Lorraine Phyllis Morris's Memorial

Lorraine Phyllis Morris
(1927 - 2008)

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General Details

Name: Lorraine Phyllis Morris
Nick Name: Auntler
Maiden Name: Ellickson
Gender: Female
Age: 80 years old
Lived: Thursday, 1 September 1927 - Sunday, 6 April 2008

My Story

She went by a lot of names.  Mom, Grandma, Sister, Auntie, "Auntler," Lorrie and probably more (but never Phyllis).  She was almost never referred to as Lorraine or Mrs. Morris.  These were too formal.  Mostly she went by nicknames because she drew people in close.  Familiarity with her was automatic and almost instantaneous.  She just opened up and pulled you in without any reservation or barrier to entry.  Her heart was wide open.

Born in North Dakota, Lorrie was like one of those characters in the movie Fargo.  But there was nothing fictitious about her kindness.  She wasn't syrupy or phony.  She was genuine because people mattered most of all to her.  When you met her, you sensed that.  She attracted people with a disarming gentleness that put you at ease.  When you talked with Lorrie, she made you feel comfortable. People just liked her.

She left Yreka at age 16 to attend nurses training in Sacramento at County Hospital.  She made many friends there and kept up her membership in the Sacramento Nurses Alumni through all of these years.  Lorrie focused her nursing practice on women's health.  There were many young women who were touched by her gentle and wise counsel at a time when women's reproductive health was not a popular cause.  She was instrumental in founding the Sacramento chapter of Planned Parenthood and was a guiding force in establishing policy.  She continued her nursing at PPAS and at other family planning clinics in the Sacramento area until she finally retired, well into her late '60s.

Lorrie was an outspoken liberal who volunteered in the presidential campaign of Robert Kennedy.  She was concerned about treating immigrants with respect.  She was concerned about human rights of all kinds.

And she was one of the most honest, caring and no-bullshit kind of people you would ever meet.  She called it like she saw it, and if you asked, she'd tell you with a candor that was laced with love.  Never spiteful or mean, she'd just cut right through to the heart of the matter.  And if you didn't want to know what she thought, you didn't ask, and she wouldn't hold that against you either.

Lorrie was famous for not giving up on people.  It seemed like no matter what, you could count on her to help out.  Often that just meant listening to your tale of woe, but it also might mean staying on her couch for a night or a week of nights.  Nursing was more than an occupation to her, it was her way of life, built into her constitution.

For her, family was family, and nothing would break that bond.  She was a lifeline to Auntie Mickey, the aunt of her ex-husband Stan, for the last two decades of Annie's life.  Lorrie had more than a few stories of Annie's obstinance, but somehow every story she told about her was laced with a real caring laughter.  She could see the humor in even the most difficult circumstance.  In fact, often the more dire or uncomfortable the situation, the better it seemed to suit her and the bigger the laugh she got out of it afterwards.

She made a mean Bloody Mary and appreciated a well-made Vodka martini.  She loved Pinochle (does anyone really know how to play that game?), trout fishing, the Welden Cabin, and camping.  Most of the things she like to do involved socializing.  She was the original party planner.

She could type super fast, but frequently had "trouble with the email."  Willie Nelson was her hero, as much for his lifestyle and his attitude as for his music.

She was never known for her driving skills however.  On more than one occasion she had been followed for miles with a turn signal flashing benignly, only to switch if off as she changed lanes to the other side.  She never did have to give up her license, despite a few harrowing experiences in recent years.  She would chuckle softly as she retold the story of the phantom gas pedal with a mind of its own. That cyclone fence never saw her coming...

Her sense of adventure never dimmed.  Over the years she made an event of "opening camp" despite the warnings of snow storms, and melancholically "closing camp" as late as possible, often after the first frosts made it a rough night in a sleeping bag. 

When her health started to turn, she was sad to have to sell her campsite.  As soon as she came up with the idea of buying a tent trailer that she could tow behind her car, she wasted no time and went out and bought one.  She hit the Oregon Coast in October '07 with Robyn and Shirley in a week-long adventure.

She and Stan divorced in the late 1970's, and though he went on to remarry they kept in touch.  They had Richard and Robert and Sera and Sierra as their common bond, and more than 30 years of marriage together.  When Stan died in 1986, she felt the loss deeply.  She never severed from Stan, and even considered herself a "widow," which granted her access to the Legion in Rio Linda.

Speaking of Rio Linda, she moved there in about 2001, buying herself a little, cozy bungalow that was just her size.  She made many friends in RL and was active in fund raising and other activities at the Legion.

This testimony to Lorrie would not be complete without the inclusion of someone who was very special to her as she was to him:  Manuel.  Initially, they might appear to be an unlikely couple, but they enjoyed so many adventures together: camping, fishing, gambling at the Indian casinos.  Manuel was her devoted friend and caregiver and they shared a deep commitment to each other.

While others might have drifted away from the family they had "married into," Lorrie never wavered.  She threw parties, attended weddings, graduations, and funerals as though there was no difference.  For her, there was no difference.  Once you were in her heart, you were there forever.  The feeling was mutual.

Lorrie, we love you, we miss you and we won't ever forget you!

Happy Trails, Sister!

Latest Tributes

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Heart Memorial Tribute
From: jlei
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RIP
Memory Memorial Tribute
From: jane0202
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Dear Lorrie, David is on his way to be with everyone to help celebrate your life. Spencer and I will be there in ...
Memory Memorial Tribute
From: jane0202
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Dear Lorrie, David is on his way to be with everyone to help celebrate your life. Spencer and I will be there in ...
Comment Memorial Tribute
From: wcjo
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Dear Auntie Lorrie, So many wonderful memories going back to 1971, when you became a part of my life. In the 70's...
Flower Memorial Tribute
From: RMcG
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Our thoughts are with you. You will be missed.

Biography

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Passing

Place of Passing: Sacramento, CA
Date of Passing: 6 April 2008

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