Dr. Mary Ann Morris, 68, of Chapel Hill, North Carolina, died peacefully at her home, surrounded by her family on July 31, 2014. She was born in El Dorado, Ark., on January 30, 1946, the daughter of Myra Mae and George Doyne Williams. Mary Ann attended Hendrix College and graduated from medical school at the University of Arkansas. In 1972, Mary Ann moved to Chapel Hill for her internship and residency at the University of North Carolina. During her 50 year at UNC, she met and fell in love with Dr. Charles Richard Morris, a pediatric nephrologist, and together they cared for the first children to receive kidney transplants at UNC hospitals. They married in 1973 and created a life together that revolved around their children, their work, their patients, camping trips, and classical music. Mary Ann joined the faculty in Pediatric Endocrinology at Duke University in 1977, where she served as an Assistant and later Associate Clinical Professor of Pediatrics for 30 years. She became involved in camps for children with diabetes in North Carolina and started what became an incredibly successful Camp Carolina Trails program, sponsored by the American Diabetes Association. In 1997, Mary Ann achieved her dream of opening up her own private practice in Diabetes-Endocrinology in Chapel Hill. She cherished this opportunity to focus wholly on her patients, and her practice thrived until she was compelled to close it much earlier than anticipated in 2008, due to her own illness. She was extremely moved by her colleague's invitation to return to the UNC-CH School of Medicine as an Associate Professor in the Division of Endocrinology and Diabetes of the Department of Pediatrics, where she saw patients, took call, mentored fellow physicians, and participated in department events until just a few months ago. Dr. Morris was known for her gift of treating a child as a whole person who happened to have a disease and made all of her patients and their families feel how truly special and capable they were. She treasured her colleagues, patients, friends, campers, and students, who will remember her for her radiant smile and tremendous ability to exude positivity, compassion, and a love for life. Mary Ann was preceded in death by her parents and her husband. She is survived by her brother, Dr. Doyne Williams (Nancy); her daughter, Karen (Christina); her son, David (Yaritza); her grandchildren, Finn, Skye, David Oliver, and Sofia; and nephews, Doyne and Robert Hall Williams and their children. Funeral services were held Monday, August 4, 2014, at The Chapel of the Cross in Chapel Hill. Memorial donations may be made to the Juvenile Diabetes Research Association (JDRF) or the UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center in Chapel Hill.
Published August 7, 2014