'Dot will live on' in those she loved

Dorothy Morris is sixth and last of those killed Jan. 8 to be laid to rest
2011-01-27T00:00:00Z 'Dot will live on' in those she lovedJosh Brodesky Arizona Daily Star Arizona Daily Star
January 27, 2011 12:00 am  • 

George Morris once believed he was the happiest man in the world.

Before the shooting, he could make that argument with any man, at any time. After all, the proof was in his love for Dorothy.

The two shared a deep and sturdy love that spanned 54 years of marriage. It's a love he sees in their two daughters, Torrey Nelson and Kim Hardy.

And it's a love hundreds of mourners were reminded of Wednesday at a celebration of Dorothy Morris' life at St. Philip's in the Hills Episcopal Church.

Dorothy Morris - or Dot, as friends and family knew her - was the last of the six people killed in the Jan. 8 shooting at U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords' "Congress on Your Corner" event to be laid to rest. Thirteen were injured in the attack, including Giffords and George Morris, who was shot twice while trying to save his wife. Giffords continues to recover in Houston.

"Dot will live on here in the hearts of family and friends," said the Rev. Cliff Blinman, who is also the Morrises' next-door neighbor.

Although they were living in Tucson, Dorothy Morris, 76, was a true Nevadan, friends and family said. She even kept a slot machine in her family room to help entertain guests.

She was born and raised in Reno. Grew up with horses. Loved the outdoors and camping.

She and her husband met at a high school dance, and although she was quiet, at the end of the night she asked him to call her.

He did. It was the best decision he ever made.

George Morris served in the Marines, and later as a pilot for Pan Am and United Airlines. And their marriage took them many places over those years - Florida, Hawaii, Texas, California, Nevada, West Germany and Arizona. Through it all, Dorothy Morris served as the glue to the family, caring for their daughters, contributing to a cookbook with other military wives, managing family investments and entertaining busily.

"She would always be concerned about other people," Torrey Nelson said during an earlier interview. "She was always concerned about not making us upset, or making sure everyone else around her was happy."

Before the shooting, the Morrises, who have three grandchildren, had been working on a family genealogy.

Dorothy Morris loved to travel.

In recent years, the couple often motored across the country. And although she was afraid to fly, her pilot husband still was able to get her on a plane.

During the service, her friend Bonnie Royle recalled a trip to England she took with the Morrises. There were many colorful stories from that trip, but one that stood out was when Bonnie's husband, William, missed the tour bus. Dorothy Morris took pictures of him chasing after the bus, calling for him to catch up.

That story was a light moment on an afternoon filled with heavy hearts.

As the service ended, "Amazing Grace" filled the church.

And with his daughters supporting him on each side and aided by a walker necessitated by his wounds, George Morris slowly left the church.

Contact Josh Brodesky at 573-4242 or jbrodesky@azstarnet.com

Copyright 2014 Arizona Daily Star. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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