Joan S. Morris, 80, formerly of Ithaca and Oneonta


Massena – Mrs. Joan S. Morris, 80, formerly of Ithaca and Oneonta, passed away peacefully Friday evening, April 5, 2013 at the St. Regis Nursing Home in Massena, where she had been a resident since August 2012.

Joan was born November 26, 1932 in Buffalo, New York, the daughter of the late Alfred P. and Edith (Bradley) Skillicorn.  She graduated from Hornell High School and achieved her Bachelors of Science Degree in Early Childhood Education from Cornell University.  On January 30, 1955, she married Rodney S. Morris.  Mr. Morris predeceased her on April 21, 2010.

Joan was an advocate for children through her work as the Director of the Chenango County Head Start Program and later as the Founding Director of the Child Care Center, “Bugbee”, at SUNY Oneonta.  Here she is remembered as a true pioneer, providing inspiration to the staff as the center opened and developed.  Prior to her retirement, Joan worked for New York State, advising and promoting state operated child care centers.

Since her marriage in 1955, she has been a member of the Religious Society of Friends (Quaker), where she and her husband were active with Missionaries in Kenya and East Africa from 1955 until 1968.  Joan can be described as a gracious, generous and strong person.  She enjoyed sewing and knitting, baking, and gardening.  She loved being with her grandchildren, taking them on trips to museums and parks, helping them bake goodies and create crafts from bits of this and that.

Joan is survived by her two children and their spouses, Kathleen and Ross Howitt of Massena and David and Kelly Morris of Maryland, NY.  She is also survived by her grandchildren, Joel, Cory, and Erin Howitt; Kyle, Tyler, Mekenzi, and Elias Morris; her sister and brother-in-law, Edith Ann and Michael Miglore of Chicago, Illinois; and nieces and nephews.

There will be no calling hours.  A memorial service will be held at the Poplar Ridge Friends Meeting, Poplar Ridge, NY on Saturday, April 20th at 1:00 pm, with light refreshments and a time to share following the service.

In lieu of flowers, those wishing may consider the Poplar Ridge Friends Meeting, 1868 Poplar Ridge, Poplar Ridge, NY  13139.

Arrangements are with the Donaldson Funeral Home, 100 N. Main Street, Massena, where memories and condolences may be shared online at


Thursday, October 8, 2015
, Watertown, NY
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