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Obituary: William Henry Morris

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William Henry Morris

William Henry Morris

William Henry Morris, 88, of Franklin, passed away Oct. 5, 2020.  

Mr. Morris attended Forest Hills High School in Queens, New York, graduating in 1949, and Wittenberg University in Springfield, Ohio, graduating in 1953. During high school and college, he worked each summer at construction jobs, grave digging, as an assistant on a beverage truck, a “runner” for a Wall Street firm and other miscellaneous jobs. After college, he attended basic training at Ft. Dix in New Jersey with the U.S. Army. He attended signal school at Ft. Monmouth, New Jersey.  

During his tenure with the Army, he was stationed at White Sands Proving Grounds in New Mexico from 1953–1955. After the Army, he graduated from New York University School of Business with an MBA. He started working with Allstate Insurance Company in New York City in 1956 as a trainer in the personnel department. He spent the next 30 years with Allstate in personnel/human resources. His last assignment was the assistant vice president of human resources in Northbrook, Illinois, the headquarters of Allstate, where he retired in 1988.  

After retirement, he started a human resource consulting practice, working with smaller insurance companies who needed outside human resource expertise. In 1990, he completely retired.  

In his lifetime, he was interested in singing harmony. He originally joined the Society for the Preservation of Barbershop Quartet Singing in America, the Barbershop Harmony Society, in 1957 in Long Island, New York. He was a charter member of a new chapter known as the Huntington, Northshore Chapter that year. He joined the New Bern “Southern Gentlemen” Chapter of the Harmony Society in 2001. They sang at many New Bern events, including at Mum Festival, various conventions, nursing homes, celebrating festivals and other community functions. He also participated in a barbershop quartet singing valentines to sweethearts each Valentine’s Day, particularly for wives of those serving in the military.    

He’s survived by wife of 64 years, Joan Val Morris; sons, William Henry II (Julie) Morris and Gary Robert (Margaret) Morris; daughter, Pamela Val (Patrik) Achilles; and grandchildren, Erika, Ian, Nina and Julian Morris and Dylan and Abigail Werner.  

A celebration of life will be conducted at 10 a.m. Oct. 10 at Franklin First United Methodist Church with Dr. Bryan Brooks and Rev. Sarah Carty officiating.  

Memorials may be made to Franklin First United Methodist Church Memorial Gardens, 120 Aldersgate Way, Franklin, TN  37069.  


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