Joan Maureen “Joni” Morris

May 26, 1939 ‒ August 13, 2010

Mount Gilead, Ohio

Joan Maureen “Joni” Morris, age 71, of Mount Gilead, passed away peacefully early on Friday morning, August 13, 2010, at her residence following recently being diagnosed with Lou Gehrig’s Disease (ALS) and struggling with her health for several years.

On May 26, 1939, Joni was born in Marion, Ohio, the daughter of the late Maurice and Marian Faye (Schreck) James. She graduated from Meeker High School as a member of the last class there in 1957.

A resident of Meeker until 1986, Joni drove a school bus for Ridgedale Schools for over twenty seven years.

Getting a second chance at love, Joni met her husband to be, Ronald Morris, on New Year’s Eve at a P.W.P. event (Parents Without Partners) in Columbus. They had an immediate connection, and Ron was thrilled to have found himself a “farm girl”. One month later Joni and Ron were married on February 2, 1986, in Cardington. Ever since the two have been “inseparable”, sharing everything they could together.

After moving to Ron’s farm in Mount Gilead, Joni continued driving a school bus for Headstart of Morrow County for nearly seven more years.

During her twenty four years on the farm, Joni had a true appreciation for nature. She could always be found gazing over their pond, watching the swans, or watching the hummingbirds dance around their feeders.

Always ready to ride, Joni loved riding alongside Ron on their motorcycle with their friends. They were both members of the Gold Wing Road Riders Association in Marion.

With a love for camping, Joni loved when she and Ron would take their camper to the State Lakes. They enjoyed sitting around the camp fire and watching “the satellite” go back and forth across the night sky. Before her illnesses, Joni was looking forward to traveling with Ron to see as much countryside as she could.

An avid gardener, Joni enjoyed tending to her large vegetable garden and she would can her vegetables to enjoy them for months to come.

Known for being a bit “bull headed” at times, this was Joni’s way of being the good wife Ron needed, as he is an even more “bull headed farmer”. Always loving and caring, she truly loved her husband, children and grandchildren with all her might.

Joni will be dearly missed by her husband, Ron Morris of Mount Gilead; two sons: David Highland, and Kevin Highland, and his daughter, Stevie, all of Marion; four step children: Ronald (Diane) Morris of Sheffield Lake, Ohio, and their children: Tiffany, Rhonda, and Heather; Michelle (Rod) Ramsey of Mount Gilead, and their children: Stephanie, Mary and Charles; Robert (Amanda) Morris of Mount Gilead, and their children: Laura, Sarah, Nate, Kaylee and Kyle; and Lisa (David) Baldwin of Mount Gilead, and their children: Shania, Caleb, Madison, Abigail and Garret; four great-grandchildren; former husband, James Highland of Marion; and one brother, Gary James of Marion.

Joni’s family will greet friends from 4 – 8 p.m. on Tuesday, August 17, 2010, at their home in the shelter house, 5996 Township Road 86, Mount Gilead. Services celebrating her life will be held privately by her family and burial will take place near the pond at home she so enjoyed looking over.

Snyder Funeral Homes of Mount Gilead is honored to have been chosen to serve the family of Joni Morris.

Memorial contributions may be made to the ALS Association Central & Southern Ohio Chapter, 1170 Old Henderson Road, Suite 221, Columbus, Ohio 43220. If choosing flowers, please consider perennials for her burial site where they will flourish just as she.

For those wishing to express their condolences online to Joni’s family, you may do so by visiting