Myers-Reed Chapel


John Cole Morrison

October 17, 1928September 24, 2020

John Cole Morrison, 91, of Columbus passed away on September 24, 2020 at Four Seasons Health Center shortly after being diagnosed with lymphoma. He died so peacefully with his children by his side, holding his hand. John was born on October 17, 1928 in North Adams, Massachusetts, the son of Clifton Cole and Lois MacPhail Morrison. As a young boy they moved to Brooklyn, New York where he attended elementary school. Many summers were spent frolicking in the water at the family's camp, Morrison Island on Squam Lake in Ashland, New Hampshire. After the untimely passing of his father, John and his mother moved to New Albany, then to Columbus, Indiana. He graduated from Columbus High School in 1947. After graduation and hitchhiking to the island with his good friend Bill Mahoney, John received his draft notice via mail boat there, calling him to serve in the United States Army. Upon arrival home, he discovered he's been drafted by the United States Navy as well. He went on to proudly serve in the US Army and the US Navy Reserves and was honorably discharged in 1952. He returned home and attended Indiana University. In high school, he met Mary Jane Thurston and they were wed on October 25, 1952 at First Christian Church in Columbus. They would go on to share 64 glorious years as husband and wife, before her passing on September 20, 2016. They loved to travel, continuing the tradition of summers on the island, including introducing it to their son, Andrew Cole Morrison whom they welcomed in 1966. John worked for over 25 years on the railroad at both the Columbus and Seymour Stations. Upon the closure of the Seymour station, he retired from there and began his career at Cummins. He worked in the fuel systems department for over 20 years before retiring in 1995. Then, he was able to enjoy many of his hobbies including snow skiing, fishing, wine making, traveling, and playing bridge. He continued to play He was also a mischievous one with quite a sense of humor which, according to his nurses, was still in evidence until the very end. In addition to his sense of humor, John had a deep sense of compassion, often doing things for others anonymously. From making sure every child he coached on the Biddy basketball team had money for an after game Coke to taking in a homeless child while working at the railroad, he preferred to help in a quiet way; just wanting to make life easier for others.

John leaves behind his children; son, Andrew and daughter in law Heather of Columbus; nephew, Jim Simmons of Osh Kosh, WI; great nephew, Solon (Andrea) Simmons; and great-great nieces, Alessandra and Gabriella, all of Falls Church, VA; his crazy cat, Maggie; and many friends. They will all miss him dearly. He was preceded in death by his wife, Mary Jane; his parents; sister in law, Betty Rutan; and niece, Joan Simmons.

John touched every person he ever met, leaving them with memories for a lifetime.

A Celebration of John's Life will be held Saturday, October 10 at 3 p.m. at Myers-Reed Chapel officiated by Annette Barnes, with military honors by the Bartholomew County Honor Guard. Visitation will be held two hours prior to the service, from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. Memorial Contributions in his name may be made to the Salvation Army. In keeping with Indiana Guidelines, social distancing must be followed and masks are required

To leave an online condolence for the family, visit

Myers-Reed Chapel is serving the Morrison family.tinued to play


  • Mary Jane Morrison, Wife (deceased)
  • Andrew Morrison, Son
  • Heather Morrison, Daughter-in-law
  • Jim Simmons, Nephew
  • Solon Simmons (Andrea), Great Nephew
  • Alessandra & Gabriella, Great-Great Nieces
  • John also leaves behind his crazy cat, Maggie; and many friends.

Learn more about the Morrison name


  • Visitation

    Saturday, October 10, 2020

  • Memorial Service

    Saturday, October 10, 2020


John Cole Morrison

have a memory or condolence to add?

James Simmons

October 13, 2020

I was hoping to see you at least one more time but time runs out. I'll miss all the holidays, especially Christmas. We were both alone over the last few years without the ones who connected us. I'm not someone of faith but I hope there is another space after life where we can play those bridge games we never contested and we get another chance to argue politics until our wives cut us off.


David Behrman

October 10, 2020

Andrew and Heather

I'm so sorry Becky and I are not able to be with you today. John was such a great influence in my life and I have so many great memories of him. He was such a patient and caring guy and he always wanted the best for everyone. He was truly one of the best!

Love always,
David and Rebecca

Carol Fravel

October 10, 2020

So sorry for your loss. John was such a good friend. Wayne and I spent many happy hours together with John and Mary Jane (mainly around a bridge table)!

Tim Britt

October 7, 2020

My wife, Leigh, and I moved to Columbus in 1992 when I started working at Cummins. Columbus, Indiana, was a foreign place to us - we were moving from Virginia, and we knew almost no one when we drove into town. I was lucky to have John sitting in the same cubicle as I did, when I went into work. He was so welcoming, with regard to both the work environment but also the community. One of the photographs I had put on my desk was of my wife. By coincidence just several weeks after we had moved to Columbus, he was in the credit union on Union Street and he recognized her there. He introduced himself and asked if he had made the right connection, and then warmly welcomed her to Columbus. My wife still talks about that exchange as an important one for us as we made this transition. Best wishes to John's family and friends - he was a great person. - Tim Britt

Leigh Ann Savage

October 6, 2020

Andrew (and Heather), I'm so sorry to hear of your father's passing. I unfortunately will be out of town this weekend and will not be able to join you on Saturday to celebrate your Dad's amazing life. You and Heather have been so devoted to the care of your parents in their final years and you'll be richly rewarded for that care. I was thrilled to see both Mary Jane shortly before her passing in 2016 and John within the past year. The Savage family's time with the Morrison family over those many, many years was priceless.

Take care ... from one of the kids of the old gang of the Morrisons, Savages, Gurthets, Boyles and Coxes.
Leigh Ann

Keith Dick

September 30, 2020

For 34 years John was our next door neighbor. He and Mary Jane will be missed.. Deepest sympathy to Andrew and the rest of the family.


Learn more about the Morrison name