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William Jefferson (Bill) Morris, 91, of Rutledge died Sunday, October 10, 2021 at Northside Gwinnett Hospital. He was born December 31, 1929, to Thomas Jefferson Morris and Benita Rogers Morris in Morgan County. He attended Madison High and was a member of the 1947-48 playoff basketball team. He then briefly attended Piedmont College in Demorest where he played on the school baseball team. He maintained a lifelong passion for baseball and watched the Braves win their playoff game, just before he passed away.
Mr. Morris worked in his father's lumber business for many years, before he began his own timber harvesting business, which he maintained until his retirement. By example, he instilled a strong work ethic in each of his children. He was usually working on some project even into his later years. He was a soft spoken, gentle man, who loved his family, especially the young children who gave him so much joy.
Mr. Morris was the patriarch of two families. He is survived by his children, Benita (Ricky) Watkins, Mary Lou Garner, Jean (Crawford) Greenway, and Jeff (Beverly) Morris. He is also survived by his wife, Frances Watts Morris, and her children Vickie Merritt , Rita Sikes, Dennis (Debbie) Roberts, Leisa (Perry) Jackson. The large family included a total of 20 grandchildren, 44 Great grandchildren and 3 Great-great grandchildren. He is also survived by his brother, Alton Morris and Elizabeth and many nieces and nephews. His wife Gladys McHugh Emmett, sisters , Betty Youngblood and Alice Monroe, and a brother, Lewis B. Morris preceded him in death.
Mr. Morris joined Madison Baptist Church as a young man, but in later years attended Centennial Baptist Church. He had strong faith in his Lord and the Bible. Gospel music was a constant presence in the home.
The family will receive friends at Centennial Baptist Church on Thursday, October 14 from 1-2 PM. The funeral service will be held at 2 PM. Interment will follow at the Madison City Cemetery.
Those wishing to remember Mr. Morris may make a donation to St. Jude's Research Hospital for Children, or Gideon's International.