Barbara Lou Rice Morris was born on July 27, 1940. She is the second of five siblings born to John Mark Rice, Flossie Mae Cooper Rice and step-mom Louise Ora Shepard Rice. In 1966, Barbara married Manuel Russell Morris, a marine and also an educator. They were married for 41 years until he passed in 2008. Mrs. Morris exited this life on Wednesday, May 1, 2019. She was also preceded in death by her parents, step-mom and her younger brother - Dr. Walter Lawrence Rice.
Barbara was born in Topeka, Kansas, but moved to Kansas City, Kansas at the age of four years old. She attended Kealing, Vernon and Stowe elementary schools and later went to Northeast Junior High School, Sumner High School, Kansas City Junior College and the University of Kansas. Barbara also took graduate classes at Emporia State University, University of Missouri, Pittsburg, Avila, Baker, University of Kansas and Kansas State University. She earned a Master’s Degree in Education.
Mrs. Morris enjoyed a very long teaching career in various schools. During her various teaching experiences, she organized science fair projects with her classes and also worked with some extra curricula activities such as the Campfire Girls, Bluebirds, drama groups and modeling/etiquette classes as well as drill teams. She invited an army veteran and her cousin, Master Sergeant James Wakefield to visit her class. The students wrote letters to him and he answered them. His visit and experience were written about in the local news.
At M.E. Pearson Elementary School, she taught third grade and worked with the Parent-Involvement, the Social Club and on some of the Multi-Cultural Committees. Mrs. Morris was also active with her school Parent-Teacher Association and the National Education Association.
Mrs. Morris grew up and was a life-long active member of Trinity African Methodist Episcopal Church. She participated in Sunday School, the Missionary Society, Church Choirs and also the Paramount Workers Club. Barbara shared her many creative skills in numerous activities with Trinity during the years as she did at school and with family and friends. She also participated in the NAACP and in various other civic activities.
Barbara leaves to cherish many pleasant memories - her siblings: Betty Rice Gibson, John Rice, Jr. and Beverly Rice Harris; sisters-in-laws: Eleanora Rice and Suzanne Rice; her nephews: Hubert Rice & wife Zeni, Jonathan Harris, Mark Gibson and Christopher Gibson as well as her niece Honora Rice Heili along with all their children, step-children, cousins, a host of other relatives, friends and acquaintances whom Barbara has met and shared experiences with during her lifetime.
Barbara’s family wants to express sincere appreciation to Carmen Moore, Jacqueline Stephenson and Verna & Clark Bazy who have been a “Special Blessing” assisting in many ways to help Barbara. They are caring friends and were also aware that all of her closest relatives lived in other states. Her family is also thankful for the care she received at the hospitals and other senior facilities as well as the many long-distance calls shared.