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In memory of Gerard Morris

Gerard Morris


Gerard was born in Westland Row, Portadown in 1943. He was one of two children of Don and Ita Morris and 13 years older than his only sister Kate.

He attended St. Columba’s Primary School in Portadown before attending St. Malachy’s secondary school. After leaving school, Gerard joined the Royal Air Force in England and it was then he met and married his wife Irene in Basingstoke in 1974. He served thirteen and a half years with the Air Force before returning to Portadown. The family moved to the present home in Locard Park shortly after that.

Gerard loved staying in his caravan in Ballycastle and many happy family holidays were spent there. His last visit there was in July. He was a dog lover and proud owner of three Pomeranians.

After working for a period with Metal Box, he was a driver with Southern Health Board Services before becoming the school bus driver. Anyone with any connection to either of our two Primary schools in the parish, know just how must Gerard was thought of by parents, teachers and children. He told them stories of his Air Force days and had them eating out of his hand.

When the local community centre was formed many years ago, Gerard served on the committee and this is testimony to his sense of community. Gerard was always available for any occasion, from judging Halloween Fancy Dress competitions to fulfilling the Christmas role in the schools and the local community centre. He even dressed as Santa for the school runs and was fondly known as ‘Gerard, the yellow bus driver!’

His sense of humour was legendary and, even in hospital he entertained the doctors and nurses. In the midst of all his suffering, when asked how he felt, the answer was the same ‘sound as a pound’!

Four years ago, when Gerard first became ill, he travelled to Lourdes and he loved every minute of it – so much so that he often said he’d love to go every year.

Gerard was a great husband and father and loved, not only by his own children and grandchildren, but the hundreds of children who came to know him through school. In pride of place on his bedroom wall was a drawing by one of the school children of Gerard and the yellow bus that stated simply ‘Gerard – the bus driver’.

So we give thanks to God for his life and it is with confidence that we pray to the same God to give him eternal rest after all his suffering.

Today then we bid farewell to Gerard. Despite your sense of loss, you will face the future with courage and hope, knowing that that is what Gerard would want you to do. We comfort one another in the sure confidence that for Gerard life has changed, not ended. We also derive comfort from the conviction that he is at peace with God after all his suffering.

But if we are sad today, there is also much to be thankful for. We are grateful for the life he did have, grateful for all the joy he brought into our lives. For you his loving family there’s the comfort of knowing that you were able to show Gerard throughout his life how much you all loved him and appreciated him. You knew that time was precious in recent times. All that you could have done for him, you did. There are no regrets.

It is only to God we can turn at this time to try to find some meaning, some consolation; some hope in the situation we find ourselves in. Prayer will bring us through this time.

All of us gathered here today we just want to say how sorry we are for your great loss – to Gerard’s family, loving wife Irene, daughter Kim, son Ian, daughter in law Arlene, son in law Alan, grandchildren Mark, Jane, Robert and Daniel, great grandaughter Ella and extended family circle. family you are all in our prayers and we extend to you our deepest sympathy - May his gentle soul rest in peace.                     




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