Morrison “Morrie” Hale Williams was born January 6, 1934, and died September 11, 2019.
“Morrie” as he was so fondly known to everyone, died at the age of 85, with his devoted wife Katie by his side in their home in Coarsegold. He had battled with bladder cancer for several years and accepted that this final fight could not be won.
Morrie was born on January 1, 1934 in Santa Monica to his father Morrison Meenach Williams and his mother Corinne Pixley Williams, living in Inglewood in their family home until he graduated from high school.
Morrie was a bright energetic child who had an incredible ability and interest in mechanical and electrical fields — simply put, anything that moved and had a motor!
While accompanying his family on vacation to Bass Lake the desire was set in him to one day move here.
After graduating from high school, being one of the youngest mechanics hired by LA Transit, Morrie worked and saved. In 1956 with a shared desire of his childhood friend, Gene Miller, he bought a small two-pump filling station and automotive repair.
Both Gene and Morrie being honest, hardworking and knowledgeable, earned the respect and trust of the community. Not long after they set up shop Morrie was drafted into the Army and shortly after Gene was drafted.
To keep their little business a float they hired someone to keep the doors open until one of them returned from service. Gene was sent to Germany and Morrie was based at Fort Irwin in Barstow. He would drive home almost every weekend to work on cars and logging trucks to keep their business open. Eventually, as time went forward, he sold his interest to Gene and then another chapter of Morrie’s life began.
An opportunity came in 1969. Morrie was now the sole owner and operator of the refuge collection service in Eastern Madera County, known still to this day as EMADCO Disposal. With one garbage truck he serviced up to 300 customers.
Morrie married Clariss Gabriel in 1959 and together they raised their three children in the community of Oakhurst. He moved his parents to the mountains where they lived out their lives.
Morrie was known for his soft-spoken conversations. He was well liked and respected in all areas of his life, those that he did business with as well as those he employed. He was admired for his honesty and work ethics. He started his day early and ended it when the work was done, most days late, and weekend activities were filled with many projects. Whether work-related or pleasure, he was interested in doing it right. At any given day if Morrie wasn’t chasing parts, you would find him in his white coveralls under some truck or piece of machinery. He worked every day up to the age of 80.
Morrie loved cars and collected several throughout the years. During this time his passion for motorsports was growing. Together Morrie and Gene purchased their first race car in the mid 1960’s. Morrie raced his modified from late 1960’s to the early 1970’s. Then went on to racing sprint cars.
Although time and money were not available for serious commitment, his desire to one day pursue his passion was. For all who knew “Morrie” his name was synonymous with #0 sprint car, known as Williams Motorsports.
He met and married his wife Katie, the love of his life, in 1990 and they began the final fun chapter of Morrie’s life. He worked and helped raise her three daughters and went racing almost every weekend. Morrie and his race team, Williams Motorsports, competed up and down the west coast, mid-west, east coast, many years in Australia and once in New Zealand. Those who drove for him and were part of the race team were always thought of as family.
Morrie is survived by his wife Katie, his step-daughters, Jessica Smith and husband Ashley Smith, Stacia Austin and husband Trever Austin and Aleena Scott. His daughters, Clariss Morris and husband Brad Morris, Lee Brister and husband Keith Brister, son Mark Williams and wife Debbie Williams. Known to all his Grandchildren lovingly as “Papa Morrie” Kyle, Nicolas, Max, Eileen, Lillian, Drake, Peyton, Kaylee, Nathanael, Madison, Bethany, Savannah, Samuel, Teryn, Trent, Lucy and Jesse. Great-Grandchildren Noland, Jace, Everleigh and Ellie.
In his final days we all loved on him and could see he was closing shop to go home to heaven. Thank you, Nancy Hinds Hospice, for your gentle whisper of support. Thank you, to everyone that loved us through this time.
Celebration of Life to be held on October 11, 2019 at 3pm at Oakhurst Community Center, Oakhurst, Ca.
In Lieu of flowers, the family request donations in memory of Morrie Williams,
NARC Benevolent Fund
c/o Kaeding Performance Center
813 Cristich Lane
Campbell, CA 95008