In Memoriam : Roscoe Morris

Roscoe Morris Roscoe Wayne Morris - age: 78
(August 04, 1931 to May 05, 2010 )
Resident of Ukiah, California

Roscoe Wayne Morris passed away at his home on May 5, 2010 at the age of 79. He was born on August 4, 1931 in Tulare County, California.
Roscoe was the youngest of five children, “all boys, except for four”, he would say. Roscoe was raised in Ventura, California, graduating from Ventura High School in 1947 as a distinguished athlete. He was a lifeguard on Ventura beach and one of the first surfers in town. He made his own long-board out of balsa wood from which he bought and mailed home from Hawaii.
At a young age, Roscoe was captivated by music. He learned to play the fiddle, banjo and any other stringed instrument. His love for music enabled him to finance his way through college by playing in bands at many different venues.
Roscoe graduated from Ventura Junior College in 1949 and in 1952, he joined the United States Armed Forces and served as a Military Police Officer at the Presidio in San Francisco while playing for the US Army football team.
Roscoe went on to play football at UC Santa Barbara, earning a Bachelor’s Degree in 1956. After graduating from UC Santa Barbara, Roscoe sailed the Caribbean in 1960 as a crewman on the brigantine Albatross with owner and novelist, Ernest K. Gann. Roscoe returned to San Diego and married Sigrid Jan Larson of Topeka, Kansas and had two sons, Evan and Alec.
In 1965, Roscoe earned a Masters Degree from the California Western University and teacher accreditation at San Diego State College. He taught in the San Diego school system for eight years.
Roscoe moved his family to Afghanistan in 1966, after being appointed Associate Director of the Peace Corps in Kabul. He supervised Peace Corp volunteers in agricultural projects and teaching English as a second language in Mazar-i-Sharif. The time he lived in Afghanistan influenced how he lived the rest of his life.
Roscoe moved his family to Ukiah in 1970, developing the Tree House Nursery on South State Street to showcase his bonsai trees and to explore his love for horticulture.
Roscoe will be remembered for his love of music and the outdoors. His wonderful smile his kindness, the stories he told, and for his free spirit. He was the soul of integrity with a heart of adventure.
Roscoe is preceded in death by his beloved mother, Edna Morris and Billye Skye, his life partner of 24 years that captured his heart forever.
Roscoe leaves behind two sons, Evan Morris and wife Melissa of Ukiah, Alec Morris of Kansas City, Mo., and grandchildren, Taylor and Jack Morris of Ukiah; sisters, Katherine L. Jones of La Mirada, Glenda F. Morris of Ventura, Imogene R. O'Hara of Ventura, MaryLu Kornder of Ventura; nephews and nieces, Larry Collins, Linda Rivera, Chet Axley, Jenny Axley, Russel Axley, Dan Jones, Bill Jones, Cathie Jones, Patti Godshall, Mike Kornder, Karen Guyt, and Misdee Guess.
A memorial is scheduled for Sunday, June 6, 2010 at 1:00 at the Saturday Afternoon Club in Ukiah. Hor d’oeurves are welcome.
Cut the banjo’s strings
Wail hill-song dirge, he’s gone to
Find his bit of Skye

Haiku by Misdee Guess

Catherine Jones - June 4, 2010Contact this person Contact this person
We will all miss Uncle Roscoe dearly. Though I only saw him a couple of times in these last l0 years, I was able to call and talk to him a few times, and he always was loving and thoughtful. He was prunning Mary Lou's bonsai tree when we visited with her, and Billye was reading a book about Van Gouh's windmills. We enjoyed some time in the warm sun on the little porch. Very early in my life Uncle Roscoe was concerned about me, that I was having to study so much. He just looked at me and said, are you sure? I thought it was perceptive of him, and I always wondered about it. How I would have loved him to come to Argentina! I want you to know, you who were the closest to him, that although I cannot be with you there I will be thinking of you and you are in my prayers before our Father. I pray that He will comfort you and draw you close to Himself. I will try to call you soon.