Jack Morris, 84, formerly of West Seneca, New York, and longtime Chautauquan, died peacefully on Nov. 1, 2013, in his home in Sarasota, Fla.
Jack was born in Lancaster, N.Y., on Dec. 12, 1928, of George and Ethel (Osborne) Morris. He grew up in Ebenezer (now West Seneca), N.Y., and graduated from Ebenezer School. Jack studied law at the University of Buffalo eventually receiving his Juris Doctorate. Jack married Barbara Nash in 1953 and they had four children. He practiced law and served a term as Town Attorney in West Seneca, where he was also a member of the Lions Club, the Chamber of Commerce, the Shriner’s Club and the Vigilante Volunteer Fire Department. Jack was also a building contractor. He designed housing subdivisions and owned various real estate properties, traveling yearly to Florida to purchase and renovate old hotels for resale.
Jack discovered the Chautauqua Cultural Institution in Chautauqua, N.Y., in 1971. He purchased a cottage there in 1972, and served for a time as President of the Property Owners’ Association. During this same time period Jack also purchased a 240acre farm in Sherman, N.Y., and as weekend farmer, raised beef cattle and pigs. The farm was destroyed in 1983 by a tornado.
Retiring from his practice in West Seneca at age 55, Jack moved to Westfield, N.Y., and worked as legal consultant in the oil and gas drilling field, finally retiring in Ormond Beach, Fla. Jack lived thereafter for many years seasonally migrating between Florida and Chautauqua.
When Barbara died in 1999, Jack created a scholarship fund in her name to support a cello student each summer at Chautauqua. He subsequently established a close friendship with JoAn Webb, another seasonal migrator between Florida and Chautauqua, and moved from Ormond Beach to Sarasota to be closer to JoAn.
Jack was a loving husband and father with a keen mind, shrewd and capable business sense, and many interests.
He is survived by his daughter, Deborah J. Oliver, sons, J. Bradford Morris and Robert A. Morris, and daughter, Barbara A. Schley, with their spouses and children. He has 16 grandchildren and 15 greatgrandchildren.