Dec. 30, 1939-Feb. 17, 2018

James Patrick Morris Jr. was born to James P. Morris Sr. and Helen McKnight Morris. He and his three sisters, Pat, Laurel, and Colleen, earned their grit in the shadow of the Mountain Con Mine. Barely out of grade school, Jim joined the military in 1953 at the age of 14, and struck out to see the world. The boy who snuck his way into the Army proved himself a soldier and he served proudly in Vietnam and elsewhere with honor for 23 years.

On July 28, 1961, he married Wyline Kibler-Morris and they were blessed with children, Jerry W. Morris (Joe), Shanna Quam (Dale), Janna Botello (Rick), and Tom Halfast (Colin). They settled in Texas and Colorado Springs as a family bursting with laughter and adventure. Jim and Wyline were married until her death in 2006.

On a return trip to Montana, Jim recognized a pair of blue Irish eyes he remembered from Butte’s St. Mary’s School and he asked that girl to dance. Jim and Maribeth Sullivan Connell were married on Feb. 5, after a 10-year stroll in the sunshine, her arm tucked safely in the crook of his elbow. Jim left us on Feb. 17, at the age of 78.

If it was broken, Jim fixed it. If dull, Jim sharpened it. He tied blankets for the new babies and left no stranger without a flash of the great Jim Morris grin. Jim will be missed for his love of family and his pure kindness of character. He was a founding member of the “spit and whittle” club. Jim was an intelligent man with a curious mind who loved maps and books, puzzles and travel. He was a mechanical engineer without the paperwork. Jim is also survived by four grandchildren, two great-grandsons, and Maribeth’s family. He was dearly loved by those who will miss his gentle spirit.