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H.M. Patterson & Son-Spring Hill Chapel

1020 Spring Street Nw, Atlanta, GA

OBITUARY

Gilda Anne Walker Morris

February 8, 1949September 2, 2019

Gilda Anne Walker Morris of Atlanta passed away suddenly on Monday, September 2, at her home. She was an extraordinary personality, who touched countless lives with her warmth and her ability to connect with people in a way that made them feel they were so very important. And important they were to her.

“Granny” was her preferred name, as her grandchildren were her greatest “hobby” and joy. She always begged to babysit, and regularly did, often driving miles or flying to do so, even after she had her own physical limitations. She looked forward every year to the annual beach trip to Ocean Isle with her friends and family as well as her “goddesses” trip with her lifelong girlfriends. Gilda had no shortage of “best friends” as she got to know people so quickly and so deeply. Her St. Dunstan’s church family, PEO sisters, bridge groups, “girls’ time” group, Peachtree Presbyterian family, fitness friends, and so many other circles of friends were so dear to her.

Gilda was born February 8, 1949 in Charlottesville, Virginia, to Harry Gordon Walker and Margaret (“Peg”) Bailey Stanfield, and grew up in Statesville, North Carolina, moving to Atlanta in 1973. She worked for doctors for many years before becoming an aerobics and yoga teacher, retiring as the fitness director of the Gym at Peachtree following a spinal stroke four years ago.

She was someone who always made lemonade from lemons, and despite initially being paralyzed, she worked hard to regain strength and mobility, never complaining or feeling sorry for herself, and never giving up hope for a total recovery. In addition to her positive attitude, she was exuberant and generous in spirit, and sensitive but strong and tough, always willing to let people know what she thought about a matter.

Beyond her love of teaching yoga, at which she excelled, Gilda was a talented artist in various media. And she was called to serve others, teaching Sunday School for the very youngest parishioners, spending nights with Family Promise homeless families, and heading the flower guild at her church. She was active in so many other ways at St. Dunstan’s Episcopal Church, where she was a lay reader and where she worshipped for over 45 years.

She is survived by her husband of 40 years, Lee Morris; three beloved children: Carson Emily Morris of Albuquerque, New Mexico; Everett Lee Morris, IV (Jaymee) of Brookhaven; and Jessie Morris Leyden (Tim) of Marietta; five absolutely adored grandchildren: Elias Andres Reyes-Morris; Catherine Arvis Morris; Everett Lee Morris, V; Roy Timothy Leyden; and Max Morris Leyden; sister Cheryl Walker Morand (Ralph) of Bay City, Michigan; brother Harry Gordon “Hank” Walker, Jr. (Kathy) of Wilmington, North Carolina; and lots of nieces, nephews, cousins and loving friends.

A celebration of her very special and extraordinary life will be held Saturday, September 7, 2019 at St. Dunstan’s Episcopal Church, 4393 Garmon Road, NW, Atlanta, GA 30327, at 2:00pm. Visitation for friends and family will be at the church on Friday, September 6 from 6pm to 8pm.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests contributions in Gilda’s memory to the church she loved, St. Dunstan’s Episcopal, or the charity of your choice

Services

  • Memorial Service Saturday, September 7, 2019

Memories

Gilda Anne Walker Morris

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Bruc Lafitte

September 7, 2019

Lee, with such a (loving) crowd today, I could not imagine there being time for everyone to share memories of Gilda. So, I'll share one here. I've told you this one, but others may read this and enjoy it. Being a Southerner, myself, I always loved Gilda's unapologetic Southern accent. As a layreader at St. Dunstan's, she would often read the lessons during the service. One time, by the luck of the draw, she read the lesson from Genesis about Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden. In her reading they were not naked (NAY-kid), but they were "NEKK-id"! Years ago, a friend at another church told me the theology of NAY-kid versus NEKK-id. Being NAY-kid just means you don't have any clothes on. Being NEKK-id means you don't have any clothes on and you are up to no good! So, forever more when I hear that lesson, I will hear it in Gilda's voice and Adam and Eve will be NEKK-id! I'm gonna miss her a lot! God bless you all. - Bruce

Linda Martinson

September 7, 2019

Gilda was a constant warm presence at Galloway when I was there -- always so interested in what was going on and how everyone was doing. She will be missed by many, I know. I send my condolences to all the family and to all her many friends, too. With deep sympathy, Linda

Madonna Kenser

September 7, 2019

Gilda made me smile when I saw her in the pool at the YMCA water aerobic class. She had a welcoming presence to all who attended. It was her vitality and joy that lingers in my memory. She helped me to learn how to exercise muscles that needed strengthening and all out of loving kindness. What a strong and lovely person !

WE will miss her in our class and in our lives.

Madonna Kenser

Patsy Wharton

September 7, 2019

I LOVED knowing Gilda as Sarah’s friend and mentor at The Gym at Peachtree. Whenever I dropped by, Sarah would say, “Let’s go see Gilda!”. I loved knowing Gilda as my yoga teacher and friend. I agree with Lee. She was one of the most beautiful people I have ever met.

Kathy Henry

September 6, 2019

It is with very great sadness I think about our P.E.O. Sisterhood without Gilda. She was such a vibrant and integral part of it. She and Lee opened up their lovely home to frequent meetings and made all feel welcome and loved.

She was a friend for over 46 years and there will be an empty place in so many of our hearts with her passing. Our sisterhood stands for purity, justice, faith, truth, and love and she epitomized all of these virtues. Her vibrant creative personality and welcoming spirit will be terribly missed.

Stuart Raper

September 6, 2019

I grew up going to St. Dunstan's with my family where Gilda was a guiding light for our church. I was blessed to be around her through childhood and adolescence. She was filled with joy, love, kindness and FUN! She exuded her light and positivity to all those who crossed her path and made everyone's day brighter. Her positivity was infectious as she always reminded us that "life keeps getting better and better." She took so much time out of her day to make sure that others felt included in their community and loved. I was just thinking about her joyful spirit just days before I heard this tragic news. But I know that her love will live on forever through her husband, children, grandchildren and all of us who were lucky enough to know her!

Barbara Mcnulty

September 5, 2019

I am so sorry to learn of Gilda's passing. We worked together at The Sporting Club more than 30 years ago. I will always remember her caring, bubbly personality and how much she loved her husband and young children. She helped me through a difficult time in my life when my husband died of cancer and I became a single parent at 35. She was a very special person and I am so fortunate that our paths crossed.❤

Joe Martin

September 5, 2019

Lee, your many friends, of whom I’m proud to be one, grieve with you over Gilda’s passing. Both of you represent the finest citizens our city could ever have. Please find comfort in knowing that God is caring for her. After serving in the Peace Corps, I moved to Denver, but miss the wonderful people in Atlanta. Warm regards to you and your family. Joe

Patrice Domingue

September 5, 2019

I remember the summer ya'll came down and we went camping at Garner State Park. Gilda went to the dance they had every night and met a guy who worked there, cleaning toilets at the park, if I remember correctly, and she fell in love with him!!!! We kidded her about loving a toilet cleaner!!! It was a fun week and we all had the best time. I hope Cheryl remembers this vacation also.

Martha Turner

September 5, 2019

When I moved years ago I wanted a personal contribution from each of my friends at Girls' Time, and this is Gilda's: "Prayer At The End Of Summer". I've looked at it every day for 14 years and it always makes me smile because it is so vibrant, just like Gilda.
This is certainly a time for prayer at the end of summer. Thanks for everything Gilda.

FROM THE FAMILY