Joyce Ohliger Morris died at home Tuesday morning, August 21, 2007 after a six-month battle with thyroid cancer. Her two daughters were at her side.
Joyce was born August 15, 1925, in San Mateo County. She greatly enjoyed her early years in Burlingame and Hillsborough and graduated from Burlingame High School in the class of 1944. She went on to receive a Bachelor of Science from University of California at Los Angeles. After college, she became a stewardess for Pan American Airlines, serving the Pacific and the Orient. She explored exotic parts of the world at a time when foreign travel was not widely accessible. Photos and stories of that time convey her early love of adventure and curiosity about the world, qualities that stayed with her throughout her life.
Joyce went on to study Physical Therapy at Stanford University where she met Sumner Morris, who was also a graduate student there. They became engaged and were married on April 2, 1953, in Manhattan, Kansas, where Sumner was Counseling Center Director at Kansas State University. Joyce launched her career as a Physical Therapist and both daughters were born in Kansas. Sumners career brought them to Davis in 1958. The house on Sycamore Lane has been home since 1961, where the two daughters grew up and her family flourished in her loving care. She gave up work while the girls were young, and then returned to an active Physical Therapy career once they left the nest. Sumner passed away in 1994, and Joyce continued to foster relationships within the Davis community and beyond.
Joyces life reflected those values she held most dear. In her younger years, she was active in the girl scouts and would often remind her family of lessons from her scouting experience, including an appreciation for the high sierras and the value of a life of integrity and kindness. She was very proud of her family and loved to share stories of her parents, her uncle who was instrumental in the discovery of oil in Saudi Arabia, and her husband, who was the founding director of the Counseling Center at UCD. She taught her daughters to use their talents to make a positive contribution to the larger community, but to always remember that family is the source of ones greatest joy and meaning. Joyces life passions also included painting with watercolors. The walls of several Davis community centers, her home and the homes of her daughters, have been adorned with her beautiful paintings.
Joyce is survived by her eldest daughters family of Nancy and Don Crowe and grandchild Rose Marie, as well as by her younger daughters family Susan Morris and Ken Looney, and step-grandchildren Bryan and Rachel Looney.
Services will be held Monday, August 27, 2007 at 11:30 A.M. at Davis Community Church, 412 C Street.
In lieu of flowers, the famiy requests that donations be made in Joyce's memory to Sumner Morris Endowment Fund, established to support the ongoing training and education of staff at the UC Davis Counseling Center. Please make the check out to UC Regents and indicate on the check the money is for the Sumner Morris Endowment Fund; Joanne Fuller; Counseling and Psychological Services; UC Davis; Davis, CA 95616 or to: Camp Two Sentinels, the Girl Scout Camp at Kirkwood Lake. Please make the check out to the Girl Scouts Association and indicate the funds are for Camp Two Sentinels; Girl Scout Association; 7700 Edgewater Dr. Suite 340; Oakland, CA 94621.