Stories about Morris

​From:
Maud Dhliwayo
Sad to hear about the passing on of Morris. Hartzell primary especially has lost an invaluable friend. He and Ann left a legacy. So far there's no such library like the one you set up at our school  in the primary schools and even some high schools. I personally witnessed you made sure no student would come to school in torn and tattered clothes. At one time you supported 401 students with fees and uniform. Some you supported up to high school and one was supported up to university. You bought complete uniforms for all the needy children. As if that was not enough,  you fed them with porridge and maheu during those  years of drought.

The school boasts of library books which you shipped  to Zimbabwe  and bought from the local shops when you visited us. We shall forever remember what you did for the African child. You broke the barriers of race and creed. You were like one of us. I will miss the time we shared tea together as family when you came to Hartzell primary. May you be comforted  by the words that He fought a good fight. May his soul rest in eternal peace. I wish the Lord comforts you and your family in a special way.

 

Maud Dhliwayo
Deputy Head, Hartzell Primary

From:
Nabeel Abraham

It has been raining on and off this morning here in mid-Missouri. News of death seems to come in waves. First, a friend in Chicago passed away the other day from cancer. Then a neighbor's wife, following a long, debilitating illness. And, now the sad news about Morris' abrupt departure arrived this morning.

 

I can still hear Morris's voice echoing in my head. We were neighbors of sorts because our offices shared a narrow hallway at Henry Ford Community College. Morris was a consummate conversationalist. He loved good stories, and he saw them as the nuts and bolts of the discipline of history. I learned about why walnut trees were valuable, unless they were suspected of

having nails lodged in them. I learned about things Britannica, which next to stamp collecting Morris appeared drawn to. I learned about the fine points of Robert's Rules of Order, something Morris was versed in.

 

Morris never got angry. Riled up was more like it; usually over a point of principle or historical fact. At his core, Morris wanted to do good in the world, to stand on principle, to explore and discover. I learned a great deal from Morris and enjoyed his company. I'm happy to say, Morris appeared to have lived a full life. His voice and the enthusiasm behind it live on in my memory. My deepest condolences to Ann, his sons and extended family.

From:
Nabeel Abraham

It has been raining on and off this morning here in mid-Missouri. News of death seems to come in waves. First, a friend in Chicago passed away the other day from cancer. Then a neighbor's wife, following a long, debilitating illness. And, now the sad news about Morris' abrupt departure arrived this morning.

 

I can still hear Morris's voice echoing in my head. We were neighbors of sorts because our offices shared a narrow hallway at Henry Ford Community College. Morris was a consummate conversationalist. He loved good stories, and he saw them as the nuts and bolts of the discipline of history. I learned about why walnut trees were valuable, unless they were suspected of

having nails lodged in them. I learned about things Britannica, which next to stamp collecting Morris appeared drawn to. I learned about the fine points of Robert's Rules of Order, something Morris was versed in.

 

Morris never got angry. Riled up was more like it; usually over a point of principle or historical fact. At his core, Morris wanted to do good in the world, to stand on principle, to explore and discover. I learned a great deal from Morris and enjoyed his company. I'm happy to say, Morris appeared to have lived a full life. His voice and the enthusiasm behind it live on in my memory. My deepest condolences to Ann, his sons and extended family.

From:
Lloyd Nyarota

The news of Morris's sickness and death came as shock to me. I was still hoping to have another day to sit down and talk about the future of many Zimbabwean children. Morris was a great person. I have known Morris since 2006 when he used to visit Zimbabwe supporting many projects. I have done some work with Morris and I have done some tasks with him in Zimbabwe. Morris will be remembered in the Zimbabwe United Methodist Church as a supporter of education and someone who had a heart for the underprivileged. I will always remember Morris as someone who pays attention to details and always demand accountability and transparency. Working with Morris we provided school fees to hundreds of primary school children who may have not managed to finish primary school if it was not for Morris who raised funds for their education. Morris provided the first-ever new uniform for many poor children in communities like Old Mutare mission and Clare Communities.

He helped children to have access to text books and library books some children were seeing text books for the first time in their education journey. Libraries were build at Hartzel Primary School and Clare Primary School with support from Morris Taber. Lots of children at schools like Mutambara Primary School and Clare Primary School had their first access to computer because of the Morris and Ann Taber initiatives. Morris and Ann Taber will be remembered as loving people who have a heart for the poor and valued education for all.

 

He is a giant who believed in giving every child a chance to explore their full potential irrespective of their poor background.

May His soul rest in Peace.

 

Rev Lloyd Tichaenda Nyarota

Zimbabwe East United Methodist Church

From:
Larry Kies

A saint has moved from this world to his permanent home. What a generous, loving man.... and adventurous, still coming to Zimbabwe even as he grew older, checking up on progress of

the schools and school libraries that he did so much to assist. The world, especially this corner in Zimbabwe, was a better place through his efforts. He will be missed, and remembered.

From:
Ann Norby

I met Morris and Ann through my daughter Carli Pacheco and her family. Carli and her family are members of First United Methodist Church of Ypsilanti so when we would come to visit we would attend church with them. After we decided to move to Ypsilanti we became members of the Church and I later became the Church Administrator. After I became the administrator, I really got to know Morris. He and Ann have been very active members of the church and missions appeared to be their passion. Morris would let me know how he felt about things that I put in the newsletters or bulletin via email, but most of

the time he would stop in. At first I did not know how to take him, but once I got to know him I was blessed with his wit, compassion, knowledge, kindness and wisdom. I had told him after one of our discussions that he was just a big teddy bear. He told me not to ruin his reputation as a curmudgeon. So when I would see him on Sundays or during the week I would call him my curmudgeon teddy bear. He would grin and kind of laugh. I will truly miss him as he has impacted my life making me want to give more of myself to help others and I hope he knows that. Morris Taber thank you for being a part of my life at Ypsi First.

