Novice H. Morris

July 28, 1929 ‒ January 14, 2016

Mount Vernon, Ohio

Novice Marvene Hinton Morris , age 86, of Mount Vernon, Ohio, passed away on Thursday, January 14, 2016 at Country Club Retirement Center in Mount Vernon. She was born on Sunday, July 28, 1929 in Nashville, Tennessee, the daughter of Ellis C. Hinton and Erlean (Colley) Hinton. She attended Warner Elementary School, East Junior High School and East Senior High School in Nashville. Novice was a straight “A” student and played basketball in her senior year.

Novice knew that for financial reasons she would not be able to attend college and the only three professional careers open to women in those days required a college degree. Even at age nine, Novice was asking God to open some windows that would indicate how to prepare herself to be the best secretary that she could be. During her forty-four year work career she served at radio station WSM and WSM-TV. She was secretary to a lawyer; at an appliance repair shop; typed at home for the R.L. Polk Company while her children were small; started the bookstore at Trevecca Nazarene College, and served three pastors at Grace Church of the Nazarene in Nashville (including Dr. John A. Knight).

In 1972, Dr. Knight was elected the second president of Mount Vernon Nazarene College and in 1973 Cecil, Novice and their daughter, Kristi, moved to Mount Vernon, Ohio where she served as secretary, executive secretary and administrative assistant to five MVNU presidents. She retired in 1991 to take care of her husband.

Novice married Cecil E. Morris on March 26, 1948. They had been married for fifty-two years at the time of his death in 1999. He established the security program at MVNU. Cecil and Novice had four daughters. Donna Gail, their second daughter, only lived one day.

Novice is survived by her daughters, Vicki Lynn Lupo, Cathy Cay (Bruce) Stewart and Kristi Lou (Bobby) Small, eight grandchildren and their spouses: Greg Kidd, Brian Kidd, Jennifer Kidd, Daniel and Carrie (Higgs) Peeples, Clint Harstine, Cayla Harstine, Rob and Andi (Phillips) Small, and Matt and Jami (Small) Pope. She is also survived by twelve great grandchildren, Dylan Kidd Cooper; Brady, Jacob and Lucas Kidd; Tanner and Tate Peeples; Will and Brianna Small; and Bayli, Rhyli, Presli and Gradyn Pope.

Besides her parents she was preceded in death by her husband Cecil.

Friends may call on Saturday from 1 to 6 p.m. at the First Church of the Nazarene, 807 Coshocton Ave., Mount Vernon, Ohio 43050 where a funeral service will be held on Sunday at 3 p.m. Friends may call one hour prior to the funeral. Rev. Russ Gumm will be officiating.

Friends may also call on Monday from 5 to 9 p.m. and Tuesday from 1 to 2 p.m. at the Wilkinson-Wiseman Funeral Home in Portland, Tennessee. A graveside service with Pastor Andy Mathias will be held at 2 p.m. in Maple Hill Cemetery.

Memorial contributions in Novice’s name may be made to the MVNU Women’s Auxiliary Endowment Fund, 800 Martinsburg Rd., Mount Vernon, Ohio 43050.

To share a memory or leave a condolence for the family, visit

The Flowers-Snyder Funeral Home of Mount Vernon is honored to serve the family of Novice H. Morris.

  • Vicki, Cathy and Kristi,
    My prayers are with you as you go through this difficult time. As you celebrate your mother’s life, know that hundreds of people are doing the same. She was a remarkable woman and my mother, Juanita Ferguson’s best friend. Now, they are together again in heaven. Heaven gained another precious soul.
    Beverly Nutter
    Fairfield, OH

  • Novice was a wonderful lady. Her competence on the job was matched by a gentle sense of humor that made her a campus favorite with the MVMC/U community. I count it a great blessing to have served as a co-worker with her and Cecil for a couple of decades. My prayers are with all the family. Charles McCall

  • Novice was such a great resident at the nursing home. Though I only knew her for a few months, I felt like I had known her for a lifetime! She had such a kind heart, she appreciated everything & she never took anything for granted. She always had a smile on her face. I loved just sitting and listening to all of her great stories. Even though she isn’t with us anymore, she will always be in our hearts. <3
    Aubrey Randall

