Memorial services held for late councilwoman Mary Morris

Published: Aug. 20, 2021 at 10:43 PM CDT
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Lake Charles, LA (KPLC) - Memorial services were held Friday for the late Lake Charles District A councilwoman Mary Morris. Hundreds were paying their final respects to a woman who was more than just a public servant.

Friends and family say Morris walked a road paved with challenges in both her political career and when it came to her health. Family praying by her side during her kidney transplant recovery in 2019 and most recently during her battle with COVID-19.

At the memorial, speakers shared her story and read poems to commemorate the 76-year-old.

“Lots of laughs, lots of memories, it helped us. It allowed some of the pain that was pressing to be lifted,” said Morris’ sister Gayle Sledge.

Sledge said her sister battled the virus for 13 days in the hospital before passing away. Morris was fully vaccinated. Her family and friends call Morris an advocate for the vaccine, telling anyone to get it, despite the complications she had.

“We’ve lost a lot of great people, Lake Charles, all over the country, all over the world,” said Morris’ colleague Corey Rubin. “It’s just a fight we have to stay in and get vaccinated, social distance, wear our masks.”

It’s a fight her friends say a warrior like Morris would want us all to continue.

“If you have any doubts or are fearful, consult with your doctor. Let them look at your health history and consult and advise you accordingly,” Sledge said.

Morris was serving her third term as District A councilwoman working on redistricting items and staying adamant about economic development in North Lake Charles.

“A great loss, she was always about equity, diversity, inclusion, following the law and being consistent,” Rubin said.

“Although I don’t live in District A, there’s so much blight and disenfranchisement in that particular area, but because she fought so hard for her particular district, I think it’s going to be a while for someone to come in, particularly if you’re not trained in city government, to be able to pick up where she left off,” said Memorial coordinator Tasha Guidry.

Sledge says she along with others are putting their names in the ring to act as a proxy in her council seat until a special election is held.

A private memorial service will be held tomorrow for Morris’ family.

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