Charles Hilton Morris passed away June 3, 2019, being cared for at Arroyo Gardens, Green Valley, AZ.
His father, Charles, was born in Louisiana, and his mother was born in Danville, Georgia. A son, Charles Jr., was born July 7, 1929. His mother, age 18 at his birth, sometimes made biscuits twice a day.
The family moved from Belmont to Albemarle, N.C., where his father was employed as a fabric dye specialist for Cannon Mills Co. A sister, Margaret, was born in Albemarle.
He was baptized into Christian faith at the local Methodist church where he attended Sunday School and sang in the choir. During his lifetime at different locations, he was a member of Lutheran and Presbyterian congregations.
His interests in high school were “football and girls.” During his senior year, he was a “football star,” playing halfback. His mother never missed a game. At age 18, he entered Catawba College, Salisbury, N.C., on an athletic scholarship, later transferring to the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
When he was 21, he entered the U.S. Air Force (Korean Conflict), beginning weather training. He was sent to Leon, France, a B28 base, as a weather forecaster. Leaving the military, he went to Texas Christian University, receiving a degree in geology and physics.
He married Mary Lou Harris in 1957, and they had a son, Charles Jr. III. After five years of marriage, they were divorced.
Charles (now often called Chuck) and Ruth Johnson were married in 1965 soon after “a sailing date.” Chuck was now working for the U.S. Geological Survey in Los Angeles. In 1980 he was employed by the Arabian American Oil Co.
He and his wife moved to a suburb outside of London, living there for two years where Aramco had a temporary office. Later he was transferred to Dhahran, Saudi Arabia, where he continued working as a geophysicist in oil exploration, living in the expatriate community. Ruth enjoyed teaching in the nearby international school for children of expatriates.
One of his very favorite, fun hobbies while living in Arabia was owning a personal “STILL” purchased with a good friend. The “STILL” was housed in the garage where Chuck and Ruth lived. He and his friend became “experts” in making “STILL Beverage Brew,” calling the making of it “Cooking Days.” The brew became very popular with friends.
After living 3 years in Arabia, they returned to their home in California. Ruth returned to teaching in the Long Beach schools.
Chuck had many interests and loves. Sailing was at the top of the list. Purchasing a Columbia 28-foot boat along with a friend who also loved sailing gave him many years of sailing in the surrounding waters of Long Beach, CA, mooring the boat in the Long Beach Marina. Wives of the “two captains” often went along on weekend days — in charge of bringing along snacks and a beverage — and now and then they set sail to Catalina Island for an overnight. Friends and family often came aboard for a sailing day.
He was particularly fond of live stage theatre (even having “starred” in a production). He and Ruth often went into London for theatre while living there. Music was always good for him with special appreciation for some of the music of Tchaikovsky and many Broadway musicals. He enjoyed Edith Piaf singing “La Vie En Rose” and other music similar to hers. He and Ruth purchased season tickets for the Tucson Symphony and Arizona Theatre Co. for most of their 25 years living in Green Valley.
They spent summers in their motor home in Cascade, Idaho and later summers in Show Low, AZ.
Talking and remembering his grandfathers was a favorite topic for Chuck — the uniqueness of each one gave Chuck pleasure. One was Grandfather Morris, a Methodist minister from Louisiana, and the other was Grandfather Grisley, a trapper making a scarce living in the hills of Virginia — awesome ancestry he thought, believed and loved.
Chuck and Ruth were married 54 years with great, loving life experiences and relationships. His favorite affectionate name which he often called Ruth was Babe, which she loved. Ruth lives in Green Valley.
Chuck is also survived by a Morris niece and 6 nephews, and 21 Johnson nieces and nephews. A special thank-you to Arroyo Gardens, Santa Rita Nursing Rehabilitation, and Hospice Family Care, who gave care to him during very difficult days/years.
As requested by Chuck, internment will be at the Sierra Vista Military Cemetery. Chuck's favorite charity was The Salvation Army. Perhaps irresistible Chuck will be ringing a bell next Christmas!