I'd like to express well wishes to a friend of mine, Mary Morris. Mary recently retired from the Fort Wayne Housing Authority. I met Mary in 1972 when we both worked for the City of Fort Wayne in the Minimum Housing Department. We learned so much about helping others under the leadership of great people like Ed Elkins and William G. Williams. We worked on relocation projects such as the East Central Towers, the West Central Project, the downtown Civic Center and the downtown Senior Citizens' Center. During the relocation process, we worked with people who were required to leave their homes and find other housing. Most had no idea of how they would accomplish this; and didn't know what the future held for them. It seemed like each person being relocated was a friend who needed our help. Many didn't want to leave the home they had resided in for so many years; some didn't want to leave the neighbors they had come to know so well through the years. We were in a position to counsel the residents, and help many of them to feel good about the required move. Even today I come in contact with clients that Mary and I served. For some of our clients, things changed drastically for the better. Through the years, many of them extended their gratitude to us for a job well done.
Mary always took her work very seriously, and proved to be a hard worker. It seemed as though she was far more concerned with doing her job well than with the compensation she received from it. She found pleasure in counseling others on securing and maintaining home ownership. While working for the Fort Wayne Housing Authority, Mary helped many worried residents save their homes from foreclosure.
If there is a face that makes you think about the Oxford Community Association, it's Mary's. Mary is president of the organization and has devoted time to it for over 30 years. She has been faithful in the work done there. Each year she is involved in the Great American Cleanup, and some of our clients and employees have had the opportunity of working with her on this great event. Mary manages to get parents and children working together to clean up the neighborhood. The volunteers have a great time working on the project and many of them look forward year after year to working in the Oxford area.
I appreciate Mary as a friend, an inspirational worker and a leader. If I was asked to list some of the great leaders that were influential in my life, I would list Mary Morris along with William G. Williams, Ed Elkins, John Nuckols, Charles Redd, Reverend John Dixie, Reverend Clyde Adams, Reverend Jessie White, Reverend Samuel Walker, Reverend James Bledsoe, Reverend Sam Shade Jr., artist Dale Amburn, Miss Virginia, Ruth Russell, and Annanias Brooks. Mary is one of the greats!
Richard A. Stevenson, Sr.
Wayne Township Trustee