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Lucille Sterling Morris
Lucille Sterling Morris

Feb. 12, 1911 - March 6, 2008

Lucille Sterling Morris died peacefully in her Seattle home on March 6, at age 97, with her son, Sterling, daughter, Rebecca, and friend Lois Hillemann, formerly of Corvallis, at her side.

She was born Feb. 12, 1911, in the small logging town of Hoover, and was delivered by a Native American mid-wife. Her father, Harry Sterling, was a railroad telegrapher and her mother, Mabel Ruth Montgomery, was a school teacher from Pleasant Hill, Iowa.

Her father left the family when Lucille was 7, and her mother and aunt settled in Corvallis, running boarding houses for college students. Each of the sisters had five children, three girls and two boys apiece.

One day, James Morris, the man who would become Lucille's husband of 62 years, saw her sitting on the porch steps, and that was that. They married in 1932. Jimmie, who grew up in Eugene, was a pioneer in radio, and manager of KOAC for nearly 50 years.

As a teenager, Lucille loved to dance and, looking more than a little like Clara Bow, went dancing a lot. However, her mother told her that if she was going to dance on Saturday night, she must attend Sunday school and church the following morning.

Thus began a lifelong devotion to the church. Both Lucille and Jimmie were active in all areas of leadership in the Corvallis First Christian Church their entire lives. Lucille was involved in Mother's Club and Christian Women's Fellowship, and chaired the church's 50th anniversary celebration held in the MU ballroom in 1963. Until her death, she was the longest standing member of the Corvallis First Christian Church.

She was a hospital gray lady for more than 25 years and a consistent volunteer at the Red Cross blood bank.

She loved adventure and traveled as much as she could, even hiking up the steps to the Acropolis in Greece at age 86. She was fearless and embraced new experiences to the end. Sewing, needlepoint and cross stitch were hobbies, but reading, children (anybody's children), meeting and entertaining friends, planning meals and hostessing were her true passions, whether at their home on Western Avenue, the family's cabin at Odell Lake, or at their retirement house on Northwest Conifer Boulevard.

Lucille moved to Seattle in 1998, after the death of Jimmie Morris in 1995.

She never, ever complained, never spent a day in bed, and to the day she died she was up, dressed, with makeup and lipstick on, wearing her faithful string of fake pearls and her earrings.

A memorial service will be held in Seattle in April.

Lucille never looked back, but always forward to the future, and said many times that she had led a "charmed" life. Her family and friends will miss her personal charm, warm smile, and the sly twinkle in her eyes.

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