Bayless Gaddy Morris

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My camping and fishing partner, my dad, my teacher, died of leukemia at age 91, May 16th. He grew up in Stratford, Oklahoma with 3 brothers and a sister. He joined the army in 1945. He loved his time in the military, island hopping the Solomon Islands in the Pacific. His job was to tell everyone the war was over. He would park his landing craft on a beach and trade fish and cigarettes with the islanders for fruit and vegetables and other supplies. On his way home from Washington, after serving in the military, he picked up a hitchhiker. When dad dropped him off, the man forgot his knapsack. It didn't take long to discover it was infested with bed bugs. He pulled into a used car lot and traded his car for a black Mercury. Dad claims I owe my life to bed bugs.

Bayless and Denzil Ruth Rankin married in 1952. They moved to Ralls, Texas where he started working for the Santa Fe Railroad (and retired after 36 years). Mary Jane Morris was born and they moved to Norman. We were a family for 7 years. They divorced and I visited my Dad on weekends and during summer vacation. We traveled to almost every state and camped in many of the National and State Parks. I learned to fish, pitch and take down a tent, respect nature, love animals, watch spiders, save money, fix things, be happy, and much more from my dad. He loved to make me laugh.

He enjoyed going to garage sales and finding treasures. His house and yard are filled with his finds and he could tell you how much he paid for each item (both the asking price and what he paid).

He lived in the same house for 63 years. He planted an incredible garden every year. I think the vegetables he ate from his garden helped him live so long, especially the turnips. He loved cats and even trained Felix to jump through his arms, roll over, shake hands, play leap frog, and stand on two legs and touch his head to my dad's hand. Dad would say, "Give me some ears".

He is survived by two younger brothers, Jimmy Morris lives in Federal Way, Washington and Cliff Morris lives in Miami, Florida. His older brother Paul J. Morris died in Texas, his sister Lula Fay McKenzie lived in Norman and died last year. Her husband James McKenzie has been like a brother and helped him adjust to living at the Norman Veteran's Center. He has two granddaughters, Aletia Ligon who lives in Phoenix, Arizona and Lesley Puhrmann who lives in Seattle, Washington. His two great grandchildren are Dallas, 15 and Jake, 12. His daughter, Mary Jane Morris and her husband, Gene Puhrmann live in Washington.

He will be missed by his nieces and nephews and their kids he taught how to fish and his many wonderful friends and relatives.
Published on May 18, 2019
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1 posts

CLIFF MORRIS
May 19, 2019
TO A LOVING BROTHER WHO WILL BE MISSED.BY MANY.
I LOVED YOU SO MUCH AND WILL NEVER FORGET YOU. REST IN PEACE TILL WE MEET AGAIN.