John W. Morris Jr.
February 5, 1939 – November 15, 2020
Our beloved John died peacefully on November 15, 2020 from complications of glioblastoma. We will remember his keen intelligence, determination, strength, and courage. John showed us how to fight bravely even if the odds were long.
John was born in Fortuna, CA on February 5, 1939. His family lived in Cambria for a short time before settling in Fresno. John was a proud graduate of Roosevelt High School, class of 1957, and he never missed a class reunion. He excelled at football and wrestling and made many close friendships that he sustained over his lifetime. His college years were at CSU, Fresno where he was and remained an active member of Theta Chi fraternity.
During his college years John worked as a brakeman for the Santa Fe and Southern Pacific railroads, then as an insurance adjuster. He found his true passion however, as an attorney.
John graduated from San Francisco Law School and began a 40 year career in trial work that he loved. He was a fierce adversary who could shrewdly size up a set of facts and develop his battle plan, and he reveled in the challenges that litigation provided. He was very proud of his designation as a “Bad Rat.” John was a member of the State Bar of California and the American Board of Trial Advocates.
Aside from the practice of law, John was a lover of history; all things sports-related, especially if it involved the 49ers, the Giants, the Golden State Warriors, or his grandchildren’s basketball games; trains; a good joke, especially if it contained his favorite four-letter word; spy novels; a great debate on just about anything; Josh Gates and the Discovery Channel; his pups; and spending time with the multitude of people he considered to be friends. He valued his friends as family, and he counted them as friends for life.
John retired from his legal practice in April, 2018, and three months later was diagnosed with cancer. He approached this battle with the same determination and singular focus that he applied to a court trial. He had two wishes: that he would travel to Cuba and that he would see his grandchildren play basketball. He was delighted that both wishes were realized. Post treatment, John took a computer class and proudly got his driver’s license renewed. Cancer may have won in the end, but it couldn’t defeat John’s spirit.
John’s gift was in living life fully: enjoying and celebrating the people he loved; traveling widely and embracing life’s adventures; contributing to causes he valued; and leaving his small piece of this world better for his presence. We are so proud of him.
Our John will be long remembered and missed by his wife, Mayo Goliti; daughter Kymberly Williams and her daughter Meredith; daughter Kaia Morris and her husband Miles Slattery, and their children Zayne and Maia; daughter Kira Lyons; sister Ann Morris and her family; in-laws Terry and Sandra Schulz and their family; and by the many friends who loved him.
Services were private, and a celebration of John’s amazing life will be planned for a later date.
In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation in John’s name to one of the following: First Congregational Church of Fresno, 2132 N. Van Ness Blvd, Fresno, 93704; the Poverello House, 412 F Street, Fresno 93706; or Animal Compassion Team, 2789 S. Orange Ave, Fresno, 93725.
Fond memories and expressions of sympathy may be shared at www.lislefuneralhome.com for the Morris family.
- Mayo Goliti, Wife
- Kymberly Williams, Daughter
- Kaia Morris, Daughter
- Kira Lyons, Daughter
- Ann Morris, Sister
- Mr. Morris Jr. also leaves behind three grandchildren to cherish his memory.
Learn more about the Morris Jr. name
No public services are scheduled at this time. Receive a notification when services are updated.
John W. Morris Jr.
November 22, 2020
Marlene and I extend our most sincere sympathy to you and the family.
I have many fond memories of being with John.
May he Rest In Peace
November 22, 2020
Mayo - deepest sympathy to you and family in the loss of John. My heart goes out to you and I will keep you in my thoughts and prayers during this difficult time. May all good memories comfort you now. Sue & Mike Karibian
fred and linda harris
November 20, 2020
John was our neighbor for 20 years. A strong fellow and a straight shooter in all that we observed! A fine neighbor for sure. Our deepest sympathies to mao and his family.
November 18, 2020
I knew John through his sister Ann a life long friend.
John was two years my seniors, but he always had time to say hello with a big smile and a firm handshake. I always remembered John as a fierce competitor. He is and was a good man, a winner all the way.
He will be missed. Once a Rough Rider always a Rough Rider.
Blessings to John's family.