David Jon Morris, 64, passed away peacefully on May 2nd at his home in Chattanooga. Born in 1955, he spent his early years in Mount Vernon, NY, and moved to the Chattanooga area at age 11. Tirelessly passionate in his quest to help people with disabilities, he spent his life advocating for those less fortunate. In 1983, David and his father, Saul opened Habitat International Inc. near Chattanooga. Over the years, the company became one of the nation’s top suppliers of artificial grass, indoor putting greens and indoor-outdoor rugs, and was a socially responsible leader known for “doing well by doing good.” David was renowned for hiring people with mental and physical disabilities, paving the way for bringing those with special-needs into the mainstream workplace.
As a result, his company is also the subject of the book “Able! How One Company’s Extraordinary Workforce Changed the Way We Look at Disability Today”. In 1996, David was selected to carry the Olympic torch on its way to the Summer Games in Atlanta and, as usual, focused on his employees and created individual trophies for each one to keep. He received numerous local and national awards for his commitment to special-needs workers and was featured by many national media outlets, including Inc. magazine, Southern Living, Southwest Airlines Spirit, The Wall Street Journal, NBC, CNN, and Turner South. David inspired other leaders in the disability movement, advising and training corporate executives from top national companies on how to do what came to him naturally and from the heart.
Creative and artistic, David had a love for all kinds of art. He donated some of his own work to Erlanger Children’s Hospital and Signal Centers, where the sculptures are on display for everyone to enjoy. He filled his home and the Habitat plant with art as well, and enjoyed inspiring people through it. Upon his retirement, he found great joy spending time at the beach home that he shared with the love of his life, Brenda, where he embarked on a new adventure, crafting sculptures from objects he found on the beach.
David is preceded in death by his father, Saul Morris, and his mother, Joyce Morris. He is survived by his wife, Brenda Morris, his beloved children, Stacy Rojas and Gabriel Corzo, his step-daughter Leah Golden, his granddaughter, Hadley Golden his grandson, Anderson Golden, his brother, Jeffrey Morris, and sister, Hope Morris.
A memorial service will be held at Signal Center at a later date. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Signal Centers at: https://www.signalcenters.org/giving/honor-memorial
Arrangements entrusted to Lane Funeral Home – 601 Ashland Terrace Chattanooga, Tennessee 37415. (423) 877-3524 Lanefh.com
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