To watch the recording please click on the link to follow. Recording
Morris Willis Thomas, Jr. was the only child born to Morris Willis Thomas, Sr. and Lucille Mitchell Thomas, on November 17, 1964, in Clovis, New Mexico.
As a baby, he did not like to sleep, he wanted to see things. In the nursery, he was the only baby awake. The nurse would take him out and sit with him in the hall so he could watch the people go by. Once when still little, his parents took a trip to Louisiana, and on the return trip to New Mexico, he was awake the entire trip observing things.
He was a gregarious and happy child but having no siblings to play with or to share, he would often go outside and look for someone to play with. Morris spent a lot of time with his parents fishing, skating, watching sports, cartoons, traveling, and of course studying. Since his father was away in the Air Force, he and his mother spent a lot of time together; they swam, bowled, made praline candy, visited carnivals, fairs, museums and laughed together. He and his mother loved to laugh. Together they would laugh at silly commercials, and she could really make him laugh when she slipped into southern dialect. Morris loved to talk to his mom, especially about black history, world affairs and politics. They would debate the issues. Their last conversation was Mother's Day. They talked for almost five hours.
In addition to doing things with his parents, he loved to draw, build airplanes, watch movies, pop wheelies on his bike, and play with his match box cars. He would take his match box cars and change the parts. He loved those cars so much, he slept with them. He also loved the Big Wheel tracks.
Morris had a large family on his dad's side: uncles, aunts and many, many cousins and would visit them on Christmas and Fourth of July. He always stayed with Aunt Bert and Uncle V.H. and their five children; they made him feel extra special. He remembered Uncle V.H. because of the many pies he cooked at Christmas time and Aunt Bert because she always had something wonderful to eat. Christmas time at their house was wonderland.
Morris matriculated in the public schools of Honolulu, Hawaii and Wichita, Kansas, graduating from Montbello High School in Denver, Colorado. Morris loved school and was a quick learner. He began kindergarten in Honolulu, Hawaii, and was so advanced, his teacher asked him to help the other students. When he got to first grade, his teacher said she had nothing else to teach him, so she would teach him cursive writing. He was beloved by his babysitters and teachers. His typing teacher wanted to adopt him. In high school Morris was into art, architecture and aviation, his desire was to become either a pilot or an architect.
Because his father was away, and his mother a teacher, he had several babysitters. He was an easy child to attend to. He never went through the terrible two's, have a temper tantrum or cry if he didn't get his way. One year, shortly after his father moved to Hawaii, his father got an assignment to Korea, and his mom had to find a sitter immediately since his father was no longer there to take him to the nursery. She found a nice sitter but did not know the sitter didn't really like little kids. Morris was so good that when his dad returned, she applied for and got a job at Pearl Harbor Naval Base working in the nursery. Morris' parents often joked with each other that if they were rich, someone would have kidnapped him for ransom.
God was always first in the Thomas household, and his parents instilled the love and presence of Jesus Christ in Morris. He attended Zion Baptist Church and was baptized in 1976 under the pastorage of the late Reverend William T. Liggins. After church, he and his mother would often go to look at new houses; he was interested in the design, she in the utility of space. At his mother's urging, he played the clarinet for two years and in ninth grade began playing the organ, and at his first recital won a special award for best presentation.
Morris married Andriea Brown 1987. To this union they were blessed with a daughter named Tiyenysa Ja'Kay Thomas and a son named Brinton Ontares Thomas. This marriage was later dissolved, and he met Shy Jackson at Resources Trust in 1998, they were together until Morris’s passing.
His interest in planes never waned, but his hopes of becoming a pilot were dashed because of a medical condition. By profession, Morris worked for several companies; among them were Charles Schwab and Digital Lighthouse. At the time of his passing, he was employed at US Bank. Morris loved professional sports and cars. His favorite teams were the Broncos, Saints, and Raiders. Morris's favorite food was his mom's gumbo and chocolate chip cookies. He will truly be missed.
Morris was preceded in death by his father. Thomas Willis Morris, Jr. departed this life on May 29, 2022. Those left to cherish his memory include his mother, Lucille Thomas; two children, Tiyenysa Thomas and Brinton Thomas; ex-wife, Andriea Brown; girlfriend, Shy Jackson; step-children, Britne Robinson, Tiffany Owens, Brandi Smith; grandchildren, Samara Kuykendoll, Royce Williams, Tres bien Jackson, Tae Vus McAllister, Taliyah McAllister, Tasyah McAllister, Anighya Owens, Aleigha Owens, William Stewart and Exavior Smith; a host of numerus relatives and many friends.