Hancock County, Mississippi
Honoring my Uncle Johnny – The Honorable John Smith “Johnny” Morris 1925-1991, Gulfport, Harrison, Mississippi. Father’s Day has come and gone, but, I always remember all the cards and presents I made for him when I was growing up. When I was a little girl, he was there for me as a father figure even though he never had any children born to him. He was married to Roma June Gentry, my dear Aunt June.
As kids we always had to shout, “Here comes the judge, here comes the judge, court be quiet ’cause here comes the judge” whenever he came to visit… we’d all laugh!
When Hon. John “Johnny” Smith Morris was born on October 11, 1925, in Gulfport, Mississippi, his father, John, was 24 and his mother, Rosa, was 29. He married Roma June Gentry on December 1, 1953, in his hometown. He died on November 4, 1991, in Gulfport, Mississippi, at the age of 66, and was buried in Biloxi, Mississippi at the Veteran’s Cemetery.
father of Hon. John “Johnny” Smith Morris
daughter of John Harkness MORRIS
the daughter of Janie Lucille MORRIS
Hon. John “Johnny” Smith Morris served in the military about 1943, when he was 18 years old. US Navy Enlistment-Uncle Johnny lied about his age to enlist early. He lost a leg soon afterward during a conflict overseas somewhere. I really don’t know much at this point about his military career, although, I do plan to research more as time permits. I was told by my grandmother Uncle Johnny lost his leg before he was of age to enlist, but, had joined without his parent’s permission and she didn’t know about it until it was too late.
Uncle Johnny proudly attended Mississippi State University and remained a dedicated football fan for “Ole Miss” all his life. He loved watching football games at home in Bayou View, just off Pass Road.
I remember Uncle Johnny wanting to learn to play electric guitar. He had one he stored at his home. He gave me his book about how to play the ukulele, which he had apparently learned to play in the military. I still have the book.
Uncle Johnny graduated with a B.S. Finance/School of Business and Finance at Ole Miss. In 1962, he returned to Ole Miss to complete a masters degree in law.
He offered to send me to the Ringling School of Art in Florida because he recognized my talent and passion for art. I did not take him up on the offer. I wish I had. Both Uncle Johnny and Aunt June bought clothes and shoes for me when I needed them in junior high and high school, even college. They were supportive of me and I spent much time with them. I helped Uncle Johnny on the campaign trail handing out his cards and information, talking to voters and attending rallies with him.