Brenda Lee Morris
March 5, 1959 - October 27, 2019
Brenda Lee Morris, 60, passed peacefully on October 27, 2019 after a short battle with cancer.
Brenda was born on March 5, 1959 in Florence, Oregon, to Russ and Niki Morris. When she was in the 4th grade, the family moved to Keizer, OR, where Brenda attended Cummings Elementary. She later went to Whiteaker Jr. High and McNary High School. At McNary, she was on the track team, swim team, and a member of band, concert choir and Highlanders.
After graduation she majored in Liberal Arts at Pepperdine University in California and got her teaching credentials. She was an editor at Microsoft where she created "Clippy", the talking paper clip feature of Microsoft Word, and was also an editor at Aldus.
In the summer of 1987, Brenda attended Oriel College at Oxford University as part of a program for teachers, studying how British schools integrated the arts in their teaching. Her final project was typical of her sense of humor--she created a replica of Stonehenge using chicken McNuggets, calling it “McHenge.” She got an A with Honors for it.
Brenda cared deeply for children and was a teacher in the San Jose School District, and then landed her dream job as a teacher, for two years, in Death Valley in a one room school with 5 students. She initially fell in love with the area after working in a hotel in Death Valley National Park. Her favorite time in the desert was when the cactus and other plants blossomed in the spring.
Brenda also had a love of the mountains, flowers and animals of Glacier National Park in Montana, spending 3 summers working as a pantry girl and dining room waitress and singing at Many Glacier Hotel.
One of Brenda’s favorite things to do was to embark on a road trip in her VW bus, taking her to the Steens Mountain, the Oregon or Washington coast, Mt. Rainier, British Columbia, Montana, Oregon’s High Desert and the Panamint Valley in California. She eventually donated her beloved bus to a dentist who renovated it to fit in his practice office for children to play in. It is now painted half green and yellow for the Oregon Ducks and half orange and black for the Oregon State Beavers.
Brenda was a gifted writer, a collector of beads, shells, and rocks, a kind friend, a lover of the outdoors and animals, and will be missed by many for her enormous sense of humor.
Brenda is survived by her brother Russ and his wife Sarah, her cat Panamint, her dog Bonnie, many cousins and their families, and a tremendous number of friends around the world.
Because the Christmas season was Brenda's favorite, a memorial celebration will be held at the Broadway Commons, 1300 Broadway Ave. NE, Room 305, on December 7, 2019 at 10:30 a.m. In lieu of flowers, a donation is requested to The Glacier Park Foundation or the school of your choice.
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