rosarito Beach as youth and raising heck. They would drink my dad's beer and as long as they would leave the empties there, dad was happy to help them out. They loved my dad and he loved them. I know that all of us that are still here love Chappy and Rick and it gives us comfort that they are together. Love, Mike Fausset and wife Joan.
April 1, 2018
To the Morris Family!

Chap Morris! Rest in Peace in the Eternal Arms of the Lord!

Wonderful man who was an inspiration to many. He was a big man in spirit and heart. A gentleman and an extremely popular and charismatic individual.

He was big man on campus at USC and big man at St. Bonaventure. It was an awesome experience to see Chap and Bill as evolving young businessmen and leaders!
Chris Pettersen
March 31, 2018
Lori, Sydney and Maggie:
I'm sure words can't describe what a loss this is for you. Chappy was a great family friend. He most certainly is in heaven and now watching over you all.
Lori, Tina, Bill:
Your brother was such a great guy. I know you'll miss him terribly. He most certainly has joined your wonderful Mom and Dad in heaven.
Our deepest condolences to all of you.

Jim Meyers and Kathy Jackanich
Blaine, MN
March 30, 2018
Dear Lori, Sydney and Maggie
We are all so sorry for your loss. We feel so lucky to have been introduced to your family through NCL and gotten to know all of you thru the years at parties and usc tailgates, etc. It was that extra level of fun and conversation that Chap brought that was the best. He was so genuine and generous with his words and heart. We had an End of the World party, and he rented a van for all the Ventura folks to safely come and go, which meant everyone got to have more fun. The last time Jeff and I saw him he was at Sans Souci (the sewer) with some Orange County buddies and we all danced our butts off to some punk band. Nothing but smiles and great memories for a wonderful, thoughtful, kind, fun, sweet, generous, lovable man.

Sending a big hug to all of the Morris family during this difficult time.
Joanne and Jeff Carolan
Joanne Carolan
March 29, 2018
Lori and Family,
One incredible man, always made time for people, even people like me to discuss little things , always was positive and always had great ideas! I remember one of his sayings, measure twice and cut once! So involved and cared for so many, they don't make men like you anymore Chap! May the lord welcome you to his kingdom and I thank you for your friendship! One incredible man!
Hank Almanza
March 28, 2018
Lori and family,

Words seem inadequate to express the sadness we feel about Chappy's passing. I heard so much about Chappy and his dad from my father and it was so nice to finally meet the famous Chappy Morris Jr. at an NCL event. He really lived up to the praises of my father. He was one of a kind. Sending you our deepest sympathy and prayers.
Peter and Marian (Powell) Everest
March 28, 2018
Aloha the Morris family. My condolences on your loss. Way too soon. What a great guy. I met Chap years ago working at KHAY,. Chappy could be counted on to always be entertaining, usually with a good question or two. what a great stand man. That was back in the late 80's..
Sincerest Regards,
David Lewis
Kealakekua, HI
March 28, 2018
Dear Lori and Family,
My thoughts and prayers are with you during this difficult time.

'Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master's happiness!' Matthew 25:21

Cozy Darby
March 28, 2018
We were shocked and saddened to hear of Chappys untimely passing. He will be sorely missed. Always a greeting and a kind word for everyone he met, with a smile on his face and a twinkle in his eye, a true gentleman, a rare and vanishing breed. Rest in peace.

The Barminski family
March 27, 2018
I never met anyone like him. Endless compassion and patience. Full of love and always thought the best of everbody. If you were in need of help, he was there. If I was down , he would lift me up. He would find the good and positive side of everything. I will miss him greatly. I will forever be grateful that I was fortunate enough to cross his path and work with him for so many years. My condolences to Lori, Sydney, and Maggie. For you were his greatest love and joy.
Sandra Queen
March 27, 2018
Hello and my deepest condolences to the Morris family for my former boss and also the person who gave me a chance to work for him at such a young age as a salesman I learned alot from chappy as he taught me so mutch about car sales and bussiness he was truly was a role model in my life as was bill morris but when times were ruff in sales he always making us all laugh and always make the best out of the situation no matter what. I loved enjoyed and loved working for them. my prayers are with the family and him in heaven. rest In Peace" big man" thank you chappy for always believing in me and motivating me to peruse my dreams. I can't thank you enough.
Cristian T
March 27, 2018
Thank you for allowing me to cut your three hairs as you called it.. for the last 20 years.
During that time i got to know a man who always put the needs of others before his own. The many conversation we had and the Hair cutting sessions at your house that always seemed to start with a glass of wine or a shot of patron. I will forever keep you in my thoughts and prayers . I will always remember one of many sayings you had " THANK YOU CHIEF" And to Lori, Maggie and Sydney my deepest sorrow my heart goes out to the entire Morris family. Thank you girls for sharing him with the world....
Enrique Ramirez
March 26, 2018
Dearest Morris Family, our deepest blessings and heartfelt condolences at this unbelievably difficult time. What a beautiful and touching tribute for all to read about such a lovely man. May your warm and joyous memories of your precious husband and father continue to provide in comforting you and your family. God Bless you all.
Steve and Tonia (Bortolin) Mabry
March 26, 2018
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Hank Weeks
March 25, 2018
Thank you Chap for the man you were, for the family you left behind, for the county you loved and represented so well with your generosity, for the mentor you were to my son, for the friend you were to my wife and I, and for the greeting we'll receive when next we meet. Much love to Lori, Sydney and Maggie. Verne & Laura Mason 1 Thessalonians 4:16-18
March 25, 2018
Dear Morris family,
We were shocked and saddened when Julie called with this news. Chap was such a special man who made everyone (including us) feel as if we really were his good friends.
How lucky you were to have had him in your lives.
Love and caring,
Sandy and Tom Baak
March 25, 2018
Chap was on our C.R.E.W board and he instantly became a friend as he did to everyone. I always was happy to see him because he light up the room, there never was a dull moment when he was around. My husband also knew him from the C.R.E.W. and Rancho Adolpho rides, our sincerest condolences to his family, you all were the loves his life. There are no words to help you thru this pain but our prayers and thoughts are with you.
Marsha And Mike Vaughan
marsha vaughan
March 24, 2018
Deep and sincere sorrow for Chap's Family ,
God bless Chap and his family and comfort them , oh God in the name of our lord Jesus
I'll miss Chap at the dealership where I started As bookkeeper when in college and
Have know them all as family back to Wm L
And to them all , known as Norris -Morris
And only God knows how many trucks & cars Susie & I bought from all of that family . Amen
Norris Pennington
March 24, 2018
Lori, Maggie and SydneyOur most sincere condolences to you all. He was a great man who was so devoted to you girls. I will always remember Chap doing his Haka dance at the girls volleyball games! He will be dearly missed. Our thoughts and prayers are with you all. The Cervantez Family
March 24, 2018
I will always remember Chap from my days at VCC and his introducing me to my first love one night at the beach. There is nothing bad that could ever be said about this gregarious and wonderful man! He was one of the nicest people I have ever crossed paths with!! My heart to all of the Morris family and friends! Andie (Rains) Sarjeant
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