Former MBFAA president dies

Jim L. Morris 1944-2011
Monday, December 12, 2011

IRVING, Texas—Jim L. Morris, founder and owner of American Detection Specialists Inc. in Springfield, Mo., died of a heart attack on Nov. 21.

“Mr. Morris was well known as a strong advocate for both ESA and the industry. He founded American Detection Specialists in 1989, and spent more than 27 years as a security professional. In addition to being the current vice president of ESA's Missouri chapter, he served for many years on the ESA board of directors. He was also active in the association's Sales & Marketing Professionals (SMP) group,” Electronic Security Association officials said in a prepared statement.

Morris was past president of ESA's Chartered Chapter when it was formerly known as the Missouri Burglar and Fire Alarm Association (MBFAA), and was serving as president of the southwest Missouri regional association. In 2006, Morris was selected as a member of the GE Security Pro Hall of Fame.

He was born Nov. 23, 1944 in Butler, Mo., the son of Roy O. and Thelma B. (Cornell) Morris. He married Lurenda L. Sivils Worley on Oct. 29, 1983.

A U.S. Navy veteran, Morris served as a radarman third class during the Vietnam era. He served on the USS Kitty Hawk in 1963 off the coast of Vietnam. He was a two-time past president of the USS Kitty Hawk Association. He was a member of the American Legion and Veterans of Foreign Wars and a sergeant in the Army Reserve.

He was a master Mason and member of Gate of the Temple Lodge No. 422, the Scottish and York Rite bodies and Abou Ben Adhem Shrine, where he was active in the Legion of Honor Unit.

Morris is survived by his wife, Rendy; three sons, Bryan Morris and wife Kelly, Jimmy Morris, Reid Worley and wife Jennifer; his mother, Thelma Morris Wheatley; a sister, Sue Lockard and husband Gene; a sister-in-law, Pat Reed and husband Eddie; eight grandchildren, several nieces, nephews, and many, many friends.


I am fortunate to have met Jim in my industry travels. He was truly a gentleman and an industry professional.

This year at ESX, I had the distinct pleasure of having an in-depth conversation with Jim and his wife on numerous subjects, ranging from industry topics to his time served in Vietnam. He spoke how proud he was to continue his service for the men and women of the armed services, even though he was retired from active duty years ago.

As our visit continued, I learned he was an extra in a movie called Midway released in 1976. Although he did not have a full 15 minutes of fame during the movie, he served his country well in real war situations. I did have other plans that evening, but I so enjoyed the visit with Jim and Rendy that, in hindsight, it turned out to be a blessing in disguise. Believe me, I now wish we could have spent more time together.

The next day, as I talked from the podium, I spoke about the importance of meeting people at these industry events, especially learning more about them as business people, and particularly on a personal level.   As I continued my comments, I recognized him for his selfless work with the veterans and his extra work in the movies.  I saw his big smile across the room.

Yes, I am blessed to know a lot of folks in the industry, but we all get so busy, wrapped up in our lives and forgetting, sometimes, to properly acknowledge our friends, loved ones and colleagues.  I hope this holiday season each of us finds the time to spend a few moments with each other…time is our most precious commodity.

To Jim’s family, we are all proud of his accomplishments as a man…one who cared a lot for his fellow human beings.  Thank you Jim for all that you contributed to the industry, the veterans, and especially to your loved ones.  You are a spiritual being that just happen to have a human moment here on earth.

God Bless you.

George De Marco