Photography

Councilwoman Mary L. Morris

August 8, 2021

Obituary

Mary Morris, the forward thinking and determined three-time elected Lake Charles City Councilwoman, who has died at age 76, will be best remembered for peacefully and relentlessly championing social justice for the District A community, City of Lake Charles, State of Louisiana, and United States—a legacy of compassionate caring and personal advancement that lives on!

Councilwoman Morris was born on January 27, 1945, in Eunice, Louisiana, to Preva and Rita (Perridon) Guillory. In the 1950s, the family relocated to the North Lake Charles area where she completed her primary and secondary education and began her work career and community activism. After graduating from Washington High School in 1962, Councilwoman Morris attended McNeese State College under the Louisiana State University system. As a young teacher at Immaculate Heart of Mary Catholic School, she acquired knowledge and developed skills that she would eventually apply toward community activism over a period that spanned more than 40 years. Her strategic use of knowledge fostered partnership and empowered individuals to affect change.

Councilwoman Morris routinely demonstrated acts of compassion, empathy, and kindness, while unapologetically challenging the status quo. In the 1970s, she began her career in the petroleum industry at Cities Service (now CITGO Petroleum Corporation) in Westlake, LA, an industry that struggled to attract female talent at that time. Her career advancement ambitions landed her a position with Conoco Phillips, Inc. where she rose to the rank of Senior Production Superintendent and retired after 24 years of service at Conoco’s largest refinery in Westlake.

Her value system was shaped by the teachings of highly principled parents, a characteristic commonly seen in her North Lake Charles community, and Christian values. Consequently, she learned to recognize the dignity and celebrate the value of all individuals. Councilwoman Morris viewed Family as one of the greatest blessings a person could enjoy. She was blessed with a family of her own when she married, Joseph Horace Marks, as a young adult and gave birth to her son, Corey, and daughter, Shannon. She understood “Family” to mean more than blood relatives—her sense of family defied social norms and crossed over borders—she sought well-being and prosperity for all human beings.

Councilwoman Morris was preceded in death by her parents, Preva and Rita Guillory; brother, Preva Paul Guillory, Jr.; son-in law, Jonathan Jones; and former husband, Joseph Horace Marks.

Survivors include, son, Corey Greene, Sr. (Nicole)—Sulphur, LA; daughter, Shannon Greene—Humble, TX; brothers: Gillis Guillory (Annie)—DeQuincy, LA; Kevin Guillory—New Orleans, LA; Gary Guillory (Tiffany)—Savannah, GA; sister, Gayle Sledge (Ronald)—Lake Charles, LA; grandchildren: Satyn Kidd—Natchitoches, LA; Aleceea Greene—Sulphur, LA; Corey Greene, Jr.—San Antonio, TX; Christian Greene—Sulphur, LA; and a host of nieces: Tiffany Thomas; Shauntell Hawkins; Annmarie Guillory; C’Arra Sledge, Kaitlin Guillory; nephews: Preva Paul Guillory, III; Sean Guillory, Eric Guillory; Michael Guillory; Torry Sledge; and Jackson Guillory; and loved ones: Gilbert Greene (former husband and father); Jimmy Morris (former husband); Brenda Guillory (stepmother); and Toni Fowlkes.

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