  • Kristi, Cathy, Vickers and family. My heart goes out to you all. Novice was such an inspiration and loved by everyone who knew her. I will surely miss our visits. I loved her dearly and I know she is celebrating in heaven.
    Love and prayers to you all.
    Connie Fesler

  • Praying angels to surround you all during this time…we have memories we running through our hearts and minds…We loved Granny and all of you as our family.Granny always had a listening ear,precious words of advice,and a story to share. Visiting with her was like going home…even the sweet tea. Denny and I wanted to be with you all but time and Grandma Osenga visiting just did not permit the travel. Know you all are loved…you always have an extra home in California. Hugs to go around,please. Love you and the memories we have created together.

  • Cayla , Cathy & Family,

    So sorry for your loss. You all are in our prayers during this difficult time! May God be with you and grant you comfort in the days to come!

    Love and Prayers,
    Teri Schwartz

  • We offer our very deepest sympathy to your family. Although you know Novice is now healthy, whole, and happy in Heaven, her passing leaves an empty space in your hearts and lives. May the many happy memories of your precious mom help to fill that void. Know, too, that Novice made a difference in many lives on this earth. She will be missed by a multitude of friends!

    Denny and Jan

  • There are no words to express how much value Novice added to the lives she touched. We are richer because she was with us. May God give your family the same grace and warm embrace that many of us received from Novice. We celebrate her life and mourn her loss.

  • Kristi, Vicki, Cathy, and Family

    I would like to express my most earnest prayers and deepest sympathy in this time of loss. Your Mother was a treasure beyond compare. I will never forget her warm and kind personality along with the smile that was always on her face. She was always so encouraging and always had a positive word whenever I was fortunate enough to see her. She was by far my favorite person at the college in my time I was there. I am sure Heaven rejoiced when Novice walked through those Pearly Gates and she rejoiced when she wrapped her arms tightly around Cecil. May God grant you all peace as you travel this difficult road.

    Mike & Melanie O’Hara

  • When I worked at the MVNC campus (1985-1990) I truly looked up to Novice. What an inspiration she was!! You could just see God’s Spirit shining through her.
    My thoughts and prayers are with all of you at this time.
    In Christian Love,
    Linda Shira

  • First I would like to say, that my heart is deeply saddened for Cayla. She is the most wonderful woman I’ve ever known. If all the grandkids are as loving and kind, Novice’s life was filled with so much love from them. Cayla has told me all the wonderful things that Novice has done in her life. What a great life she has had. Now she gets to rest and not be in pain anymore. She had a great life here, just think of her now where she is. Just knowing she’s in heaven, is the most assuring thing you could possibly feel. I pray for each family member and friend that knew her. My love goes out to everyone.
    Cayla, I love you very much. Sincerely, Rhonda Sircy

  • I took care of novice for almost a year she was so sweet to me always smiled when I walked in the door we became really close she always was making cards and sending them to her friends and family.We would always tells stories about our families. Novice will always be close to my heart and it will not be the same with her gone.I am so glad I met her and her family sorry for your loss.

  • Heaven has welcomed another Angel. Well done thou good and faithful servant – “Granny” Novice Morris. You will be missed by your loving family, and the countless others whose lives you’ve touched, for there was not a person whom you met that was not changed and encouraged by your sweet genteel Southern hospitality and charm. May we, who are left behind on Earth, remember your kindness and sweet spirit, until we meet again. Blessings and condolences to your “chip off of the old block” daughters and their families.

  • Kristi, Vicki and Cathy,

    Your mom sure was an amazing woman! Her impact at MVNU, First Naz, in Women’s Auxiliary and many other areas of our community will be felt for years to come. We were certainly blessed to know her. Please know that we are praying for you all. I am sure she is already sharing stories with mom and the others that have gone before, and wow, could she tell stories!

    Love you all!
    The Huddlestons
    The Kucheravys

  • Novice was a special person, beautiful, loving and caring. During my 10 years at MVNC not only was she a valued friend but a competent fellow employee. Some how she could pick up your day and make you feel worthwhile in Gods service. She was my inspiration and will never be forgotten.

  • My thoughts and prayers are with all the Morris family. There was no one who could share a hug, a smile, or a story like Novice…what a special lady she was. I am honored to have called her my friend!