Jean Burdette Morris, 94, of Gaithersburg, Maryland, passed away in her home with family by her side on Wednesday, August 11, 2021.
Jean was born Jean Evelynn Burdette to J. Norman and Dorcas (Ifert) Burdette in the community known as Woodfield on January 12, 1927. She loved singing, animals, the outdoors, and sports of all kinds and competed on the basketball team at Damascus High School, where she graduated in 1944.
Jean worked at the Veterans Administration in Washington, DC, before marrying Harold Morris in 1946.
In their early years together, Harold worked in home inspection and construction while Jean sold butter she hand-churned from their milk cow, learned to keep the books for his budding excavating business, and gave birth to their first child, Michael Burdette Morris.
In the 1950s they settled in Gaithersburg and added a second son, J. Patrick Morris. They built their dream home in Gaithersburg in 1961, where daughter Michele Jean Morris joined the family. They enjoyed many decades of backyard picnics with their dear neighbors, where everyone looked forward to Jean’s legendary homemade dinner rolls and ice cream.
While Harold became a leader in local business, civic, and political circles--founding Heritage Builders and serving as Mayor of Gaithersburg for seven years—Jean was most comfortable behind the scenes as the church kitchen field general, ardently supporting their children’s sports teams, or doting on one of the many cats, dogs, horses, and canaries she loved and pampered in later life.
After Harold’s death in 1995, Jean continued her involvement in Maryland horse racing as half of the notorious “Two Old Ladies” stables. She toured the western US National Parks, visited China, Russia, and western Europe, and enjoyed extended visits with Michele in Pennsylvania and Vermont for many years. Jean’s (in)famous determination kept her going and triumphing through too many mishaps and adventures to list beyond what even she thought possible.
Jean is predeceased by her husband Harold and her sister Virginia McElfresh and brother Norman Jr. “Archie” Burdette. She is survived by her sister-in-law Patsy Burdette, sons Mike Morris and Pat Morris of Gaithersburg, Maryland, and daughter Michele Morris of Jericho, Vermont, and their spouses Cherie Morris, Patty Morris and Randi Brevik; grandchildren Chris Morris, Melanie Brown, Joe Morris, and Andrew Morris, and great-granddaughters Kayleigh, Brooke, and Coco.
The family wishes to thank all the Warman Home Care caregivers who provided professional and compassionate care and companionship for our mother. We request that in lieu of flowers, donations be made to Shriners Hospital for Children or the charity of your choice.
Services will be private.
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