Morris Clayton Owens
Today we celebrate the life of Morris Clayton Owens, who began his life in Wortham on May 1,1921, and departed this life to rejoin his life’s love, Nettie Faye Mathis Owens, on Nov. 14, 2018. Morris was born to Tom Owens and Mae Frost Owens. Morris was one of six children: Skeet, Alvis, Toady, Morris, Millard and Naomi.
Morris lived most of his life in Wortham, playing football in high school and joining the Army Air Corps right after high school to serve in World War II. Morris met his bride of 63 years in Brady. They soon had a baby boy, Derace Dwaine Owens, who was a miracle at birth, weighing just over two pounds. Morris and Faye had seven children: Dwaine “Buzz,” Kerry, Linda, Mary, Bobbie, Faye and JoAnn; and later raised their grandson, Lloyd.
After WW II, Morris enrolled in Southwest Texas State Teachers’ College along with his brother, Millard, thanks to the GI Bill. Morris loved education and completed his Bachelor’s and Master’s Degrees along with his Principal’s and Superintendent’s Certificates. Morris then began a career in public school administration that spanned 35 years. He was a coach, principal, superintendent in several Texas districts including Forreston, Tenaha, Center Point, Oglesby and Tilden. One of Morris’s favorite years in school administration was spent right here in Wortham, when he served as principal and coach alongside Superintendent Eldon Edge.
Morris had a strong work ethic, working many supplemental jobs to support his family.
Morris loved family, country, freedom, education, music, current events, the Dallas Cowboys, the UT Longhorns and much more. Morris was a songwriter, writing close to 100 songs after Faye’s death. Some of those songs have been recorded, and are played today. Some have yet to be produced. Morris had several visions for life: freedom, equality, happiness for his children and grandchildren, the endurance of American democracy, finishing his music and hearing it played and bringing music to Wortham. Morris envisioned a day when music would be played nonstop in downtown Wortham – a day when Wortham could become the music Capital of the World.
Up until his death, Morris maintained his home in Mustang Ridge, and his home here in Wortham. Morris was a member of the First United Methodist Church of Wortham throughout his life.
Services to celebrate the life of Morris Clayton Owens will be held Sunday, Nov. 18, at 2 p.m. at First United Methodists Church of Wortham.