National Centenarian Awareness Project
I n s p i r i n g   P o s i t i v e   A g i n g

Founded in 1989 by Lynn Peters Adler, J.D.
Centenarian Expert and Older Adults Advocate

National Centenarian Awareness Project
Donate to NCAP
Help us continue to honor our elders.


Our Centenarian Blog: Live to 100 and Beyond

About NCAP

Lynn Peters Adler

Contact Lynn


Sign up a Centenarian

NCAP Centenarian
Recognition Program


Future Centenarian

Barbara Walters
ABC Special
"Live to be 150"  Behind the scene



Media Archive

Calendar Archive

Video Excerpt
"Centenarians Tell
It Like It Is"

Excerpts from
Lynn's Book:
The Bonus Years

NCAP Scrapbook

NCAP Book/Video

WWI Tributes

WWII Tribute
Honor Flight

In Memoriam

Future Projects



To print the August 2007 calendar you must have Adobe Acrobat Reader installed on your computer.
If you do not have Adobe Acrobat Reader, you can download a copy free of charge from the Adobe website. Just click on this icon:

Click here to download/print

By Jan Cooke
(Edited for Publication) 

     Richard John Morris was born one hundred years ago on the 29th of August, 1906. Happy 100th Birthday to our “Friend of Focus,” Dick Morris!  He was born near the farming, heartland town of Emporia, Kansas, to Carl, who had come to America from Germany at the age of 13, and Emma Morris. Their “all-purpose” farm included corn, wheat and oats, as well as 15 to 16 dairy cows and other animals for the family’s use. They had one buggy horse, one riding horse, and several draft horses used for farming.
      Dick had three brothers and one sister. The boys were responsible for milking the cows twice a day, seven days a week. They got up before dawn to get their chores done before school. They were a happy and hard-working family with very little “free time.”  Vacations were unheard-of, but they enjoyed their Sunday afternoons when company often came for dinner after church. The kids liked to spend the rest of the afternoon playing baseball or fishing in the nearby creek and river. Dick’s dad got his first motor car in 1918, and Dick learned to drive that same year. No one had a driver’s license back then.
       Dick’s first school, Fremont School, just a quarter of a mile from home, was a one-room school, nine grades with a coal furnace in the middle of the room and accommodating from 18 to 25 pupils. He then attended Emporia High School, a building which is still in use today.
       Dick recalls: “There was no monkey business in school those days. Teachers were highly respected, and they were not afraid to discipline a student who was out of line. For that matter, there was only one sheriff in the whole city. There was not enough law work to keep him busy, so he ran a gas station on the side.”
      After high school graduation, Dick spent the summer painting houses and hanging wallpaper. When he was 19 years old and was not so desperately needed on the farm any more, he and a friend wanted to travel to see the mountains and the ocean. Seeing the mountains in Colorado, they kept on until they reached San Francisco. Mesmerized by the beauty of the west, they continued north to Portland and found work at the Terminal Flour Mill on the Willamette River. In the spring, they took the passenger ship “Emma Alexander” to Los Angeles. Unable to get work there, they hocked most everything they owned, caught the freight train from Bakersfield and arrived in Seattle. On June 6, 1928, they got off at Georgetown and walked down 1st Avenue to a flophouse, the “Grand Central” hotel. The next day they both got jobs at the Fisher Flour Mill on Harbor Island, where Dick worked for over 20 years.
      Dick had many friends at work and also got to know their families through company functions. One of his good friends, William Mitchell, passed away and several years later Dick married his widow, Alice.  She had one son, Donald, and a large extended family that always treated Dick like royalty. Alice worked for a blouse company and then for a tailor that manufactured sailor uniforms. In 1941, Dick and Alice bought their first house. A few years later they sold it and bought a four-unit apartment building.
      In 1950, Dick quit the flour mill and bought a 65 acre resort. The resort had 703 feet of waterfront and 34 buildings. They did some major remodeling and the resort became a successful family-oriented vacation spot with toys for the kids, a baseball field, horseshoes, 15 boats (including 3 paddleboats), a 30 foot water slide, diving towers, a small store including some “fast foods” like hot dogs and hamburgers, four outdoor cooking kitchens and a busy dance hall. They could accommodate 1,200 to 1,800 people for company parties.
      Dick says: “Alice was the greatest business partner a man could ask for. For us, the resort was nonstop work!” 
      They were glad to get out of the business in 1960 when they sold it to a couple who wanted “the easy life.” Discovering that it wasn’t such an east life after all, they retired after three years. Today the area is all private homes.
       After the resort era, Dick and Alice bought another home, fixed it up and sold it in three months. They continued with more of the same: buying “dogs” (fixer-uppers) and selling them.
       Dick recalls: “I spent so much time in the real estate office in West Seattle that the owner decided he needed to help me get a license. That started my new career in real estate. It lasted 17 years.”
        In 1969, they bought a mobile home. Dick and Alice began to travel quite extensively – motor home trips throughout Washington State, a cross-country trip, a trip with their trailer to Guadalajara, Mexico, and cruises to the Mexican Riviera, Puerto Rico, Hawaiian Islands and Alaska. In addition, for several years they were “snowbirds” in Arizona or Southern California. Dick also enjoyed golf, which he began at age 65, bowling, table tennis, cards and, of course, dancing with Alice!
       Alice began to suffer severely from joint and bone problems, eventually being confined to nursing home care. Dick visited and helped care for her every day, until she passed away in 2003. Two years later, Dick took ill and spent some time recovering.
       Today, Dick continues an active lifestyle, still dancing, going on outings and other activities. I asked him two questions: “To what do you attribute your longevity?” and “What words of advice would you share with young people today?”
       Dick’s response was: “I believe a sound home foundation, an active, healthy lifestyle, and being raised in an uplifting, Christian home has done a lot for a long life. As far as a word of advice? Learn to be contented, but never satisfied. In other words, never ‘settle’ – always strive for improvement.”       


1998-2012 National Centenarian Awareness Project & Lynn Peters Adler, J.D.
No material, in whole or in part, may be reprinted or reproduced in any form without the prior written permission of Lynn Peters Adler and the National Centenarian Awareness Project.