September 2, 2018
Ruth Dean Morris, 98, of McAllen, passed away peacefully Sunday afternoon, September 2,2018. Born January 10, 1920 in Jourdanton, TX. to William M and Emma R Dean. Ruth was a beloved college music teacher and cherished supporter of music and higher education in South Texas. Her background in music began as a very young girl growing up in San Antonio and Austin. She trained from childhood in piano and voice. Ruth chose Baylor University to study for a career in music education. Her first teaching position was teaching music for the University of Texas in West Texas. In September 1945, Ruth joined the faculty of Edinburg Jr. College to help develop a music department. Little did she know then that she was beginning an exciting, fulfilling career that would span more than 3 decades... with what is now known as the University of Texas- Pan American. The college changed its name 5 or 6 times. Each time she helped change the wording of the school song. Fondly called, ”Mama Morris”, by her students. Ruth led Pan American College ‘s 65 member college choir and four smaller vocal ensembles on performance tours during the 1960’s. She was their teacher, conductor, chaperone and mentor. She also helped promote a music honor fraternity; Mu Phi Epsilon, which was very dear to her heart. In December 1946, she married Homer James Morris (known as Hank). Ruth and Hank shared a passion for promoting higher education opportunities for their students. Hank was a highly respected educator and administrator in Edinburg and McAllen schools. Homer J Morris middle school honors his memory. During Ruth’s 35 years at Pan American she made time to continue her professional education through the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, NY; the University of Colorado at Boulder; and The University of Texas at Austin. Ruth retired from a Pan American University in 1980 at the rank of professor. Since then, by funding endowed scholarships with The University of Texas-Pan American Foundation, Ruth has continued the legacy that she and Hank began many decades ago to provide future generations of South Texas students with greater accessibility to higher education. After retiring she loved to travel. She made 5 or 6 trips a year over seas along with many trips in the US, Canada and Mexico. She was also a vivid photographer capturing all of her travels for lasting memories in her hundreds of photo albums. When she was home she was always asked to play music for dinner parties, holiday festivities or for birthdays of fellow Heritage Village residents. Ruth Dean Morris devoted most of her lifetime to the advancement of music and higher education. Now she plays music with the Angels! Visitation will be held Friday, September 7th, 2018 from 9:00 to 10:00 AM at Kreidler Funeral Home with service to follow at 10:00 AM. Burial will be held at Valley Memorial Gardens Cemetery.
Ruth Dean Morris, 98, of McAllen, passed away peacefully Sunday afternoon, September 2,2018. Born January 10, 1920 in Jourdanton, TX. to William M and Emma R Dean. Ruth was a beloved college music teacher and cherished supporter of music and... View Obituary & Service Information
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