JOHN (JACK) REYNOLDS MORRIS FOUNDER OF PROBUS CANADA AND PRESIDENT EMERITUS
MAY 21, 1918 - DECEMBER 1, 2012
Passed away in Alliston, Ontario on Saturday, December 1, 2012. John (Jack) Morris was born in Shawinigan Falls, Quebec on May 21, 1918, one of three children born to Jennie Jackson and Harry Morris. John is survived by his wife of 42 years Doris, his children Scott (Barb), Jane (Bill) and Rick (Luciana), and 4 grandchildren (Charles, Anna, Kristen and Riley). Predeceased by his first wife Marion (Wigle) Morris and his younger brother Walter and Walter's wife Peggy, leaving their two children and their families. John is survived by his younger sister Mary Carswell, her loving husband Jack and their two children and their families.A natural born business man, John began his career as a junior businessman delivering newspapers at the age of 13 while living at 911 Colbourne Street, London Ontario, and engaged additional customers with his personality and execution, tripling his customer base by time he ended this first job at 19. John began working in the insurance industry with London Life in 1940 where he met his first wife. He married Marion Wigle from Amherstburg Ontario in 1941. They had 2 sons and a daughter in Amherstburg, then moved to Grimsby, Maple , Ottawa, Maple, and settled in Oakville for 20 years. John's first wife, Marion, passed away in 1970 from cancer. John met and married Doris Perrett in 1971 and eventually moved to Alliston Ontario where John and Doris have lived since 1987. John's career began with L.P. Bouvier,an office stationary company in London Ontario, and progressed to jobs with Richmond Hosiery and London Hosiery Mill where he initiated a company newsletter that improved morale. A chance meeting led John into a life changing moment; this resulted in a job with London Life where he became the youngest agent at the age of 22. John became a prominent businessman in the insurance industry. From 1940, John worked for a number of insurance companies including State Farm, Canadian Western Insurance, Central Manufacturers Mutual, Netherland Insurance, as well as London Life. In 1960, John purchased 3 insurance agencies forming Utter-Morris Insurance in Burlington, as a broker for Safeco Insurance, which he successfully operated and grew his customer base until 1980 when he sold the company. John has been recognized for his innovations in marketing and advertising his insurance business. John's contribution to Rotary International commenced with his joining Rotary in Amherstburg Ontario in 1946 at the age of 28. He joined Rotary again in 1961 in Burlington, serving as President from 1969 - 1970 and Charter President of Rotary Club of Burlington Lakeshore in 1972-1973. In 1976 John was made a Paul Harris Fellow and from 1976-1977, he served as Governor of Rotary District 709 encompassing south central Ontario and a large portion of New York State. John had the honor as a Past District Governor of being nominated by the President of Rotary International to be the President's Personal Representative at 5 District Conferences, delivering addresses and inspirational speeches to the attendees. John was responsible for the formation of Probus Clubs in Canada, an organization of retired business people and professionals to provide a social network for people with similar interests. Following a trip to Australia and New Zealand in 1981 where he was introduced to the Probus concept, John engaged Rotary clubs to sponsor the introduction of Probus clubs with the first club being formed in Cambridge Ontario in 1987. The acceptance level of the Probus concept has been very high as there are now 217 clubs in Canada with 30,000 members. John held 2 offices at PROBUS CENTRE-CANADA, as President and also Executive Director, dual roles he performed for 11 years to 1998. In honor of John's service, his colleagues on the Board of Directors appointed him as ''FOUNDER AND PRESIDENT EMERITUS'' with a position on the Board of Directors, a position he has served with dedication and distinction since that time. The ''John R. Morris Founders Award'' is presented to deserving members who create new Probus Clubs in Canada. John's strong organizer skills and his desire to engage others has been demonstrated through his community service with membership in town councils, support for charity activities and his active involvement in Rotary and Probus. John demonstrated an amazing memory: as a 94 year old, he could still recount names of all of his grade school teachers, Grades 1 -8, and his favorite teacher, Dave Carr. He loved to tell stories about his youth to his grandchildren. During the last 5-6 years, John had been very proud and stoic in managing his health issues. And John cherished the loving 42 year relationship with his wife Doris. Visitation will be from 2 to 4pm on Saturday December 8th at W. John Thomas Funeral Home, 244 Victoria St. East, Alliston, Ontario L9R 1V6. The Funeral Service will be held at 2pm on Sunday, December 9th, at W. John Thomas Funeral Home, 244 Victoria St East, Alliston. In lieu of Flowers, a donation to Rotary International or Stevenson Memorial Hospital, Alliston. Condolences to the family may be offered at http:// www.thomasfuneralhome.ca/
Thursday December 6, 2012
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