Kathy Morris, 1942-2013

KathyMorrisKathy Morris, a retired secretary-treasurer of United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) Local 555, died March 29 at her home in Forest Grove. She was 71.

Kathleen Ann Morris was born Jan. 10, 1942, in Carroll, Iowa. Her family moved to Omak, Washington, when she was a young girl. She graduated from Omak Union High School in 1960. She married Robert “Bob” Morris, on Dec. 28, 1960. They made their home in Central Washington until 1963, when they moved to Forest Grove.

Morris joined UFCW in 1963 when she went to work as a meatwrapper at the Forest Grove Safeway. She rose from the ranks to elected office in 1987, when she defeated a longtime incumbent in a run-off election for secretary-treasurer.

She went on to serve three more terms, leaving in November 1996. She officially retired on May 30, 1997.

Morris was known for her expertise in the field of workers’ compensation. She studied the laws and was the go-to person at the union to help injured members get through the myriad rules and regulations of the workers’ comp system. She was appointed by two governors to serve as a labor representative on the 10-person Workers’ Compensation Management-Labor Advisory Committee. MLAC was created by the Oregon Legislature as part of the massive reform of the workers’ compensation system in 1990.

Morris also served as a trustee on the UFCW Pension & Trust Fund and was on the Executive Board of the UFCW International Northwest Region. After retiring she was elected and served three years on the Forest Grove City Council.

Morris is survived by her husband, Bob; three children; five grandchildren; six great-grandchildren; and three brothers. She was preceded in death by a son, daughter, and granddaughter. The family suggests donations in Kathleen’s name to Forest Grove High School Athletic Department in care of Doug Thompson.

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