Long-time philanthropist, civic and business leader Josh Morriss Jr. has died. He was 95.
Mr. Morriss served as President of Offenhauser & Company for many years and dedicated much of his life to serving in his church Williams Memorial United Methodist Church.
He was a member of its Building Committee, Finance Committee, Trustee, Sunday School teacher and lifetime Choir Member.
He was a boyhood friend of H. Ross Perot, the future billionaire and presidential candidate, who has said more than once said that he idolized Morriss.
During his life, Morriss served as a volunteer and member of the Wilbur Smith Rotary Club, United Way of Greater Texarkana, Texarkana Chamber of Commerce, Texarkana Airport Authority and the Caddo Council of Boy Scouts.
He, along with his three sons, is an Eagle Scout and he has received the Silver Beaver Award, Silver Antelope Award and Distinguished Eagle Scout Award for his efforts in scouting.
Perot, in fact, honored Morriss and his efforts in scouting by naming the entrance to the National Scouting Museum after him.
Morriss was awarded the C.E. Palmer in in 1974 — Texarkana's highest honor for lifetime civic achievement. His father won the award in 1955 and his wife would win it in 1991 and two sons later on.
In 2007, Texarkana Independent School District named its newly built STEM expansion the Martha and Josh Morriss Mathematics & Engineering Elementary School.
Josh Morriss, Jr. graduated from Texas High School in 1942. While at THS he served as Class Secretary and was President of his Senior Class. He was also in the Drama Club, Basketball, Baseball and Football.
Following high school, he attended Texas A&M University at College Station and was later accepted into the United States Naval Academy in 1943.
Morriss earned a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering and then spent 5 years in the U.S. Navy. After leaving the service, he remained in the reserves until he was 35.
Mr. & Mrs. Morriss were married on New Year's Eve December 31, 1948. The two worked as a team for nearly seven decades on projects such as restoring the Perot Theatre, fundraising to turn the county building into the Regional Arts Center, building efforts for Williams Memorial United Methodist Church and the development of Cornerstone Retirement Center for senior citizens.
Josh and Martha had three sons Chief Justice Josh Morriss, III, Don Morriss and William Morriss.