Among his treasures, kept in a little box near his favorite reading chair, is a note Sue Morris wrote to Mike Dunn three years ago.
“It was one of the highest compliments I have ever received. She said my commitment to the community reminded her of the commitment her late husband made,” said Dunn, chairman of the Greater Salisbury Committee.
It is especially meaningful because he has known Morris and her family since he was a school boy and always held her, and the family, in high esteem.
Susanne S. Morris, once first lady of Salisbury when her husband, Frank, was mayor, died this week.
In her obituary, her family remembered her as a “woman of vision, honesty, truth, sensitivity, good will, and grace” who “quietly and graciously impacted the lives of so many people.”
The Rev. Chris DeBarge, pastor of St. Francis de Sales Catholic Church, where she worshipped, said Morris was commendably active in the community.
“Any time she could get to church she made sure she was at church. And, always a smiling a face. With the health issues over last couple years she slowed down a little bit but when she could get there, she was always in the front row,” he said.
A native of the Foxhall Village neighborhood in Washington, D.C., Morris was born in 1931 and attended the University of Maryland where she met her husband.
They married in 1953 and moved to the Eastern Shore. Her husband died in 1993.
Among her many involvements were Girl Scout leader, Cub Scout den mother, water safety instructor for the Lower Shore Chapter of the Red Cross, soup kitchen volunteer at Joseph House Village and chairwoman of the Delmarva Chicken Festival.
At the United Way, she served on the Allocations Committee, Board of Directors and Executive Committee.
At the Red Cross, she taught drown proofing and served on the board of directors, Disaster Services Team and Capital Campaign Committee.
At the Community Foundation of the Eastern Shore, she was on the board of directors 12 years, chaired the Membership and Community Initiative Committees and served on the Community Relations, Frank Morris Award, Grants and Perdue-Kresge Selection committees.
She was on the board at First Shore Federal Savings and Loan, MAC Incorporated and Kids of Honor.
Morris served on the Local Advisory board for The Girl Scouts of the Chesapeake Bay. She was past president of the Junior Women’s Club, a Wicomico Airport commissioner and president of the National Heating, Refrigeration, Air Conditioning Wholesalers Women’s Group.
At St. Francis de Sales, she worked in the thrift shop, served on the school board, chaired the Parish Council, worked on an advisory board for a Catholic high school and was Eucharistic minister.
She coordinated parties with her Pi Phi sorority sisters, organized gatherings at church with her guild and played many hands of bridge, according to her obituary.
She is survived by her children, Susan and Eric Josephson, James and Paula Morris, David and Caryn Morris and Richard and Anne Morris.
There are 11 grandchildren, Johanna and Daniel Josephson; Taylor, Anakin and Marcella Morris; Andrew, Rebekah and Matthew Morris; and Emily, Claire and Christopher Morris.
An avid reader, Morris started her days reading the sports section of the Baltimore Sun and concluded with an Orioles game or a book that, her family said, “was soon to be recommended to the rest of the family.”
She enjoyed gardening and traveling with grandchildren, “frequently returning to her favorite happy place in Grammy’s Mountains or the Grand Teton National Park,” according to her obituary.
“Sports were her pastime and passion. She loved nothing more than going to Maryland Terps basketball game with family and friends or watching the Orioles on TV while texting with her children and grandchildren about highlights from the game,” according to the obituary.
Her funeral will be at St. Francis de Sales on Friday at 11 a.m. Visitation with the family will be at 10 a.m.
“She was a wonderful mother. Family meant everything to her. Everything she did was about giving back,” Dunn said.
“Every time I was in her presence I felt better about the world and my place in it.”
Reach Susan Canfora at email@example.com.