Dennis Morris called ‘an icon’
By Dean Shipley
A vibrant member of the Mt. Sterling community passed away on Friday, Nov. 16.
Dennis Denny Morris succumbed to an aneurysm at age 65.
Most recently, Morris served as director of the Mt. Sterling Museum from the outset.
Bernie Hall, superintendent of Madison-Plains Local Schools referred to Morris as a high school mate at Plains High School and “a good friend.”
They both were employed by the school district at the same time; Hall as a school principal, Morris as teacher, athletic director and baseball coach.
Hall spoke of the strong work ethic Morris exhibited. “He was always working for the betterment of whatever he did,” Hall said.
Hall said while coaching, Morris could be spotted on weekends grooming the field or working with players. Hall described his coaching style as “demanding perfection. Most of the time he got it through his teaching techniques.”
Mt. Sterling Mayor Charlie Neff described Morris as “an icon, as far as this village is concerned.”
Neff said Morris was dedicated to the history of the area and became a storehouse of local history knowledge. To the local museum, Neff said Morris was dedicated to it.
“He’s going to be a loss, that’s for sure,” Neff said.
Neff saw Morris, when he was coaching, as a leader and advisor to the teams he coached.
“He helped the kids,” Neff said.
Lowell Anderson, who was an educator for many years, knew Morris as fellow educator and one who worked hard to help students. Anderson said his son attended high school while Morris was principal of Westfall High School. An incident occurred involving the theft of an expensive calculator from Anderson’s son.
“I don’t know how he (Morris) did it, but he recovered the calculator,” Anderson said. “I was impressed.”
“Whatever he did, he did to the fullest,” Anderson continued. “As an educator, he put in more than 100 percent plus. He did an outstanding job.”
Nick Betz played for coach Morris at Madison-Plains from 1984-1987. A four-year varsity baseball player, who lettered in two other sports, Betz described him as “the best coach I ever had. He was a great motivator and a man of integrity. He treated every body fair. He made all the players play by the same set of rules.”
Betz said Morris won the SCOL baseball title numerous times. “His was one of the most successful programs at Madison-Plains,” Betz said.
Following retirement Morris remained involved in the community through a broad range of community service. He lead numerous organizations. For more information, see obituary on Page 3.