SPRINGFIELD, Mo. — A prominent leader, businessman and philanthropist in Springfield passed away on Jan. 9 at 86-years-old.
Jim D. Morris founded Morris Oil in California at 23-years-old, then moved that company to the Ozarks in 1961.
Fifty years after he founded Morris Oil, he co-founded Care to Learn fund for Springfield Public Schools with Doug Pitt and the Jolie-Pitt Foundation.
The philanthropist donated to Missouri State University, which provided renovations to the Jim D. Morris Center for Continuing Education and the Jim D. Morris Strength and Conditioning Center.
The Care to Learn co-founder, Doug Pitt, said the non-profit will carry his legacy.
“I appreciated Jim because we talked man to man, face to face, said what he needed to say and had no problem patting you on the back and had no problem telling you, ‘hey, I would do this different,’ but I respected him,” said Pitt. “He was a guy that had been in the fire and done it and he became a good friend. You’ll see his name on buildings and some things that he was involved in, but no one will ever know the magnitude of what he did behind the scenes and just the money he did put in play, right here in the Ozarks to help kids.”
Morris also served on the boards from Oak Star Bank and Signature Bank.