Cover photo for Matt Morris's Obituary
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1948 Matt 2018

Matt Morris

July 28, 1948 — January 15, 2018

Matthew O. Morris passed away on Monday, January 15, 2018, of causes related to congestive heart failure.

Matt was born in Kalamazoo, Michigan, on July 28, 1948, at Borgess Hospital, the only child of Florence Oman Morris (later Worstell) and Cecil “Tommy” Cowles Morris (of Shawnee, OK). He grew up in Kalamazoo on Hutchinson Street and was raised by his mother and his devoted grandmother, Agnes Dwire Oman. As a teenager, he attained the rank of Eagle Scout and attended the 1963 World Scout Jamboree in Greece. He was a graduate of Loy Norrix High School (1966), and also of Brigham Young University (1970). Matt hitchhiked across the country in the 1960s, and worked his way across the Atlantic on a freighter. He spent time in Israel after the 1967 War, and worked on a kibbutz.

He later graduated with a JD from Oklahoma City University, and earned other post-graduate degrees at Arizona State University and Western Michigan University. He was a longtime member of the American Planning Association. Matt had a long and varied career in city planning, public administration, and the law. He also taught in a number of disciplines at the college level. Besides his home state of Michigan, he lived and worked in Arizona, California, Nevada, Iowa, and Oklahoma. In his later career, he was proud to work with the Seminole Nation of Oklahoma. Following his retirement, he served as a Town Board member in Jet, Oklahoma.

An avid student of history and current events, Matt loved to read, and friends and colleagues benefited from his wide knowledge of the world. He was always curious to learn more, and family road trips were often paused to read historical markers. Matt was proud to be descended from the Oman pioneer family of Schoolcraft, Michigan, and passed on a love of family history to his children. He took special joy in reconnecting with his Morris family in Oklahoma, and loved hearing stories about his father from those who knew him. He was also a member of The 1889ers Society through his maternal grandfather.

Matt is survived by his wife, Judy Morris, of Jet, OK. He also leaves behind six children, and 23 grandchildren: Arick (Mike) Conners of Abilene, TX; Andrew (Glory) Brown of Phoenix, AZ; Amelia (Mark) Loken of Little Rock, AR; Elizabeth Morris of Buffalo Grove, IL; Wesley (Alissa) Morris of Casper, WY; and Alexander (Susana) Morris of Champaign County, IL. He was preceded in death by his previous wife, Mary Sue Cochran Morris. He is also survived by his former wife, Brenda Nielsen Morris; and by step-children and step-grandchildren, and several aunts, uncles, and cousins.



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