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A Father's Heart

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Ann Morris was born in Havana, Cuba, on October 30, 1928, the only child of John and Bertha Morris. Her father owned an auto parts distributorship in Havana, but later relocated the business to Hattiesburg, Mississippi.

In her late teens, Ann was injured in an accident and suffered irreversible damage. Her ability to live independently was limited. Until she was about 40 years of age, Ann lived in the home of her parents. When her mother died in 1970, Ann's father made the difficult decision to find an assisted living facility to care for Ann. She moved from Hattiesburg to the Baddour Center in Senatobia, Mississippi.

For almost thirty years, Ann participated in the full array of activities offered at her new home. She particularly enjoyed singing in a choir that traveled to many area churches for concerts and other performances. During that time, she also enjoyed visits from family and friends, and the opportunity to return to Hattiesburg occasionally.

When her father, John E. Morris, died in 1985, his final plans included arrangements to assure Ann would still be cared for the rest of her life. Eventually, Ann returned to Hattiesburg where she lived in local assisted care facilities until her death in 2007 at age 78.

During that time, a local bank, Trustmark, handled funds that would be used to allow Ann to enjoy many various activities. She attended local plays, movies, and concerts with the help of her caregivers. She enjoyed eating at restaurants with friends. And she often visited her parents' graves in Highland Cemetery.

After Ann's death, the remaining funds her father had left were designated to be used for the enhance the quality of life for adults living with intellectual disabilities like his daughter. For several years, Trustmark identified local programs that provided life-enriching experiences for persons of advanced age who had been diagnosed with difficulties similar to Ann. In 2013, Trustmark and the Pinebelt Foundation agreed that the Foundation would begin to manage the competitive granting procedures and distribute funds to area organizations that serve people in ways that helped Ann during her lifetime.

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