Music 08

Gene Morris

November 23, 2020


Gene O. Morris, a Country & Western Swing musician, husband, brother, father, grandfather, uncle and everybody's friend, died on Monday, November 23 2020.  He was 94.

Gene had an unwavering love for music, topped only by love for his family.  His musical career spanned over 50 years as he performed across the U.S. with his band and many notable Country & Western artists.  Gene began learning guitar while living at his birthplace in Newton County Arkansas near the Buffalo River.  When his family moved to Bixby Oklahoma in the 1930s, he eventually found himself playing Bass Guitar at venues such as Cains Ballroom of Tulsa, Oklahoma.  In 1945, he married the love of his life, Betty M. Shellenbarger, 2 weeks after they first met. They were married until Betty's passing 69 years later.  Over the years, Gene held various occupations until landing firmly in broadcast radio.  While living in Wichita Kansas, he worked at KFRM/KICT where he was band leader, disc-jockey, and general manager.  At the ripe old age of 51, Gene retired from "regular work" and returned to Arkansas where he happily lived the remainder of his life fishing, playing music and enjoying his family, just 3 miles from where he was born near the Buffalo National River.  

Gene is survived by his daughter Linda Brotherton, of Springdale Arkansas; grandchildren, Michael Brotherton of Hasty, Arkansas & Brandi Brotherton-Hollis of Tontitown, Arkansas; great-grandchildren, Mandy Ragsdale, Leah Fitzgerald, Sam Wills, Gene Brotherton, Callum Brotherton as well as numerous great-great grandchildren.

He is preceded in death by his parents Simon & Oza "Mommy & Poppy" Morris, his wife Betty and his beloved son Donny.

Due to current events, no public services are planned at this time.  Gene is under the superb care of Diamond State Cremation & Mortuary Service, Lead Hill, AR.  

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