Locust Grove, GA Janet Gail (Jan) Morrison, 71, died at her home on July 20, 2020. A resident of Locust Grove, she was known for her love of family, her art work and her nursing career.
Born May 2, 1949, in Charlotte, Mecklenburg County, NC, she was the daughter of the late Homer Chetwin Barke and the late Lois Simon Barke. Also preceding her in death were a sister, Claudia Barke; half-brother, Homer Chetwin (Bill) Barke Jr.; stepfathers, Alec Archer and Arthur Bostater. When Jan was nine years old, the family moved to Atlanta and she later graduated from Lakeside High School and attended West Georgia College in Carrollton, where she studied art. At college she met Bernie Morrison and they married in June 1971.
As an artist, she started with print-making and was able to sell some of her work to Disney World. When her children were born, she sold her etching press and began pen-and-ink drawing. Her stippling was featured in several galleries and won many awards. At the age of 39, Jan went to Clayton State College and received a degree as a registered nurse, then worked at both Henry General Hospital and Southern Regional Hospital. Health issues forced her to withdraw from nursing; she went back to art and stippling until her eyesight was compromised by diabetic retinopathy, so she began doing fine art on gourds.
Christmas was her favorite time of year; she and Bernie were professional "Mr. and Mrs. Santa Claus" for many years. She had a true love of children and enjoyed her time as "Mrs. Claus" very much - according to Santa.
Bernie and Jan organized a reunion after 40 years for his college fraternity brothers at Kappa Phi. Renewing the friendship and camaraderie with the "brothers" and their wives was a source of happiness for Jan; the Morrisons often traveled with couples from the fraternity. A particular interest of Jan's was museums all around the world. Also a music lover, she always listened to music while she was doing art.
Jan's family gave her the greatest happiness; she took such pride in her children and grandchildren that she spent much time with them on the phone, or visiting them in person when possible. Other interests were reading, container gardening, cheering for local sports teams (one son went to UGA, the other to Georgia Tech), table games and watching TV programs and movies with her husband.
Jan's brother Richard Barke remembers her as a courageous person, whether she was in a high school pageant competition or recovering from a serious back injury in a car accident at age 19. Richard said the accident revealed she had fierce determination to succeed with the many talents she had and jobs she performed. Her success as a practicing, empathetic and caring nurse was a source of pride and wonder to her family members; "Jan didn't just surprise people when they discovered what talents she had, she shocked them," Richard said.
Jan dealt with pain and discomfort from the back injury, and had health issues for the last 30 years, "but she had an amazing mental ability that allowed her to push the problems from her mind and concentrate on other things," Bernie said. He added she loved going to the "Gaelic Storm" band concerts and had adopted their song "One More Day Above the Roses" as the theme song for her life.
Jan always said her greatest accomplishment was having and raising her two sons, Matthew McKinley Morrison and Benjamin Reeves Morrison. She told people what wonderful parents they had become to her grandchildren, and was proud of their work, Matt as a labor and employment attorney and Ben as field project manager for an amphibian and reptile conservancy. Ben stated, "She will be remembered as a loving mother who always nurtured our interests and made time for extracurricular activities."
Survivors include husband Bernard (Bernie) Berl Morrison Jr.; sons, Matthew (Lydia) Morrison, Arvada, CO, and Benjamin (Sydney) Morrison, McClellanville, SC; a brother, Richard (Nancy) Barke, Marietta; sister-in-law Alice Morrison, Stockbridge; granddaughters Bonnie and Molly Morrison, Arvada, CO; grandson, Oscar Morrison, McClellanville, SC; niece, Julia Barke, Schwalmstadt, Germany.
Haisten Funeral Home, 1745 Zack Hinton Parkway, McDonough GA 30253, 770-914-8833, is in charge of arrangements, In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to the Jan Barke Morrison Scholarship Fund for students majoring in art at the University of West Georgia. Checks may be sent to UWG Foundation, Attn: Jan Barke Morrison Scholarship Fund, 1601 Maple Street, Carrollton GA 30118, marked Jan Barke Morrison Scholarship in the memo line. UWG has an internet page for giving online. If $25,000 is raised within seven years, the scholarship will become an endowment with Jan's name on it. Haisten Funerals & Cremations, McDonough, GA, haistenfunerals.com