Morris Funeral Home

Morris Family

History

Founded by Joseph H.W. Morris, Sr. in 1914, Morris Funeral Home of Bennettsville has been helping families celebrate the lives of their loved ones for 100 years! “Joe” Morris was a Master Brick-Mason, talented musician and devoted family man, whose vision became a reality after moving his beloved wife, Mamie, and their young children from Columbia, South Carolina to Bennettsville, South Carolina.

Young Joe chose a different career path than that of his father, Professor Joseph W. Morris, who was born of “free” parents in Charleston, SC in 1850. Educated in the private and (later) public schools of Charleston, Professor Morris graduated with honors from Howard University, entered the University of SC Law School in the Fall of 1875, and graduated law school with distinction in 1876. He became President of Allen University in Columbia, SC during the late 1800s and remained committed to higher education, serving with distinction as Professor of Law, Mathematics and Ancient Languages.

History
History Young Joe Morris decided to follow his passions, which included mortuary science and entrepreneurship, after having served as a partner at Johnson, Bradley & Morris Funeral Home in Columbia. He was the first black person licensed to practice embalming in Marlboro County. Upon relocating to Bennettsville, Young Joe founded Morris Funeral Home, which was (originally located) on Cheraw Street, beside Shiloh Baptist Church.

Providing quality, professional service with dignity, honor and compassion have always been hallmarks of a Morris Service and this “brand” of distinction has fostered a legacy of excellence, upon which three additional family-owned funeral homes were founded in Laurinburg, NC (Morris Funeral Home, 1935), Red Springs, NC and Cheraw, SC (Morris Funeral Cottage, Inc., 1936). Three of the four independently owned funeral homes continue to operate under the Morris “brand,” which is a testament to Joe Morris’ strong vision, impeccable values and unshakable faith.

When Joe Morris later suffered a debilitating stroke, his grandson, James S. “Jimmy” McLeod (son of Leah Morris Worrell) requested and received an early, honorable discharge to return home from the military, so that he could assist with the family business and take care of his grandfather, who helped raise him. After graduating from Eckels College of Mortuary Science in Philadelphia, PA, Jimmy managed (1964-72) and later became the proud owner of Morris Funeral Home of Bennettsville (1972).

When Joe Morris passed at the age of 94, he was the oldest licensed embalmer in the state of South Carolina, and he knew that his legacy was in excellent hands. In fact, it was Jimmy who purchased a church at the corner of Marshall & Bouchier Streets that would become the new (and current) site of Morris Funeral Home (142 Marshall Street).

Deeply committed to his grandfather’s teachings, Jimmy considered himself fiduciary of the Morris “brand” and Joe Morris’ legacy, vowing to honor the vision, values and distinguished business acumen which had been entrusted to him. Like his grandparents, Joe & Mamie Morris, Jimmy had a strong desire to enhance, enrich and empower his community and the lives of those around him. He believed the way to do that was through service.

Serving families across Marlboro County with dignity, honor and compassion was never a “job.” Jimmy considered it his personal responsibility and privilege to serve families who chose to entrust their loved ones to Morris Funeral Home. He cared very deeply about all who mourned and whose hearts were heavy with grief.

He was equally compassionate about the living, and worked to improve the lives and conditions of those within his community, including offering himself as a public servant--the first African-American since Reconstruction to have been appointed to a State Board in Marlboro County (Social Services Board, 1968) and to have been elected to Bennettsville City Council in 1971 (served 2 terms).

Jimmy believed that if you “train up a child in the way he should go, when he is old, he will not depart from it.” He and (the late) Shirley J. McLeod were blessed with four children: Tracey, Mia, Erica and Jimmy, Jr. At the time of his passing in 2011, Jimmy had invested more than 40 years of his life into Morris Funeral Home and today, Joe Morris’ legacy is just as alive and strong as it was 100 years ago!

History
Having been deeply rooted in and committed to this community for the past 100 years, the Morris Funeral Home Family is proud to continue a legacy of courteous, professional service with the dignity, honor and compassion that defines and distinguishes the Morris “brand.”

With our community’s continued prayers and support, Morris Funeral Home of Bennettsville looks forward to celebrating life and serving families across Marlboro County for many more generations to come.

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