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HomeObituariesIn Memory: William F. "Bill" Morris, Age 97

In Memory: William F. “Bill” Morris, Age 97

Obituary - William F. Bill MorrisBeloved husband, father and grandfather, William (Bill) Morris died on November 24, 2023 at the age of 97. He was born on September 13, 1926 in Youngstown, Ohio, the son of Paul C. Morris and Martha M. Morris.

He grew up in Rye, New York, where his father worked as Playland’s publicist. Bill and his brother Paul spent many hours playing on the Benjamin F. Packard, a square-rigged sailing ship built in 1883, which was moored at Playland.

Bill attended Rye High School and while still in high school, he enlisted in the Army Air Corps Cadet Program. Upon graduation in 1944, he entered the Army Specialized Training Reserve Program. In 1945, at the end of World War II, he was discharged from active duty and remained in the Ready Reserves until 1968 when he transferred as a Captain to the Retired Reserves.

With the help of the GI Bill, he received his undergraduate degree from New York University. He went on to receive an MBA from the NYU School of Business and a Certificate of Advanced Study from Fairfield University. He began his career as a teacher and then worked in industry for 13 years. He returned to public education for another 25 years, which he maintained was his best career move. Bill spent most of his career in the Fairfield school system, as both a teacher and an administrator. He loved teaching because it made him feel like he was helping people and improving lives.

He moved to Redding in 1963 and became very involved in the community. He was deeply committed to The First Church of Christ, Congregational in Redding. One of his proudest moments was being awarded the title of Deacon Emeritus in 2020 for 58 years of service to his church community.

Bill also served on Redding’s Commission on Aging for 25 years. He dreamed of providing affordable housing in Redding, especially for seniors who had spent their lives serving the people of Redding. He thought everyone should have the opportunity to live in the beautiful community he loved. While affordable housing in Redding never happened, he continued to have faith that one day the dream would be realized.

Family was always of paramount importance to Bill. Whether it was summers on Nantucket with the Morris family or time spent at 1505 (Fairfield Beach) with the Carley clan, he loved the family gatherings. He spent many hours telling stories and creating new ones. And of course, political discourse was always close at hand.

In 2002, he moved to Meadow Ridge and enjoyed the community he found there. His hobbies included art classes, woodworking and model building. He spent many hours with family playing Cribbage and Shanghai Rummy. He was a voracious reader and enjoyed discussing current events.

He was a man deeply committed to his family, faith, and community. He valued a person for the content of their character, of which honesty and integrity were most important. He was deeply loved and will be sorely missed.

Bill is survived by his loving wife Mary Carley Morris, daughters Louise Martling-Hertzog (Keith Hertzog) of St. Augustine, FL, Cindy Lewis of Danville, VA, Patty Short (Jim Short) of Ridgefield, CT and Mary Ann Morris (Matthew Chojnacki) of Ridgefield CT, and six grandchildren, Kent Martling, Jamie Lewis, Will and Ben Short, and Trevor and Connor Chojnacki. He is also survived by his sister Martha Schwuerzer (Peter Schwuerzer) of Germany, sister-in-law, Eleanor Carley, brother-in-law Nick Ohnell (Pat Ohnell) and numerous nieces and nephews. He was predeceased by his first wife, Eileen Ohnell Morris, his brother Paul C. Morris and his sister-in-law, Signy Morris.

A Funeral Service will take place on Saturday, December 2, 2023 at 11:00 AM at the First Church of Christ, Congregational; 25 Cross Highway, Redding. Interment with US military honors will follow in Redding Ridge Cemetery, Redding. There will be no calling hours.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to The First Church of Christ, Congregational – 25 Cross Highway/PO Box 1055 Redding Center, CT 06875, or the Meadow Ridge Scholarship Fund – 100 Redding Road; Redding, CT 06896.

Kane Funeral Home is in care of arrangements.

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