Thomas W. Morris, Jr.
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Thomas W. Morris, Jr.
Tommy was a graduate of Gloucester High School Class of 1961, where he was affectionately known as The "Little Colonel", when he commanded the ROTC Brigade his senior year. He was elected Vice President of his class and voted "Most Popular" classmate. He was one of only three cadets in the ROTC's history to have won three Haskell Medals.
He graduated from The Citadel, the Military College of South Carolina in 1965 with a BA in History. He was a Company Commander and Commander of the school's elite Junior Sword Drill.
He served in the U.S. Army from 1966 - 1969. He attended the Defense Language Institute in Monterey, CA and the Advanced Linguistics School in Oberammergau, Germany. He was the "Special Agent in Charge" of the Dusseldorf, Germany Field Office of the 165th Military Intelligence Company. He remembered his service as a positive influence on his life, where he was able to achieve a long time goal of becoming fluent in a foreign language, an opportunity to travel, broaden his knowledge of Europe and developing close relationships that remained throughout his life.
After his discharge from the Army he worked for Dun & Bradstreet in Boston and Innovations Inc. a trade show exhibit firm which allowed him to travel throughout the U.S. He then returned to Gloucester to begin a long career in the Seafood Industry and then working 20 years at the Empire Fish Company as well as Royal Greenland and then with his sister founded Cavalier Sales & Marketing a Seafood brokerage firm.
Tom had a deep affection for the Seafood Business. His great grandparents and other family members (on his Mother's side) came to Gloucester from Cape Breton and Nova Scotia to be a part of the growing Seafood Industry. His great grandfather, Capt. Robert Porper skippered several fishing schooners most notably the Cavalier in the early 1900's. He was noted by author Gordon Thomas as a "highliner" in the fishery catching more Halibut than any other Gloucester Schooner. Three members of the Porper family were lost at sea while fishing. At family dinners the exploits of Capt. Bob and his descendants provided a great deal of discussion and humor.
Tommy was an avid sports fan as well as participant his entire life. He skied well into his sixties and played tennis into his seventies. His greatest enjoyment was fly fishing, spending forty years fishing the Rangeley, Maine area for wild Brook Trout and Landlocked Salmon. During the summer, he fly fished the waters off Cape Ann for Stripped Bass and Bluefish. He played in the Gloucester Little League's Inaugural game at Mattos Field in May 1953, and was a member of the 1960 GHS undefeated Essex County League Champion basketball team. He coached the Boulevard Grocery in the Cape Ann Women's Softball League when they won their first Championship.
He was a member of numerous organizations. He was Treasure of the Gloucester Community Pier Assoc., and on the Board of Directors of the Cape Ann Chamber of Commerce, Fishermen's Loan Fund, Cape Ann Historical Assoc., Gloucester Fisheries Assoc., and National Fisheries Institute. He was a longtime Corporator of the Cape Ann Savings Bank and Addison Gilbert Hospital. A longtime member of St. John's Episcopal Church he served as an Acolyte in his youth and later as an Usher and on the Vestry.
A wise person once said “lt’s not life that's important, but those you meet along the way that makes the difference" In that regard Tommy was most fortunate. He thoroughly enjoyed meeting and talking with people. Many that he met throughout his life became lasting friends. During his battle with cancer, those friends, dating back to his early school years, supported him with encouragement, humor, hope and love.
He is survived by his beloved sister, Vallee Bordinaro of Rockport, who cared for him throughout his illness; his daughter, Erika Morris and granddaughter, Lexi of Gloucester.
Per Tommy's request burial services will be private. A Celebration of Life will be held on Sunday, February 24, 2019 at the Beauport Hotel, Gloucester from 12:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. Relatives and friends are cordially invited to attend.
In lieu of flowers please consider a donation in his name to St. John's Episcopal Church, 48 Middle Street, Gloucester, MA 01930 or Care Dimensions, 75 Sylvan Street, Suite B-102, Danvers, MA 01923.
Arrangements by the Greely Funeral Home, 212 Washington Street, Gloucester. For online condolences, please visit www.greelyfuneralhome.com
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