Carloss Morris, Former President of Stewart Title Guaranty Co. and Former Chairman of Stewart Information Services Corp., Has Passed Away
|November 18, 2005|
HOUSTON, -- Carloss Morris, 90, devoted Christian, faithful husband, loving father, goodwill ambassador of Stewart Title and dedicated volunteer, passed away on Nov. 17, 2005.
Morris was born in Galveston, Texas, on June 7, 1915. He graduated from Rice Institute in 1936, receiving a B.A. with distinction, and received his J.D. with highest honors from The University of Texas in 1939. A Keeton fellow, he wrote for the Texas Law Review, and was a member of Phi Delta Phi honorary legal fraternity, Chancellors, Order of the Coif and Alpha Tau Omega.
Morris married his childhood sweetheart, Doris, on Dec. 2, 1939. She died on May 19, 2005. They had four children: Marietta Morris Maxfield, William Carloss Morris III married to Sharon, Malcolm Stewart Morris married to Becky, and Melinda Louise Ginter married to Dr. Glen Ginter, and nine grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren.
After building an outstanding trial practice in Houston, Dallas and San Antonio, Morris joined Stewart Title Guaranty Co. as its president on the death of his father in 1950. He originally started working for Stewart Title at 10 years of age, delivering land abstracts. Now joined by his brother Stewart Morris, this team led Stewart's expansion across the United States. First expanding outside of Texas in 1956 to establish an agency operation in New Mexico, Stewart now has more than 8,000 policy-issuing offices and agencies nationwide and in 14 foreign countries. In 1972, Stewart Information Services (now NYSE: STC) went public. Morris served as chairman of the board and co-chief executive officer from 1975 to 2000 when Malcolm Morris was elected to the position.
He most recently served as advisory director, and as chairman of the executive committee of Stewart Title Guaranty Co.
Morris drew up the B.M. Woltman and the Oldham Little Church Foundation articles and served on both their boards. His father William C. Morris was a founder of Goodwill Industries in Houston, on which Morris and his son William Carloss Morris III served as directors. Morris also gave tirelessly of his time, talent and treasure faithfully dedicating more than 55 years of service to Houston's homeless through the Star of Hope Mission where he was last chairman emeritus.
He was instrumental in the recruitment of world-famed heart surgeon Dr. Michael DeBakey to the Baylor College of Medicine, and drew up legislation to qualify the institution for state funding. As Baylor's former chairman of the board, he continued to faithfully serve on its Board for 53 years until his passing.
Morris worked to help found Houston Christian High School and chaired its fundraising efforts. He loved his church, Houston's First Baptist Church. Morris chaired the Pastor Search Committee that called John Bisagno, who led the church for 30 years, and he served as chairman of the Deacons. Morris was the first outside director on the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, and faithfully served on its board and executive committee since 1954.
In his professional life, Morris was Past Chairman of the American Bar Young Lawyer's Association, Past President of the Texas Safety Association, and Chairman of the Interdisciplinary Committee on Housing and Urban Growth from 1974 to 1977.
Morris also chaired the American Bar Association Advisory Commission on Housing and Urban Growth examining the legal interrelationships among land use controls, planning and housing to promote a more rational urban growth process. Members of the commission included Gov. Pete Wilson of California and U.S. Sen. Robert Graham of Florida. The commission published its findings in a book, "Housing For All Under the Law," in 1978. It was widely disseminated to major law schools, state legislatures and the Library of Congress under catalogue number 77-810.
Morris was one of Texas' finest legal minds and a noted leader in the title insurance industry. He was recognized by the Texas Land Title Association as Title Man of the Year in 1988. In 1995, Carloss and his bother Stewart were named to the Texas Business Hall of Fame for their work in building Stewart Title. Most of all, Morris loved "his title agencies" and took great delight in personally visiting as many as 100 title agencies in one year. They in turn delighted in Morris and looked forward with anticipation to his visits where they reveled in his wit and wisdom.
In all his endeavors, Morris was recognized as a man who would never give up, and all who knew him appreciated his tenacity and perseverance. All who knew Carloss and Doris rejoice that they are together again evermore in the light, love, joy and presence of their Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
Memorial Services in Celebration of the Life of Carloss Morris will be held at Houston's First Baptist Church on Nov. 22 at 1 p.m.
In lieu of flowers, those wishing to honor Morris may contribute to the First Baptist Church of Houston, the Star of Hope Mission, Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, Baylor College of Medicine, Goodwill Industries of Houston and Houston Christian High School.
Source: Stewart Information Services Corp.