Abner Darden Morris

Abner Darden Morriss

Abner Darden Morriss was born in Texarkana, Texas on November 23, 1929 to Abner Berry Morriss and Lillie Mae Swint Morriss. In his early life his family moved from East Texas to the town of Van Horn where the Morriss family worked at making a living in the grocery business. It took all four of the Morriss children to do their part. A.D. and his baby brother Jim helped by providing grocery home delivery to the patrons. They seemed always in a hurry and even removed the doors from the truck, even if it was new to facilitate ease of delivery. Ever practical, A.D. also learned how to butcher in the family grocery store and was proud of knowing how to skillfully carve many different cuts of meat. This is a skill that served him well throughout his later life of hunting and career in the grocery business. The older kids in the family remember watching him fill the meat case.

Garla Dean Cantwell and A.D. were married on the 18th day of December in 1948 and started their family. For a short time, they moved from Van Horn but returned to go into business for themselves. Throughout their lives together they ran many family businesses, the last was a video store where the family spent quite a bit of time each day. Grandkids have fond memories of everything from finding videos in the back office where A.D. supervised, running a fledgling snow cone stand and helping A.D. Cook and bag movie popcorn.

A.D. had a great sense of comedic timing and knew just when to throw out the clever comment that would make all of the family laugh. He assigned nicknames, some that stuck for life. Usually they were connected to a funny event or story. A.D. was ornery but loyal and ready to celebrate a great bargain, or the success of fixing something that would otherwise be thrown out as useless. He was upfront with his words and gave his input only when he thought it was needed after much thought and he tried to lighten up overly serious or tense moments with humor.

He valued education and never missed an opportunity to ask, “Did you make any hundreds today at school?”, to any child in the family that was a student, no matter if you were in elementary, high school, or college.

A.D. had an unbelievable memory. He was one of Van Horn’s best historians. He remembered dates that events happened or businesses opened, names of people that moved to town and left, and directions on what roads to take to get to almost any place in the country. Whenever a new friend to the family was introduced during a family gathering he committed that name to memory and never failed to ask about how they were getting along from that moment forward.

He liked to “go for a circle” a few times a day which meant driving around in his pick-up to see what was going on in town. Even when his eyesight failed later in life, he still loved to go and would let Janelle narrate what she saw. He was frugal but always offered that $5 dollar bill out of his wallet to pay.

We will miss A.D. and hope that the original “man upstairs” gave him directions on where to find Garla. His spirit will be able to see and he should have no trouble getting around.

Visitation for A.D. Morriss was held last Sunday, July 29. Services were Monday, July 30 at the Highway 54 Church of Christ in Van Horn with internment following at the Van Horn Cemetery with Brother Jackie Dees officiating. Pallbearers were Ray Reyes, Hay Morriss, Clint Gregory, Jordan Gomez, Devin North, Chip Argumaniz, Mark Favela and Mike Brewster.

Services entrusted to Heritage Funeral Home of Van Horn.


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