OBITUARY

Joy Dorothy Morris

September 20, 1933April 2, 2019
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Joy Dorothy May Morris was born in 1933, in the town of Sutton-in-Ashfield, in the County of Nottinghamshire, England. Her parents, Leonard and Dorothy Holdstock, were ministers in the Salvation Army and they were stationed in many different towns and cities in England, moving every couple of years. When Joy was six years old, World War II began, and her family was in charge of running facilities to house and feed British and American soldiers inside the U.K. She could tell you about all the different types of German bombs that rained down upon the country during the war, distinguished by the different sounds they made as they approached. She and her family spent countless nighttime hours in bomb shelters.

Despite this harrowing existence, Joy had many happy memories of her childhood, often involving adventures with her older brother Ray and her younger sister, Cathie. Her favorite childhood place was Shrewsbury, in the County of Shropshire, where the family lived during much of the war. Joy trained to be a secretary and she worked a number of jobs in and around London when she was in her 20s. At the outset of the 1960s, it became something of a fad in the business world for American companies and executives to have British secretaries. Being an adventure seeker, Joy signed up with an employment agency providing these services, and moved to New York City to work as a secretary in 1961. She lived and worked there for a year, and then moved to Los Angeles, California, drawn in by the sunshine, the relaxed lifestyle, and the entertainment industry.

Joy found jobs at a number of radio and television stations in those years, impressing and disarming people wherever she went. While working in this industry, she met Ben Morris, a successful TV and radio actor/broadcaster. They married in 1966 and had two children, Cathie and Cloud. Joy raised them as a stay-at-home mom, and provided them with a comfortable and loving home life. Feeding horses, driving on curvy mountain roads in disagreeable weather, creating Christmas confections, and chaperoning her children and their friends at malls and amusement parks, were just a few of the selfless things that Joy did to provide her husband and her children with halcyon days. She was also a warm and fun-loving friend to a great many people in Southern California and beyond.

In 1982, Ben passed away, and Joy returned to work as a secretary, where she worked for a number of firms, mostly in the aerospace industry. She continued, heroically at times, to provide everything her children needed in those lean and difficult years, while still finding time to do a bit of community theater and create beautiful calligraphy, a style of writing that she’d learned as a schoolchild and perfected over the decades.

In 2003, having retired, Joy moved from California to Maine to live closer to her children, who had moved thousands of miles from home on a lark in the fine tradition of their mother. The family spent many happy years living close to one another, and they commiserated regularly about the ferocity of the Maine winter and the impracticality of oil heat.

Joy was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease in the late 2000s, and she spent her last few years at a nursing home in Falmouth where she had frequent visitors and where she charmed the staff with her sweet nature, smiles, and laughter. Although she didn’t speak much in these last few years, those close to her could tell that she was still quietly directing witty remarks and righteous indignation toward the gregarious game show hosts and deceptive advertisers that occupied her television screen.

Joy passed away peacefully in her sleep in the wee hours of April 2, 2019. She is survived by her children, Cathie and Cloud, her grandchildren, Tess and Gwen, and a number of family and friends in the U.S. and the U.K. who were touched by her generous spirit and her loving kindness.

Services

  • Memorial Service Wednesday, April 17, 2019
REMEMBERING

Joy Dorothy Morris

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Carole Harries

April 14, 2019

My memory through my childhood was feeling great pride in having an Aunt who lived in America and an American Uncle and cousins. I loved the special occasions she came over and was wowed by her American accent and her great sense of fun. Many years later her presence at mum and dad’s Golden Wedding celebrations meant such a lot to us all. Our love and prayers to you Cathie and Cloud from our family as you remember the life of our very special Aunt and your much loved mum and Grandmother

Brett & Sherri Winterble

April 13, 2019

We are so sorry to hear of the passing of such a sweet and amazing lady. Her name fit her personality as she brought Joy to so many people during her lifetime. Our deepest condolences.

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Big Bear Lake, CA - late 1990s.

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Cloud's graduation - UCLA, 1994

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Big Bear Lake, CA - late 1990s.

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Cloud's graduation - UCLA, 1994

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