From:
Judy Mayo

Morris had such a presence at church. The first bible study I led when I served Ypsilanti First was on Genesis and Morris came. I knew he had a prodigious command of ancient history and I was nervous that I didn’t have as much information at my fingertips. I soon found out what an amazing gift he brought.

After that I tried to get him into any of the groups I led and he was always a gift. I admired his heart for justice and his great generosity. There are so many things I will miss about Morris and you have my deepest sympathy.

From:
Cecillia Thobani

I first met Morris when he interviewed me at Fairfield Children's Home in 2002. We have been friends since then.

Morris worked very hard for so many years to upgrade lives of children at Fairfield and Hartzel. May his soul rest in peace

From:
Susan Indilicato

I never met Morris personally, only through Facebook. We had mutual friends associated through Africa University and Fairfield Home. I will miss following his and Ann’s adventures.

I know Zimbabwe friends will miss him and his loving and tremendous support of the children at Fairfield Children’s Home.

From:
Cheryl Stokes

Morris and Ann were my new-found friends at the WCC fitness center. I met them for the first time in early May at Sit and Fit class. I used to follow Morris around the walking track. I eagerly

awaited their return from an Alaskan trip. I will deeply miss Morris. I love you, Ann.

From:
Drew Harvey

As a representative of "The Nyadire Connection," I want to pass on our heartfelt condolences over the loss of Morris Taber. We first met with Morris and Ann before our group made its initial trip to Zimbabwe in 2006. They were an inspiration to each of us as their love and generosity for the Zimbabwe people was most contagious! We worked with Morris on many occasions over the years and frequently asked for and followed his

advice and counsel. Morris focused on results and accomplished so many things that made a real difference and truly improved life for others. As the children of Zimbabwe continue to visit the libraries and read the books that Morris enabled, his legacy will be long remembered. We have all lost a good friend and an inspirational guide. Peace be with you.

From:
Nicole Karombe-Rott

I met Morris and his wonderful wife during one of their mission trips in Zimbabwe. Since we all shared the same dream - which is helping the children of Zimbabwe, we immediately got a long

and had many stories to share. I am sad to read about his passing and I would like to express my deep felt sympathy to his family and friends. May he rest in peace. Nicole from Austria

From:
Lorna Jost

Morris and Ann have always been volunteers "in mission" to the people of this wonderful world. He will be remembered for his connection to Africa and all those great books he and Ann collected and sent to Methodist schools on that great continent.

They did many other services but that is the main one I remember as we would advertise across the jurisdiction for these books and they would "pour" in. Thank you Morris!

From:
Susan Henthorn

I first met Ann and Morris while I was on sabbatical at Africa University in 1997-1998. I remember talking to Ann about Hartzell school across the road that lacked a library, and thinking, “These are very caring, generous, and special folks!” They soon set out displaying exactly those qualities as they purposefully gave of themselves to the children of Zimbabwe.

Thousands of souls have felt God’s touch through the work of Ann and Morris. The attention to detail and the tenacity Morris displayed were exactly what such a wide-reaching ministry requires. Well done, good and faithful servant! As one of my good friends would say, “Stars in your crown!”

From:
Marcia Austin

Although it’s been many years since seeing my cousin Morris, I remember him fondly and loved following his and Ann’s

adventures on Facebook! I know he’ll be missed by many!

Marcia Austin & Don Simonet

From:
James and Lis Woods

We first met Ann and Morris in August 1997, on a package tour to Zimbabwe, at the beginning of their remarkable project to help local people. Despite great differences in background and interests (Lis and I are neither Christian nor academic, and our knowledge of philately was about on a par with Morris's of gastronomy) we got on well together. We are unlikely, however, to have maintained a relationship but for a happy chance: the day after our tour's return to England Ann and Morris had an engagement to go the theatre in London, but were proposing to spend the previous night in Oxford, 60 miles away.  As our home was then in London, very considerably closer to the theatre, we offered to put them up for the night, and they accepted. 

 

And ever since then we have been meeting up regularly, either in Ann Arbor or in the home we bought to retire to in Salisbury, or on shared holidays – we have been on memorable trips with them to Malta and the Orkneys, as well as sightseeing trips in Michigan and its environs.

One thing your obituary has failed, by its very nature, to convey is Morris's personality.  He was one of the most tolerant and kindest men we have known, and one of the most dedicated to public service. It gave us a lift to be in his presence. His warmth and, indeed, goodness will be irreplaceable.

 

We have many fond memories of Morris: his erratic driving of an unfamiliar hired car along the narrow twisting roads of the Scottish Highlands; his tussles with the US tax authorities and the UK banking system; his passion for explaining the significance of the overprinting of stamps; his keen eye for a photo opportunity; his indefatigable efforts to give his guests their own personal space; and so on – it is not possible to encapsulate twenty years in a paragraph. 

 

It is a great sadness that our planned reunion in Salisbury next month cannot now take place.  But the memories will persist, and I hope that we will continue to be able to count Ann as a friend long into the future.