CL Morris 10/8/37 – 12/12/20
CL was born October 8, 1937 to parents Chet and Oleta Morris who raised him with their salt-of-the earth values. His father, Chester Lynn Morris (the son of a farmer who acquired land in the Oklahoma Land Run) worked as a supervisor at Douglas Aircraft during World War II and moved his family to a farm in Grove, Oklahoma when CL was 12. Throughout his life many folks asked what CL’s full name was, not believing that he only had initials. When he moved to San Francisco with his wife Ann and daughter Michelle in 1965 and applied for a driver’s license, he wrote “C(only)L(only) Morris.” The license came back – “Conly Lonly Morris.” Several years later, Herb Caen, humor columnist for the San Francisco Examiner picked up the story.
In 1968, CL became a Deputy District Attorney in Contra Costa County, near San Francisco, where he continued being himself – an honest, good natured practical joker who respected almost everyone, including the defendants he sent to jail. He once hired an ex-defendant to do his yard work and guard his house while he was on vacation. The ex-robber questioned everyone if they dared get close to the house, including CL’s and Ann’s married daughter. His ability to simplify a case for the jury was legendary. Many young lawyers watched his trials to learn his techniques. He also taught at Boalt Hall Law School and JFK law school at night. One of his favorite subjects was “What the Law Is and What the Law Should Be.” CL loved his co-workers and they in turn laughed at his practical jokes, even when they were the target. Once when his supervisor left on vacation, CL had his own desk and putrid fish tank moved into his supervisor’s tiny office and was sitting there smiling with his feet on his desk when his boss returned.
In his spare time CL helped coach the winning Acalanes High School Mock Trial team and after his retirement he was the Capo of the Balls of Justice bocce team. He was an avid sports fan. He knew your team’s football coach and star players. He would begin a conversation with you and before you knew it, you would be best friends. He was a lover of mankind, especially his grandchildren who idolized him. “Grandpa, the Man, the Myth, the Legend” is a plaque that hangs over his long-time liquor-free, family-room bar. He was predeceased by his sister, Kristi Arrington Hussein. He is survived by his wife of 61 years, Ann, his daughter Michelle Wyman, his son-in-law George Wyman IV, and his grandsons George Wyman V (Maria) and Christopher Wyman (Helen), his granddaughter Tegan Wyman (David) and his brother-in-law Bill Mackintosh; his nieces Angela Mackintosh (Mike), Andrea Arrington-Sirois (Tom), and Karla Kennedy (Craig), and his nephew Darren Arrington (Amanda), also his nieces’ and nephew’s children - Charlotte, Cooper, Miles, Paige, Preston, Jace, Kara, Maddie, Gilbert and Liam - and many friends who loved him. In lieu of flowers, donations in his honor can be made to the Salvation Army or to the religious or humanitarian organization of your choice.