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San Luis Obispo lost an icon when Gregory Morris ’62 died on Feb. 8, 2016, at his home in Avila Beach. Greg was born in August 1940 in San Francisco to Harry and Anne Morris. In 1948, Harry, Anne, and their two sons, Greg and Michael, moved to San Luis Obispo. Greg attended Old Mission School, and after grammar school, achieved his Eagle Scout. He spent his high school years at Mission Central Catholic High School and Bellarmine College Preparatory and then graduated from Santa Clara University with his B.A. in history in 1962.
After working for The Hartford Insurance Company in San Francisco for two years, he moved back to San Luis Obispo in 1964 to work with his father at what was then known as Bachino & Morris. Soon thereafter the firm became Morris & Dee. Greg spent his career building long-lasting relationships and taking care of those in need. For over 50 years he considered his clients and employees his family. Greg was instrumental in expanding the company, now known as Morris & Garritano, to the firm it is today. He was proud to have been joined by two of his children to carry on the multi-generational business.
Greg married Theresa LaFace in 1967, and together they had four children: Kelly Morgan ’91, Brendan Morris ’92, Kerry Morris ’98, and Patrick. One of Greg’s ongoing passions was his belief in Catholic education, manifested through the reopening of Mission College Preparatory in 1983 and the school’s expansion in 2004. His strong interest in history, particularly in that of California missions, was evident in his work to restore the La Loma Adobe-a project that engaged him until the end of his life.
Anyone who knew him would agree, Greg was the world’s best host. He was a gentleman through and through, and he made sure your glass was full and your smile was big. His patience and attention to detail were extraordinary, and his boundless generosity was felt deeply by those around him, through his work ethic, his unbridled love for his family, and his commitment to his community through organizations like Mission School Memorial Foundation, Mid State Bank, and French Hospital. Greg exemplified his strong compassion for the people around him through his lifelong service as a Eucharistic minister for parishioners from both Saint Paul Church in Pismo Beach and Old Mission Church in San Luis Obispo. He also participated in the Rotary Club of San Luis Obispo, two of the highlights being administering polio vaccinations and drilling water wells in India and Malawi, respectively. Greg’s family loved going on vacations with him to beautiful locations such as Maui, Canada, Australia, Tahiti, Italy, and most recently Norway. His kindness and respect for others touched whoever crossed his path, and he was always interested in learning more about other cultures and other countries.
Greg Morris is survived by his brother, Michael (Sandy); his children: Kelly Morris, Brendan (Vicky), Kerry Morris (Ryan), Patrick (Linda); his grandchildren: Jennifer, Amy, Rell, Kalani, Grace, and his nephews, Kevin and Colin.