Author: Augusta Chronicle
AUGUSTA, GA — Mary Sue “Sissie” Ellis Morris, beloved wife of William S. “Billy” Morris III, entered into rest Tuesday, April 28, 2020.
Born in Columbus, Ga., she was the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. John Tyler Ellis. She attended Louisiana State University and graduated from the University of Georgia where she was a member of Kappa Kappa Gamma sorority. She did further study at the New York School of Interior Design.
At the University of Georgia, she met Billy Morris, and they were married in January of 1958, launching a lifelong devoted partnership. She would go on to raise a family, serve her church and community, and support the family business as an active director, as it grew from a single daily newspaper, The Augusta Chronicle, to become a diversified international media company, Morris Communications.
Mrs. Morris also had a reputation as a gracious hostess, be it with company employees and farm staff to kindergarten classes and church groups, to political dignitaries and even royalty. Family members said she was as comfortable on horseback in jeans or fly fishing in waders as she was greeting dignitaries in evening attire.
“We were married for 62 years but we were in love 65 years,” Mr. Morris said.
She took great interest in the beauty of the natural world, expressed through gardening and inspiring fellow gardeners. She was an active member of the Sand Hills and Suburban garden clubs, and a member of the board of the State Botanical Garden of Georgia in Athens for many years. She worked with beautification projects for the city and community, and her beautiful floral arrangements graced the homes of family and friends. Her photos from trips to faraway places were often not of landmarks and monuments, but of plants, trees, flower beds and floral displays.
Known for her quiet strength and astute mind, she never sought the spotlight, but always could be counted on to lend her presence, time and talents toward the betterment of the community. She taught Sunday School at Reid Memorial Presbyterian Church, where she also served terms as deacon and elder. She served on the boards of many of Augusta’s civic and cultural organizations including the Augusta Symphony Guild, Augusta Preparatory School, and Historic Augusta, and was a founding director and trustee of the Morris Museum of Art.
She was a member of the Augusta Town Committee of the Colonial Dames in America, and Daughters of the American Revolution. She was a past volunteer for the Girls Club and a board member of the Widows’ Home. She was a member of the Junior League of Augusta, the Augusta Assembly and Augusta Country Club.
A strong and gentle influence for her beloved children and grandchildren, she also had many lifelong friends, who steadfastly saw one another through years of joys and sorrows and many travel adventures.
Survivors include her husband; three children, Will and Caroline Morris, John Tyler Morris and Susie and Lee Baker; and six grandchildren, William S. Morris V; Gray Sullivan Morris, Lee House Baker Jr., Mary Ellis Baker, Alden Elizabeth Baker and Benjamin Morris Baker.
Memorial contributions can be made to:Reid Memorial Presbyterian Church, 2261 Walton Way, Augusta, GA 30904or the State Botanical Garden of Georgia- University of Georgia or The Morris Museum of Art, Two 10th Street, Augusta, GA 30901.
A graveside service is planned Friday at 11 a.m. in Westover Cemetery.
Platt’s Funeral Home, Crawford Avenue, is in charge of arrangements..