It is with heavy hearts and the peace of Almighty God that we as a family announce the passing of our beloved John V. Morris Jr.
Dad was called home at 2:55 p.m. Wednesday, August 28th while in the care of River Run Heathcare and Rehabilitation Center, Kingston, following several years of carrying his own earthly crosses in this life.
Born October 2, 1947 in Wilkes-Barre, he was the eldest son to the late John V. Sr. and Cecilia I. (Kalafut) Morris.
He was educated next door to the family homestead in the former Sacred Heart of Jesus Slovak Parochial School, North Wilkes-Barre, where he garnered several lifelong friends from the neighborhood. He then was a member of the 1966 graduating class of the former Saint Nicholas High School, Wilkes-Barre, where he again would make several lifelong friends, especially his beloved wife, Ruthie. He continued by attending King's College in Wilkes-Barre, focusing on English and business.
Dad later furthered his education towards his profession by attending the former Simmons School of Embalming and Sanitary Science in Syracuse, New York, again making lifelong friends during his year away.
He graduated on March 17, 1972, becoming licensed as a Pennsylvania funeral director following the successful completion of his national and state board examinations. Once licensed, he proudly became the third generation of our family to care for those suffering the loss of a family member or dear friend. He continued this vocation until the day he passed.
In his earlier years, dad was a proud member of the Wilkes-Barre Township Lions Club, where he served as past president; became zone chairman and eventually deputy district governor of the former Lions District 14-H. In keeping with the goals of Lionism for sight conservation, he became certified in eye enucleation for corneal transplant through the Wills Eye Hospital in Philadelphia. He was the recipient of the "Three in '83" award for his efforts to the Lions in addition to serving as co-chairman of the regional blood bank and diabetes research.
Dad was very proud of his earthly work as a funeral director and was always association-minded. He held membership in the National Funeral Directors Association, the Pennsylvania Funeral Directors Association, where he served on the bi-laws committee and the Luzerne County Funeral Directors Association where he served as past president, during the 1984 passing of the federally-mandated Funeral Rule for all funeral homes across the country. After holding office for the local association, he held a position on the executive board for twenty-six years, being honored by his son who was then president in 2002 for his decades of dedicated service to the association.
Dad's enthusiasm for funeral service did not end there. Most recently, and as a senior member and historian for the group, he would make sure his friends at Trans-Med would safely get him to the monthly meetings and district meetings to ensure his continuing education credits were met to maintain his licensure - and to give his subtle input on recent happenings.
Those who knew dad knew he held a special place in his heart for his family, his friends and for those who called upon him in their time of need. He will be greatly missed by our family and all those whose lives were touched by his generosity and kind spirit while he was in our presence.
A devout Catholic, dad held membership in the Parish of Saint Nicholas, and contributed to the Parish of Saint Andre Bessette, North Wilkes-Barre and Holy Assumption of Saint Mary Byzantine Catholic Church, where he previously held membership in the parish council of the Knights of Columbus.
Mother and dad recently shared fifty years of married life together on February 1, 2019.
In addition to his parents, most recently he was preceded in death by a sister, Mary Elizabeth Mickulik, several aunts, uncles, cousins and dear friends.
Left to hold his memory dear in addition to our mother, the former Ruth M. Hoheneder at home are his son; John V. Morris III and his wife Lori A, North Wilkes-Barre, their children, John R. Morris IV, Richard Andrew Morris, Joseph M. Ungvarsky and Matthew J. Ungvarsky; daughter, Elisa A. Daly and her husband Corey E. along with their children Corey E. Daly Jr. and Katie Daly, all of Freeland, MI; Siblings including Sr. Kate Morris SS.C.M., North Wilkes-Barre; Marcine Lukesh and her husband Richard of Chester Springs; Paula M. Nicely and her husband Charles of Cherry Hill, NJ; Margaret Mary Gelgot and her husband James of Kingston; Anne Marie Sysko of Clarks Summit; and Stephen J. Morris and his wife Colleen of Plains Township; Numerous cherished nieces, nephews, great-nieces, great-nephews, in-laws, fellow colleagues and dear friends.
Our family would like to gratefully acknowledge the care and compassion shown dad over the years by Dr. Patrick J. Kerrigan, who is not only a friend but an extension of our own family.
Per our family's wishes at this time, funeral services for dad were held privately with his concelebrated funeral Mass in the Church of Saint Nicholas, 226 South Washington Street, Wilkes-Barre. The Reverend Joseph D. Verespy, pastor and the Reverend Monsignor Thomas M. Muldowney, V.G., Vicar General for the Diocese of Scranton, who was dad’s “adopted son”, served as celebrants.
Interment was below our foundress, his grandmother in the family lot of Saint Mary's Roman Catholic Cemetery, 1594 South Main Street, Hanover Township where he received the Rite of Committal.
Our family would be humbled if those wishing to make a contribution in dad's memory, kindly give consideration to Saint Jude's Children's Research Hospital, 262 Danny Thomas Place, Memphis, TN 38105;(www.stjude.org) or to Saint Joseph's Center, 2010 Adams Avenue Scranton, PA 18509 (www.stjosephscenter.org).
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of John V. Morris Jr., please visit our floral store.