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Iola Rebecca (Claggett) Morris
February 19, 1931 ~ November 19, 2023 (age 92) 92 Years Old
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Mrs. Iola Rebecca Claggett Morris was born on February 19, 1931, in Duquesne, Pennsylvania. She is one of nine children and the youngest child born to the late Thomas and Annie Kate Claggett. She graduated from the Duquesne Public School. She accepted the Lord Jesus Christ when she was 12 years old and was an active and devoted member of the Payne Chapel A.M.E. Church until she married the late Charles Morris of Aliquippa, Pennsylvania in 1950. Upon her move to Aliquippa, she joined Ebenezer A.M.E. Church and became the proud mother of a daughter, the late Mary Ann Morris.
While growing up in Duquesne, Iola took piano lessons from Nancy Doggett and later served as a pianist for the Payne Chapel Sunday School, the Junior Choir, and the Gospel Chorus. She was also active in the Missionary YPD and subsequently the Women’s Missionary Society (WMS). At Ebenezer, she was the church musician, a stewardess, a WMS leader, and an official board member for more than 25 years. She was a Delegate on many occasions to the Pittsburgh Annual Conference WMS and attended several Quadrennial Conventions with her sisters Geneva and Ernestine. She and her daughter Mary Ann were loyal and active members of the Ebenezer Lay Organization.
Mrs. Morris was all about church, family, and community. She worked for many years in the finance division of Pennsylvania State University. Upon retirement from the University, she spent years in multiple capacities assisting the directors of the Duboise Carter Funeral Home, Thelma Gooden Funeral Home, and the Gooden Brown Funeral Home.
In 2009, Mrs. Morris moved her residence back to Duquesne and her church membership back to Payne Chapel. She initiated the Duquesne Summit Senior Residence Bible Study and personally recruited Rev. Sam Chambers as the Bible Study teacher, a study group that continues to thrive today. She also continued her support as a stewardess emeritus and a WMS emeritus at Payne Chapel. Iola appreciated all types of music, but her absolute favorite music is the hymns of the church.
The circle is now complete, but the work is not done. She joins her brothers Sam, Julius, Walton, and Alfonzo Dudley; and her sisters, Louvata Maultsby, Legirtha Hopkins, Geneva Jefferies, and Ernestine Harris. She remains an aunt and great-aunt to more than 40 nieces and nephews and loads of cousins and friends far and near.