Joan Elaine Morris, 79, born to Leslie and Lucille Johnson in Tacoma, Wash., Oct. 19, 1938, passed away Jan. 16, 2018, in Burlington, Wash., where she had lived with her daughter and son-in-law, Pamala and Larry Prentice for the past 2 ½ years.
Joan, as a young child, grew up with a sister and two brothers on Fox Island and in 1955, her and her family moved to Moses Lake where she attended high school for the last three years and graduating in 1957. This school is now called Frontier Middle School. She met her first husband when he was stationed in the U.S. Air Force there in Moses Lake and had two children, Pamala Gayle and Troy Gregory. Later after she divorced him, and she married Woodie Morris in 1969, the children adopted the last name and from that time on, they were known as Pam Morris and Troy Morris. In 1970, Justin Morris was born, and they had moved to Federal Way, Wash., for two years. In 1972, the family had moved to Winthrop, Wash. where the kids had attended school for a short time while Woodie had looked for work. Later that year, Woodie found work at John Neff Orchards just four miles out of Pateros. The family moved there and lived there for 12 years. During that time, Joan got a job as a CNA in training at the Harmony House in Brewster and with enough hours, she earned her CNA while Woodie worked in the Orchards and played music at night. In 1978, Pam moved on to College and in 1983 the family moved to Brewster for a year. By this time, Joan decided to go to work for Brewster Heights Packing where she worked for two years. In the summer of 1984, the family moved onto their 40-acre land just six miles south of Okanogan. Justin entered the 9th grade that year. Joan kept driving to Brewster each day for work which was about 25 miles one way until she found work at Valley Care Center in Okanogan as a CNA. She grew very close to Mary Alden, an extremely talented nurse and heart of gold. The family lived on the 40-acre land for two years and moved into Okanogan during the summer of 1986. She later moved on to the dentist office as a housekeeper in Okanogan for about four months. When the job ended, she applied at the Omak Hospital and was hired on in the House Keeping Department and met another amazing lady by the name of Judy Morris. Funny how they had the same last name but not related. However, Joan considered her as close as a sister. When her son, Troy, passed away, it took a toll on her, but all the employees at the hospital gathered around her and supported her. She mentioned to me how important those people were to her, especially Judy. Joan worked there for 16 years until she retired.
Once she retired, she spent her days camping and doing small trips with her husband, Woodie. They enjoyed working in the yard and playing Yahtzee on the back porch.
During the cold weather, they moved the game inside. When Woodie became very ill and had to be moved into an assisted living, her daughter, Pam, moved in with her and became her caretaker. It was the best thing. Joan started to decline physically. After Woodie passed away Jan. 13, 2013, Joan stayed in Okanogan until they moved to Burlington, Wash., when Pam married her soul mate, Larry Prentice on Oct. 25, 2015.
Joan’s passions were sewing clothes for dolls, crafts and quilts, and crocheting hundreds of afghans and scarves. Pam and Larry made sure she had her own sewing room, so she could continue until a few weeks before she passed. She will always be known as a sweet-hearted and caring lady that loved Jesus with all her heart.
She was preceded in death by her parents, Leslie (1976) and Lucille (1972) Johnson; son, Troy Morris (1993); sister, Rene Amos; brother, Phil Johnson; and husband, Woodie Morris (2013). She is survived by a brother, Leslie (Tim) Johnson of Port Orchard, Wash.; daughter, Pam Prentice of Burlington, Wash.; and son, Justin Morris of Moses Lake, Wash.
Celebration of life will be announced in the Spring.