Cover photo for Edward  James Morris's Obituary
Edward  James Morris Profile Photo
1937 Edward 2022

Edward James Morris

August 16, 1937 — September 26, 2022

Edward James Morris, Sr., 85, entered into heaven riding on one of his favorite steam trains surrounded by family on Monday, September 26, 2022, in Charlotte, NC.

Born August 16, 1937, in Manhattan, NY to the late John Joseph and Mary (Zwihal) Morris. He was raised in New York, NY and graduated from Brooklyn Tech High School, later attending Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute with an interest in mechanical and electrical engineering.

Following his true patriotic spirit and his passion for service, he enlisted in the Air Force in 1959 and later attended flight training at Spence Field in Moultrie, GA where he met his loving wife of 61 years. Ed and Frieda wed on December 31, 1960. Together and against her southern roots they transplanted their young family to Syracuse, NY where he began his post active-duty military service at Honeywell, Inc., from 1960-1967 and later at Morris Machine Works from 1967 - 1969 as a Field Service and Application Engineer.  

In December 1969, he, along with Frieda and three children, Kathy, Ed Jr., and Kelly, moved to Charlotte, NC where he began his long and distinguished career at Heyward, Incorporated. For 51 years, he was a part of Heyward Incorporated until his retirement at the age of 82.  Ed was hired into Heyward Incorporated as a Sales Engineer on December 1, 1969.  He served in this role until the mid-1980’s when he became Engineering Manager.  Ed was Engineering Manager from this time with Heyward Incorporated and then Heyward-Charlotte Incorporated until his retirement on June 30, 2020.  In addition, Ed was Vice President of Heyward Incorporated, Board Member, and Secretary of the Board from 1986 through 1998.  In 1998/1999, Ed was one of three incorporators of Heyward-Charlotte Incorporated.  Ed served as Chairman of the Board and Secretary of the newly formed company from 1999 – 2002.  Outside of Heyward, Ed was a long-time member of AWWA and WEF (American Water Works Association and Water Environment Federation) and the NC Chapter of these organizations - NC AWWA/WEF.  He served as Chairman of NC AWWA/WEF in 1982/1983.

Ed had a love for steam locomotives and photography.  He often took his family on wonderful steam train excursions in the hills of North Carolina and Tennessee.  And to keep it interesting and always in pursuit of the perfect photo, he would on occasion take them kicking and screaming to a local railroad track in pursuit of the perfect photo of the steam locomotive that raced by.

Known to shed a tear at the playing of the National Anthem, Ed is a proud veteran and true American patriot.  Always in service, he is an active member of the Matthews United Methodist Church serving in various positions as a Trustee and photographer within the church. Every fall he could be found cheering on the Carolina Panthers both at the stadium and in his home.

He loved spending time with his family and was affectionally known as “Gdaddy”. He will be greatly missed by many friends and family.

Survivors include his loving wife of 61 years, Frieda Morris; his children, Kathy Morris of Charlotte, NC; Edward James Morris, Jr. (Simone) of Ocean Isle Beach, NC; Kelly Lay of Indian Trail, NC; four grandchildren, Jessie (Ben Anderson), Sean Morris (Emily), Dallas Lay, and Haylee Morris; two beloved great-granddaughters, Blakely Morris and Tilly Anderson; sister, Wynne Neiss of Albany, NY; nephew Tom Neiss (Elaine) of Albany, NY; and many sisters-in-law, a brother-in-law, nieces, nephews, and cousins.

He is preceded in death by son-in-law, Mark Lay and nephew, Ken Neiss.

The funeral service will be held at Matthews United Methodist Church, Matthews, NC on Tuesday, October 4th, 2022 at 2:00 PM.  

Visitation will be at the church prior to the service from 12:30 to 1:50 PM.

In lieu of flowers, the family kindly requests memorials be made to Matthews UMC for the Welcome Center Renovation Project or The United Methodist Men’s Ministry. Memorials can be made by check or online at

(Select “Other” and note for either “Ed Morris-Welcome Center or UMM”).

Gaskin Funeral Services, 14617 Lawyers Road, Matthews, is in charge of arrangements, (704) 882-6733,





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Service Schedule

Past Services


Tuesday, October 4, 2022

12:30 - 2:00pm (Eastern time)

Matthews United Methodist

801 S Trade St , Matthews, , NC 28105

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

Celebration of Life

Tuesday, October 4, 2022

2:00 - 12:00pm (Eastern time)

Matthews United Methodist

801 S Trade St , Matthews, , NC 28105

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.


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