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Fern Morris

December 2, 1923 - May 29, 2020


Fern was born in Lucky Lake, Saskatchewan, December 1923, the first of two children to Ira and Mina Burger. Both parents died early in Fern’s life and her loving care was transferred to a devoted and courageous grandmother.


Upon completing high school in Lucky Lake, Fern worked for a few years in the local bank.  In 1943, she entered St. Paul’s School of Nursing in Saskatoon, graduating in 1946 with her R.N. degree. To further her nursing career, Fern moved east to take postgraduate training in pediatrics at the Montreal Children’s Hospital, a teaching hospital of McGill University. She remained on staff as Head Nurse until she met her future husband, Dr. Jeffrey Morris who at that time was a pediatric research fellow from England. They were married in 1950 and moved to Winnipeg.

Fern was always devoted to her grandmother and looked after her in Winnipeg until her grandmother’s death. It was because of her grandmother’s principles that Fern received such a rich upbringing and her loving memory prevailed throughout Fern’s life.

Initially, Fern worked at the Shriner’s Hospital for Crippled Children. Then she was a devoted mother to her three children. She also had a very strong affiliation with her church, St Andrew’s River Heights United, and was involved in many of its activities. She served as treasurer of several charitable organizations and for many years, the most notable being Finance Chairman of the Crafts Guild of Manitoba.

Fern enjoyed trying her hand at some of the crafts taught at the Guild, and playing bridge with her friends. She especially enjoyed fishing and working with her husband in their garden. She was also an excellent cook, always looking for new recipes, making Sunday dinners a special time to be together. Fern and Jeff had 50 wonderful years together travelling extensively and enjoying their children and grandchildren. After Jeff was diagnosed with ALS, Fern was able, with the help of excellent homecare at nights, to look after Jeff until his death in July, 1999. She was left with many precious memories to sustain her. Soon after his death, she returned to her volunteer work, especially with the ALS Society of Manitoba.

In her last years, Fern was looked after by many loving caregivers who appreciated her integrity and strength. She enjoyed relating stories of her long and fruitful life.

She is fondly remembered by her children, Graham (Debbie), Gerald (Kirsten), Barbara (Adrian); and grandchildren Ryan (Anastasiya), Jason (Julie), Devin, Quinn (Ashley), Monica and Josh. She recently had her wish – a great-grandchild, Jeffrey, born in 2019 to parents Jason and Julie. She is also dearly remembered by her extended family, collectively called “The Bryants”. Also, special thanks to Dr. Rob Kippen for his many years of devoted care, N.P Shahid Shams and Mely who was Fern’s special confidante.

Fern would wish that any donations  be made to The Winnipeg Foundation, "Dr. J.E. Morris Manitoba ALS Society Fund"

“What greater thing is there for two human souls, than to feel they are joined for life – to strengthen each other in all labor, to rest on each other in all sorrow, to minister to each other in all pain, to be one with each other in silent unspeakable memories at the moment of the last parting?”


-George Eliot

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