On March 11, 2023, at age 97, Marjorie Avis Davidson Morris peacefully left this world for Heaven, surrounded by her children. She left behind a legacy of hard work, strength, and compassion, of a love of flowers and gardening, of an unshakable faith that defined her life. The beauty that Marjorie brought to this world reflected the beauty of Christ and we all are better for having been a part of her life.
Marjorie was born April 1, 1925 on the family farm in Edge, Texas. She was the daughter of Robert and Emma Davidson. To hear her sisters tell it, Marjorie made the most of her position as the youngest girl in the family and could often be found reading a book instead of doing her chores. Marjorie denied these claims but admitted that she did spend a lot of her childhood playing toy cars with her little brothers.
Marjorie might not have shirked her chores in order to read, but she did have a love of reading and learning that lasted throughout her life. She excelled at everything she did, except for singing. However, her life became more musical when, one night at a basketball game in Edge, she met a fiddle player named Ed Morris. It’s not hyperbole to say that Ed was completely enamored of her. Shortly after they met, he enlisted to fight in World War II and shipped out with the Navy to the South Pacific. He said he “would have swum the Pacific Ocean to get back to her.” They married as soon as he returned from the war and, for 52 years, Ed awakened each morning, knowing how blessed he was to be loved by Marjorie.
They were two opposites who had found their match in one another, and their bond was strengthened by their faith in God. Theirs was a marriage that spanned six decades and weathered many hardships, including the loss of their daughter Betty to childhood leukemia at the age of four. Their faith guided them as they raised their children, Ann, Jane, and Bob, and they passed their love of God onto their children.
This faith that sustained them was something that had grown in Marjorie all her life. She passionately loved God; she studied His Word daily. She shared His Word with others—beginning at the age of 17, as the adult Sunday school class teacher at Edge Free Will Baptist Church and continuing in her home church, New Beginnings, until about five years ago. She also taught Bible Study and loved her weekly studies with the Country Girls + City Girls Bible study, ladies who have met together for more than 20 years. The lessons she taught are still remembered during each Sunday School class at her church, New Beginnings, and she has a long list of Bible Study ladies who will miss her friendship and wise, biblical counsel.
Beyond her God and her family, Marjorie loved gardening. She adored “playing in the dirt” and making their yard a thing of beauty, filled with flowers. Her vocation until the age of 93 was accountancy and though she relished a well-balanced and orderly bankbook, she preferred her flowerbeds not to run in straight lines but to flourish wildly. Though Ed gave into most every other whim of Marjorie’s, the flowerbeds remained orderly until his death in 1998.
Marjorie lived outside of herself and gave back to her community, serving as treasurer on the Hope Pregnancy Board and on the Shelter the Homeless International Projects Board of Directors for many years, and being a nearly 50-year member of the Evening Garden Club, serving as president and treasurer. She was active in her church and in the Free Will Baptist denomination and she helped her husband in fundraising efforts for Seminario de la Cruz in Reynosa, Mexico. Marjorie was a proud member of Stephen F. Austin High School class of 1942 and cherished meeting with her former classmates at reunions. The list of her accomplishments, interests, and activities isn’t exhaustive. When someone lives to be 97 years old, how can everything be included in one brief bit of writing?
Marjorie was preceded in death by her parents; by her loving husband of 52 years, Edgar “Ed” Morris and her 4-year-old daughter, Betty Lynn Morris; sisters, Mary Ruth Patranella and Agnes Buchanan; brothers, Douglas Davidson and Robert Duard Davidson.
She was the last surviving sibling of the Davidson and Morris families, and she leaves a legacy, which now her children carry forward: daughter Ann Horton, her husband Robert, and their daughter Sara; daughter Jane Haywood, her husband Dale, and their children Christopher and wife Carmen and son Conrad; Melissa Haywood and husband Marko Fiore, and their sons Salvatore and Nico; David and wife Kayla; and Jonathan; and son Robert “Bob” Morris, his wife Jill, and their children Rebekah Morris and her husband David Bessette and Zachary Morris. Marjorie is also survived by an honorary son, David Hardy, and a host of nieces and nephews, including John David Buchanan, a nephew who was like a brother.
The family gratefully acknowledges the gentle and loving care of her caregiver, Karen Forman; the incredible care of the staff of Baylor Scott White Hospital; and the amazing staff of Crestview Court skilled nursing as well as Hospice Brazos Valley. She and her family could not have been supported more completely and better by these thoughtful and caring medical professionals.
In lieu of flowers, please consider contributing to two of her favorite organizations: New Beginnings Church, 3131 East 29th Street, Building E, Bryan, TX 77802 or SHIP International Ministry, P O Box 3003, Bryan, TX 77805.3003.