Cover photo for James S. Morrison's Obituary
James S. Morrison Profile Photo

James S. Morrison

April 1, 1926 — September 27, 2021

James S. Morrison

STAUNTON - James Sherwood Morrison, 95, beloved husband, father, grandfather, great-grandfather, fun uncle and friend passed away quietly with his family on September 27 of 2021.

James was born in Staunton in 1926 to Rose Sherwood and Carol King Morrison, who had relocated from Washington, DC to the valley. With his six brothers and sisters, the Morrison family made a mark in Staunton with a popular grocery business, where James worked with his brothers, learning the value of good honest work and commitment. James enlisted in the Navy on his 18th birthday in 1944 and proudly served in both WW2 and the Korean War (from 1944-46 and 1950-52, respectively).

He married Clementine Carr Gilbert, also of Staunton, in 1954, and the couple spent the next 67 years together enjoying their large extended family, cultivating friendships, a good bridge game, a twirl on the square dance floor, travel across the US and abroad and a true devotion to their hometown. Sharing a beautiful faith, the two lobbied for a church on the north end of town and initiated a petition to the Presbytery signed by over 125 people, to grant a charter to organize. As a result, Covenant Presbyterian Church was established with James and Clementine as founding members. Sixty years on, the church is thriving, with a congregation of over 450.

At heart, James was a family man born on April Fool’s Day, known for his quick jokes, ready laugh and a gag or two. He loved driving the roads of the Virginia countryside and discovering a perfect piece of pie or tasty sandwich along the way. Many a happy day was spent at Horse Point, a summer home on the Piankatank River in Middlesex County, Virginia with his wife, daughters, extended family and friends. On “the rivah” he could feed the birds and listen to their songs, fish and crab, journey up the river on his skiff with grandsons, or just sit and watch the boats go by.

James was the rare man who worked at the same firm most his life, Smith’s Transfer, where he would rise to the position of Vice President of Properties, serving in this capacity until retirement in 1987. He was a trusted confidante and friend of the firm’s founder, Jake Smith.

Known as Jim to friends, he was also a committed and active Rotarian for over 50 years, and held multiple leadership positions in the Staunton Rotary Club, including President. He was a multiple Paul Harris Fellow, a Paul Harris Sustaining Fellow and a Skelton Fellow. He also served on the boards of the Lynchburg Children’s Home, the Woodrow Wilson Birthplace and Museum (now the Woodrow Wilson Presidential Library and Museum) and the Staunton Economic Development Authority, and was also a regular volunteer for the Verona Food Pantry and Trinity Church Lunch Program. His generosity knew no bounds.

James leaves behind many who celebrate his 95 years on this earth, including his wife, Clementine; daughters Emily Love Morrison, of Washington, DC; and Sarah Carr Morrison Smith of Colonial Heights, VA, who with her husband Chuck Smith, gave “Grandaddy” four grandsons Andrew (Stacy); William (Emily); Charles (Brittany); Lawrence (Schaelyn) and a great-granddaughter Finley Eleanor. Cousins, nieces, and nephews across the county and country join with the family in missing his kind smile and generous, playful spirit.

A memorial service will be held at Covenant Presbyterian Church on October 29th at 11:00 a.m., led by the Reverend John C. Peterson. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, persons wishing to attend the memorial service are asked to R.S.V.P. by calling Covenant at (540) 885-2138. Masks will be required. Live streaming of the service will be available for those that can't attend.

Friends may call at the funeral home any time during business hours to sign the register book or at his residence at any time.

Gifts can be made to Covenant Presbyterian Church, 2001 N Coalter St, Staunton, VA 24401or to the Rotary Foundation of the Staunton Club, P O Box 2353, Staunton, VA 24402-2353.
To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of James S. Morrison, please visit our flower store.

Past Services

Memorial Service

Friday, October 29, 2021

Starts at 11:00 am (Eastern time)

Covenant Presbyterian Church

2001 N Coalter St, Staunton, VA 24401

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


Visits: 9

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the
Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Service map data © OpenStreetMap contributors

Send Flowers

Send Flowers

Plant A Tree

Plant A Tree