Florence Morris, 97

Florence Morris

Florence Morris

SOUTH CASCO — Florence (Jannell) Morris, 97, of Portland and Sebago Lake in South Casco, passed away peacefully on Saturday, Sept. 12, 2015. She was 97, but she would respond that she was into her 98th year!

Born in Lynn, Mass., to Flora H. (Leveille) and Forrest L. Jannell, Florence, along with her four other siblings, Arthur, Dorothy, Russell and Robert, moved to Portland to be with their father and his wife, Eleanor, and to welcome a new sister, Norma.

Florence was a superstar at Deering High School, excelling in basketball, where her team won every game played all four years she was involved. She was proud of this accomplishment and was sure that no one would ever break the record. While in high school, Florence also caught the eye of another star athlete, Johnny Morris. They were high school sweethearts and soon after became husband and wife. In November of 1939, a son John (Jack) Joseph Morris III was born and, in June of 1943, a daughter, Sharon Ann (Krawczyk) blessed their lives further. During War World II, Florence worked at the South Portland Shipyard along with many “Rosies,” who built ships while the men were off fighting in the war. Florence and the others were honored for their efforts by Senator Susan Collins.

Florence went to work for the Great Atlantic & Pacific Tea Co. until the company moved out of Maine. She then went to work for the Chancery Office of the Diocese of Portland, helping to establish the first set of computer records. Florence and John retired to Sebago Lake and spent 18 joyous years there together, spending their days fishing, golfing, bowling, square dancing, and playing cards with a constant flow of family and friends. No one was more proud of living on Sebago Lake than Florence, and she truly appreciated all the natural beauty she was surrounded by, as evidenced by the thousands of sunsets she would photograph over the years and she filled albums of magnificent, colorful sunsets, which were shared enthusiastically to all the family, friends and guests that visited.

When grandchildren came along, it was Nan (Florence) and Gramps (John) that passed on their love of the lake, and all the grandkids adopted that same love and shared many activities like fishing, swimming, boating, skiing and snowmobiling. The grandchildren more than loved their Nan, as she is by all accounts an inspiration to all of them.

For 15 years of her life, Deering Pavilion was home, where she enjoyed meeting like-minded friends and playing cards, reading books and many other activities. It was a great experience and filled with many wonderful people caring about each other and looking out for each other.

Florence had many interests in life, but her passion was taking care of friends and family members and others she did not know, including often volunteering at the Casco senior center. Her smile was contagious and she was a person that, when you were in her company, you always felt better about yourself. However a small group of kids gave her even more strength and made her feel better about herself, and in her final years she loved seeing the world through her great-grandchildren’s eyes.

She is survived by Lisa Morris, Laurie (Morris) Atwood, Linda Morris, Jill Martin, Peter Martin and Sharon A. (Morris) Krawczyk; all her grandchildren and great-grandchildren; and many nieces and nephews.

Many wonderful memories were created over time, until the death of her beloved husband, John Joseph Morris III on Sept. 8, 1996. Florence experienced another setback in her life when she lost her only son, John (Jack) Joseph Morris IV to cancer on Sept. 11, 2005. She was also predeceased by her brothers and sisters.

A funeral mass will be held on Saturday, Sept. 19, at 10 a.m. at Saint Joseph’s Catholic Church, 673 Stevens Avenue, Portland. A graveside committal will follow at Calvary Cemetery, South Portland. A small reception will follow at the Deering Pavilion at 12:30 p.m. Please visit www.advantageportland.com to sign Florence’s guestbook and to leave memories and condolences for the family.

In lieu of flowers, please send considerations in memorial of Florence J. Morris to Deering Pavilion, 880 Forest Ave., Portland, ME 04103.

 

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