Merris Morris

Obituary of Merris Z. Morris

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It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of Merris Morris, who left us peacefully on May 12th, 2024. Merris, a cherished soul whose warmth radiated throughout her community, was loved deeply by all who had the fortune to know her. Born in Middletown, NY on May 27th, 1951, raised in Otisville, NY and attended Otisville Union Free. Merris was the heart of her family and a beacon of joy and generosity in her community. Predeceased by her beloved son, Luther R. Gilchrist Jr, Mother Margaret Hayden, Grandmother Mabel Jeffries, and Grandfather Vincent Jeffries. Merris's spirit of resilience and love continued to inspire everyone around her. Merris is survived by her adoring twin brothers, Larry and Lenny Hayden, her sister-in-laws Lori Hayden and Ellen Hayden, her loving daughter, Lanikka McGovern, her son-in-law Chris McGovern, and her two cherished granddaughters, Justice and Lyric McGovern. She was also a beloved aunt to Larissa Hayden, LJ Hayden, a loving member to her extended McGovern family and a friend to many, all of whom will miss her dearly. Merris also had sisters for life who were just like family: Mary Jane Knight, Rebecca Chance, Pat Johnson, Patty Hagar, Clara Payne, Beverly Taylor, Marvia Woods-Barnes, Wanda Brown, and Cathie Morgan. She was also known to be a second mother to many of her children's friends. She often enjoyed Taekwondo, playing golf, dancing, and attending church. Merris was a woman of many talents, with a profound passion for music, often found playing drums. She earned her Master's Degree in Social Work from SUNY New Paltz and held certifications that bolstered her unwavering faith and commitment to helping others—traits that defined her life. Merris served as a team leader at her family church, which she considered her second home, and was a dedicated mentor to troubled teens. Merris was also renowned for her delightful home cooking, especially her chicken and dumplings, macaroni and cheese, sweet potato pie and cornbread, which brought comfort and joy to family gatherings and community events alike. Merris's legacy of kindness, compassion, and devotion will live on through the countless lives she touched. Her ability to uplift spirits and support those in need made her a pillar of her community, and her absence will be felt deeply by all. A memorial service to celebrate Merris's life will be held on May 20th, 2024 at 4pm at Family Church at 510 M & M Road Middletown NY 10940. The family invites all who knew Merris to join in remembering her remarkable life. A GoFundMe has been set up to assist with funeral expenses, and we invite all who knew Merris to help honor her memory by contributing to this fund. ( We find comfort in knowing Merris is now at peace, and we cherish the countless memories she has given us. As we say goodbye, we hold onto the faith that we will one day be reunited. Until then, Merris will remain forever in our hearts. "Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always helpful and endures through every circumstance" – I Corinthians 13:7
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Funeral Service

4:00 pm
Monday, May 20, 2024
Family Church
510 M&M Road
Middletown, New York, United States
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Merris Morris

In Loving Memory

Merris Morris

1951 - 2024

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