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Morrises, shot at shopping center gathering, 'were totally in love'

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Killed: Dorothy Morris

Friends of George and Dorothy Morris said the high school sweethearts were never apart.

The two were among those shot when a gunman opened fire at a northwest-side event being hosted by U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords on Saturday.

Dorothy, 76, was one of the six people killed. Authorities released an incorrect version of her name Saturday.

Given how close the couple was, when the family was notified that George was recovering at University Medical Center from gunshots to the chest and leg, they grew increasingly concerned when they couldn't get information about Dorothy, said neighbor William Royle.

Royle, who was in airlines management, worked with George, who was a pilot. When the Royles retired to Oro Valley, the Morrises followed them in the mid-1990s.

The Morrises have two daughters who live in Las Vegas, and they flew to Tucson to be with their father.

Royle said the Morrises enjoyed entertaining, were interested in investment opportunities and liked to discuss politics. And while they hadn't said anything about going, Royle said he wouldn't be surprised if they might have just gone to the Giffords event out of curiosity.

Royle and his wife, Bonnie, happened to be at the shopping center that morning, having coffee and sweet rolls at Beyond Bread when a woman rushed in to say there were shootings outside the grocery store. The Royles didn't know their friends were there, let alone among the victims, until one of the daughters called them.

Royle said George is in serious, but stable, condition after surgery.

Although the two were married roughly 55 years, Royle said, "You'd think they were newlyweds."

Bonnie Royle said George still called "Dot" his girlfriend. And when they toasted each other, they would inevitably say, in front of others, how much they loved each other. "They were totally in love," she said.

Royle said Dorothy was a homemaker who also kept track of the family investments, and was friendly and easy to talk to and active in social circles.

Bonnie Royle agreed, saying Dorothy was a marvelous cook, able to whip up delicious homestyle classics. "Their entertainment was always impeccable. Even if it was just a dinner in the kitchen, even the napkins were perfect."

But it was her friendship that she most valued.

"She was so caring. She was always concerned about your problems, instead of verbalizing her own. She was a very loving, caring, compassionate person who was loved by many people here in Tucson."

Contact reporter Rhonda Bodfield at or 573-4243.

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