Morris Wayne Coleman was born
Jan. 20, 1915 in Mesa, Az. He was the twelfth child and seventh son
born to John Thomas and Annie Laura Phelps Coleman. At the time he
was born the family was living in a home located in the 500 block of
East Main Street. When he was five his mother died, and he lived
with his sister Lue Annie for a time. After his father remarried, he
moved his youngest five children and family to Lehi.
Morris said that he began school in the Old North Building in 1920,
then graduated from Franklin School and from Mesa Union High School.
After three years at Arizona State College at Tempe, he began work
for Rial Randall in the automobile business. Then Sept. 23, 1936 he
went to work for McKellips Mutual Citrus Growers and was made
manager of the company in 1941. In 1945 he with Virgil Merrill and
Chet Hoel organized their own company, Consolidated Citrus Growers.
They were in the citrus growing, packaging and shipping business.
After 40 years of a very successful business venture, they
terminated the business in 1985, “due to old age”, but continued
being associated with Consolidated Killian Groves.
July 17, 1938, Morris married Margaret June McCormack who was born
June 3, 1918.
“My marriage to June was the best thing that ever happened to me.
June was not a member of the LDS Church at the time, but was
baptized a few years later. Many thought she had been a member those
years and I was the convert.”
Morris and June’s service to the church was beyond reproach. She was
president of the Mesa First Ward Relief Society for five years. She
was called when Bishop Ed Goodman became bishop, and was released
when he was released. Morris had various callings in the Church.
Beginning in 1954, he served one year as Teachers Quorum Adviser.
Then he was called to served with Bishop Walter Merrill and Paul
Crandall in the First Ward
bishopric. He was released and called to the Maricopa Stake High
Council for five years. Then he was called as bishop of the Mesa
First Ward, serving there for six and a half years, and then was
called as a counselor in the Maricopa Stake Presidency. He served in
that capacity for five and a half years and then was called as
Maricopa Stake Patriarch, a position he has held for over 18 years.
They are the parents of six children, all active in the Church and
married in the Temple. A great sadness came to the family when their
oldest son, John Carl died Aug. 18, 1978, leaving a wife and four
Morris passed away on August 27, 2001 of congestive heart failure.
June followed him 3 years later and passed away May 3, 2004.