Woodlea Homeowner’s Association honors Frances Morris for 20 yrs of service

The Morris family- (standing, l-r) John Morris II, Mia and Mitzi Morris; (seated) John and Frances Morris

By Jackie Hampton,


A retirement celebration luncheon was held Friday, May 5, 2023 at 11 a.m. in the Crowne Room at the Jackson Hilton Hotel on County Line Road, honoring Frances Morris, who served as president of the Woodlea Homeowner’s Association for over twenty years. Also honored was her husband, John Morris, who served by her side, throughout her presidency. 

The luncheon was attended by family, friends, members of the community, church members, as well as city and county officials, several of whom offered words of appreciation and congratulations.

Mark Wise, the incoming president, in his opening remarks, said that John and Frances Morris worked each and every day to make sure Woodlea, which is located in North West Jackson, was a top neighborhood in the capital city. 

Dorris Bradley who gave the occasion stated, “John and Frances Morris have been the epitome of true leadership.” Bradley serves as social committee chair of Woodlea Homeowner’s Association.

Louis P. Wright Sr.,  Chief  Administrative Officer for the City of Jackson, spoke on behalf of Mayor Choke Lumumba, who regretted not being able to attend the luncheon. Wright said being president of a homeowner’s association is like being a mayor. He said, “All concerns people have are placed on your doorsteps.”

Hinds County Sheriff Tyree Jones brought greetings and gave words of thanks. He said good communications with law enforcement can bridge the gaps in helping to keep neighborhoods safer.

Sgt. Frederick Suttles with the Jackson Police Department said, “Mrs. Morris truly serves and protects.” Suttles presented her with a plaque signed by Chief of Police James Davis.

Others speaking fondly of Frances Morris in her capacity as president of Woodlea included Circuit Court Judge Debra Gibbs, District 2, Retired Chancery Court Judge  Patricia Wise and Attorney Charlene Priester, all Woodlea homeowners.

Rev. Chauncy Jordan Sr. of College Hill Baptist Church and church members Robert Green and Malena Dow spoke of her dedication in whatever capacity she served. They described her, as ‘a fearless leader’ who knew how to get things done. Dow remarked that “Frances is truly a leader on whatever she is assigned, and what she is not assigned.

Dr. Larry Cooper, who serves on the Executive Board of the association, described John and Frances Morris as a ‘christian power couple’ and Eleanor Stewart, a good friend of Morris, recalled a friendship that goes back to their freshmen days at Alcorn State University. 

Each speaker seemed to have a very close and special relationship with the outgoing president and each wished the new president, Mark Wise, much success.

Alice Tisdale of The Jackson Advocate not only congratulated the power couple on a job well done, but told the incoming president that The Jackson Advocate would like to sponsor a barbeque cook-off for the Woodlea Homeowners Association. She invited The Mississippi Link to join The Advocate in sponsoring this event.

Frances Morris thanked everyone for attending her retirement luncheon. She said, “This has been a great day. I’m looking at each of you rather than you looking down at me.” She thanked her husband for always working by her side and her children who for years were her typists, runners and evaluators. In fact, after speaking off the cuff, she decided to read the remarks typed and written by her youngest daughter, Mia, who had hoped her mom would not get long-winded. The look Mia had on her face while her mother was speaking off the cuff seemed to say, “I should have known better.”

Closing remarks were given by the new president, Wise. He looked at John and Frances Morris and said, “Mr. and Mrs. Morris Morris, you are officially retired.”

Closing prayer was given by Pastor Jordan.

See photos page 4.

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