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11/16/19 — Marilyn Griffith Morris

Marilyn Griffith Morris of Tullahoma passed this life on Monday, November 11, 2019 at her home, at the age of 80. Mrs. Morris was born in New Orleans, Louisiana to the late Helen Peters Griffith. Prior to starting school, she moved with her mother to east Tennessee attended schools in and around Knox County. They then moved to Tullahoma at the end of her junior year in high school and Marilyn was a member of the Tullahoma High School graduating class of 1956. In the 1970’s she was involved in working with preschoolers through the Head Start Program, where she was the first teacher of Head Start in Tullahoma. During that time, she and her husband also owned and operated Morris Fabrics, a popular fabric store on Jackson Street. Marilyn served as principal of Robert E. Lee Elementary School from 1976-1999. Prior to her work at REL, she was Tullahoma City Schools’ Curriculum Coordinator and a teacher at East Lincoln, Jones Elementary, and Fourth Model Schools. She was involved in education for more than 36 years. Retirement did not find her sitting down. In 2010, she was elected to serve on the Coffee County Board of Education. The Board of Education named the library at Robert E. Lee Elementary the “Marilyn Morris Library” in honor of her work to build a vast and varied elementary library collection for the school. She was involved in organizing the work of local scientists, engineers, and other community citizens to develop and contract the Hands-on Science Center. Marilyn was active for several years in the Tullahoma Downtown Lions Club, where she was a leader in several projects. She served as PR chair, coordinator of the Christmas parade float for several years, headed a committee to establish and award scholarships to qualified students through the Charles Douglas “Speedy” Morris Scholarship through the Tullahoma Downtown Lions Club. In 2002, the club honored her as the “Lion of the Year”, in 2005, she was honored as a “Melvin Jones Fellow”, and in 2012, the Lions honored her as the “Lion of the Decade”. Marilyn also served on the City of Tullahoma Planning Commission for five years, was a member of ASK (Agencies Serving Kids), National and Tennessee Association of Curriculum Development, National Association of Elementary School Principals, Phi Delta Kappa (an educational sorority), and was a life member of the National Educational Association. Through the American Legion Auxiliary, she was historian, assisted with publicity, Poppy Day, and the Girls’ State committee. She was a long-time member of First Christian Church in Tullahoma and was also a member of the Tullahoma Jaycettes. In addition to her mother, Marilyn was preceded in death by her husband of over 45 years, Charles Douglas “Speedy” Morris; and one brother, William Eugene Griffith III. She is survived by three sons and daughters-in-law, Timothy Roy and Dana Duke Morris of Manchester, Stephen David and Kim Purnell Morris of Cordova, and Robert Douglas and Tina Loftis Morris of Shelbyville; grandchildren, Emily Danae’ Morris Robison (Jon), Lauren Ranae’ Morris Crouch (Jamie), Stephen David Morris, Jr., Jonathan Nathaniel Morris, Heather Lynn Morris Gentry (Chandler), and Angela Michelle Thurman; great-grandchildren, Briggs, Charley and Giles;  one brother, Samuel Robert (Jen) Griffith; and one sister, Nora Jane Griffith (Tom) Scott. Visitation will be held on Friday, November 15th, 2019 at Kilgore Funeral Home from 5:00-8:00pm. The funeral service will be held on Saturday, November 16th, 2019 at 1:00pm at First Christian Church in Tullahoma with Rev. Tom Murdock officiating. Burial will follow at Rose Hill Memorial Gardens. For those who wish, in lieu of flowers, donations may be made to First Christian Church in Tullahoma, the Marilyn Morris Library, c/o Robert E. Lee Elementary School in Tullahoma, or the Charles Douglas “Speedy” Morris Scholarship Fund, c/o Tullahoma Downtown Lions Club. Kilgore Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.

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