William Albert Morris
William Albert Morris
  • December 22, 1942 - December 22, 2017
  • Hampton, Virginia

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William Albert Morris, known to many as "Al", died peacefully in his sleep the morning of his 75th Birthday on December 22, 2017.

Al was married for 49 years and is preceded in rest by his beloved wife, Cheryl Morris. Al was a devoted husband, father, grandfather, and a musician at heart. He spent his entire life making music as a professional musician and sharing his love of the arts, especially jazz, with others as a music educator in Hampton Roads. Al was the band director of Thorpe Junior High School from 1966-76, Eaton Junior High School from 1976-78, and Phoebus High School from 1978-1998.

As a musician, Al was a professional bass player, trombonist, and piano player and had the joy of playing for many famous performers including Della Reese, Bob Hope, Sonny and Cher, Nancy Wilson, James Brown, Keely Smith, and Pearl Bailey. He also was an original member of the Chesapeake Bay Bearcats, a Dixieland Band well known on the Peninsula. Al also performed for many events, shows, and retirement homes. Some of his favorites were the Williamsburg Occasion for the Arts, Beach Street USA, and Philips Waterside. In addition to pursuing his passion for music, Al loved reading, watching movies, discussing politics, playing poker, cooking, sailing, and was an avid runner for many years. Above all though, he was thrilled to see his 2 year old grandson, "Xander" sing and play his toy piano by FaceTime almost daily. Al's enthusiasm for life and music will be greatly missed by many.

He is survived by his daughter, Jennifer Madden and husband, Brian; grandson, Alexander Morris Madden of Hoboken, New Jersey; sister, Cathy Peyton and husband, Gene, of Norfolk, Virginia, sister, Betty Oliver and husband, Jerry of Virginia Beach, Virginia; and many nieces and nephews.

A celebration of Al's life will be held at 4:00 pm, Saturday, December 30, 2017 at the Historic Post Office of Hampton, 132 E. Queen Street, Hampton, Virginia 23669.

In lieu of flowers, Al's family asks that a donation be made to Mr. Holland's Opus Foundation, www.mhopus.org, an organization that is dedicated to keeping music alive in schools.

Friends are encouraged to visit www.parklawn-woodfh.com to share memories and words of comfort with the family.

Arrangements are under the care of Parklawn-Wood Funeral Home, 2551 N. Armistead Avenue, Hampton, Virginia 23666.