Dr. Thomas Redin Morris, Lieutenant Colonel, U. S. Army Retired, was born September 17, 1930 and died January 12, 2021 in Wilmington, NC where he made his home for over 60 years. He succumbed from a battle with cancer for more than 20 years.
Dr. Morris was born in the Nahunta area of Wayne County, the son to the late Sallie Pittman Morris and Joseph Thomas Morris. The Morris Family Ancestry in America began with the family landing in New Jersey on the Goodship Kent in 1677, and founding Morristown, NJ. Some family members migrated to Wayne County and became landowners and farmers.
Dr. Morris was a graduate of the University of North Carolina (B.S.), the Southern College of Optometry, Memphis, TN, where he received his professional Doctorate, and the University of Memphis, where he later received a Doctorate in Science. Upon graduation, he was commissioned in the US Army as a Medical Officer and served during the Korean Conflict. For over 50 years, he has been a totally blind, disabled service-connected Veteran. He was involved in community and business activity and was an entrepreneur, owning several businesses and rental properties. He was active in several civic and political groups, and was named “N.C. Jaycee Young Man of the Year.”
Best known for his world travels, Dr. Morris made eight round the world trips, visiting every continent, including both the North and South Poles, with a passport stamped in 157 countries. A writer, as well as a public speaker, he was published in several professional and religious magazines, serving as Editor of the Southern Journal of Optometry for eight years. For many years, he wrote an international blog. His philanthropies include churches of the Original Free Will Baptist Denomination, the University of Mount Olive, where he gave awards and scholarships, and the University of North Carolina, where he provided scholarships to disabled students in the Health Sciences.
Surviving Dr. Morris is one son, Dr. John M. Morris, a SBC Missionary and Professor at Southwestern Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas; two grandsons, Dr. Andrew Phillip Morris and Paul Robert Morris of Fort Worth, Texas; a great-granddaughter, Olivia Grace Morris, a sister, Maidred Morris Stroud of Kinston, NC and two brothers of Eastern North Carolina.
Graveside services will be held Saturday at 12 o’clock at Evergreen Memorial Cemetery, Goldsboro, NC with Military Honors. The service will be conducted by the Reverends Tom Jaski and Jeff Daughtry. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the University of Mount Olive, PO Box 90, Mount Olive, NC 28365 or to the FWB Children’s Home, PO Box 249, Middlesex, NC 27557. Burial arrangements were made and obituary was written by Dr. Morris.
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