Friday, December 01, 2006

Obituary: Florence Morris

Miss Florence Morris,
Former teacher, Dies

Miss Florence Morris, 80, of 1005 Haywood Dr., a Central High School teacher for 39 years, died Sunday night (Feb. 18, 1973) in a Madison hospital after an illness.

Miss Morris was a well-known Madison tacher who maintained friendships with many of her former pupils throughout her life.

Born at Randolph, we was a graduate of Carroll College. She taught at Amherst for two years, at Hayward for one, and at Eau Claire for one year.

Miss Morris tauhgt advanced and college algebra in high school before most high schools featured higher mathematics.

Also a geometry teacher, she was reported to have applied a basic geometry principle to her pupils -- the shortest distance between two points is a straight line.

Miss Morris told her pupils the straight line applied to personal relations between pupils, between pupils and teachers, and between pupils and the life ahead.

A sports fan, she was known as a loyal supporter of the school football and basketball teams, traveling frequently outside Madison to watch the games.

The orange and black "M" emblem, reserved for athletes, was presented to a teacher only once -- to Miss Morris in 1957.

When she retired in 1958, she had been describd as a firm disciplinarian, but one who was always fair. Her students were said to have called her "Flossie," but only behind her back.

Golf was one of Miss Morris' hobbies. A running joke at the school was that her golf score for 18 holes looked like the national debt.

She was an advisor for many years to the Central High School Student Council and for 20 years to the Wisconsin Assn. of Student Councils.

Miss Morris was also an active member of the Wisconsin Gymanfa Ganu, which holds traditional Welsh singing festivals throughout the state.

More than 200 former pupils, teachers and friends attended her retirement reception in 1958.

In September, 1972, more than 100 persons greeted Miss Morris on her 80th birthday at a surprise birthday at her apartment.

The list of her students included names of well-known Madisonians, among them former Police Chief Wilbur H. Emery, former Wisconsin State Journal sportswriter Monte McCormick, and Wisconsin State Journal Publisher J. Martin Wolman.

There are no immediate survivors.

Funeral arrangements are pending at the Frautschi Funeral Home, 3610 Speedway Rd.

Note: The above was originally published in the Obituaries section of the Wisconsin State Journal on February 19, 1973. At this time, obituaries were still "news stories," written by newspaper staff, not families. Given the length of the tribute and the amount of detail it includes, it is likely that some of her former pupils may have been involved in writing this unsigned "news story."

This tribute (below) Florence Morris and Benjamin Ashman, both of who retired in 1958, appeared in the 1957 Tychoberahn.

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