Leona Jane Morris, 93, passed away peacefully at home with family members by her side on April 17, 2014. Born May 23, 1920 in Milwaukie, Oregon to Floyd Abram and Dr. Lena Hodges Rudesill, she spent her childhood years in the Sellwood and Ardenwald neighborhoods of SE Portland. Her family moved to Seaside, OR in 1933 and she was a 1938 graduate of Seaside Union High School. Leona completed nurse’s training at St. Mary’s School of Nursing, Astoria, OR in 1941.
Leona Jane and Finnis Edwin Morris were married on August 22, 1942 in the Seaside Methodist Church. They were the first couple to recite wedding vows in the new parlor room of the church. Following WWII, Leona and Finnis resided in the Clatsop County communities of Seaside, Gearhart and Swensen where they began to raise their family of five children. Moving to Hood River, OR in 1960, they owned a small farm and pear orchard until 1978. Retiring in 1978 to a home they built in Bend, they enjoyed the scenic beauty of Central Oregon, taking many hunting and camping trips in the Wallowa Mts. and Snake River areas. Following her husband’s death in 2004, Leona moved to Umatilla, OR. She had resided at Fountain Court Senior Living in Maple Valley since 2009.
Leona was active in Ramona Rebekah Lodge #222 in Seaside, holding continuous membership since 1938, and was also a past president of FL Club #16. While raising her family, Leona was involved with her children as a classroom volunteer and PTA member; she served as Cub Scout den mother for her three sons. She was a Boy Scout Troop #22 committee member and volunteered as head cook during summer encampments at the Boy Scout C-Bar-L Ranch. Leona was a life-long, devoted member of the United Methodist Church, serving as a Sunday School teacher and participating in women’s activities.
Leona lovingly crocheted colorful afghans for five generations of her family. Nearly everyone she knew received at least one pair of yarn slippers or a set of decorated hangers. At Christmas, Leona baked more than 80 loaves of tea breads to give as gifts, her way of saying “thank you and “I love you” to her family and friends. She was an expert gardener and her cupboards were filled with the fruits—and vegetables—of her labors. She enjoyed watching TV sports, especially the Trailblazers and Mariners.
Leona is survived by her brother, John C. Rudesill, Bend, OR; four children, Margaret (Larry) Harto, Covington, WA; Robert Morris, Lacey, WA; Howard (Bonnie) Morris, Aberdeen, WA; Alice Hinkley, Sandy, OR; and daughter-in-law Mary Morris, Hydaburg, AK. Lovingly called “Nanny” by three generations of family that includes 87 grandchildren, great-grandchildren and great-great grandchildren, she welcomed them all with a warm hug and beautiful smile. Leona was preceded in death by her husband of 62 years, Finnis; son, John E. Morris; grandson, Mathew Morris; great grandchildren, Jordan Askew and Brittney Morris; sister, Betty Ann Rudesill.
Family and friends are invited to a Celebration of Life for Leona at Kent United Methodist Church, 11010 SE 248th, Kent, WA on Saturday, April 26 at 12:00 pm with a reception to follow. Remembrances in her name may be made to American Heart Association, American Cancer Society, or Kent United Methodist Church Memorial Fund. Leona’s final resting place will be with her husband, Finnis, at Willamette National Cemetery in Portland, Oregon.
Sign Leona’s memorial guestbook at www.marlattfuneralhome.com