Sept. 7, 1942-Aug. 11, 2022
Dr. John Morris Gilmer, “Doc”, 79, passed away Aug. 11, 2022, at home in Natchitoches just a few weeks before his 80th birthday. Family and friends are invited to an open house at his home on South Williams in Natchitoches Friday, Aug. 12 from 5-7 p.m. A graveside service with military honors will be Saturday, Aug. 13 at 4 p.m. at Stonewall Cemetery on Church Road in Stonewall off the Stonewall-Frierson Road (LA Hwy 3276). Park in the Salem Baptist Church parking lot.
Born in Mansfield Sept. 7, 1942, John Morris was the youngest of three sons of George Meriwether and Mary Morris Gilmer.
After graduation from Mansfield High School, where he ran track for the Wolverines and winning the state championship in the 1-mile relay, John Morris attended Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge. He was a proud member of Kappa Sigma Fraternity and loved attending LSU football games in Death Valley. Upon graduation in 1964, he married Jariel LaFleur and they moved to New Orleans where he attended Loyola School of Dentistry and where they had their first child, John Morris Jr.
After graduation from dental school, he entered the US Army and was assigned to Vint Hill Station in Virginia where their daughter, Anne Kendall, was born just a few weeks before his deployment for Vietnam. John Morris became a Captain in the Medical Corps of the US Army serving in Bien Hoa Air Base in the Mekong River delta and was later part of the First Cavalry that went into Cambodia. For “meritorious achievement in ground operations against hostile forces,” he was awarded the Bronze Star Medal.
Upon return to civilian life, he set up and practiced dentistry in Natchitoches, LA for over 30 years. Upon his retirement from the practice of dentistry, “Doc”, as he was affectionately known by his patients and grandchildren, spent time with his longstanding companion Julie Mallet Young for 24 years. They traveled often and enjoyed good friends, family and food. Doc had a special fondness for Natchitoches and the Cane River and we are grateful that he was able to spend his last years at home on the river.
The family would like to express their grateful appreciation to all who cared for Doc, especially Ann Washington and Beverly Lee, Alva Lou Taylor, Cynthia Denny and Veoria Neal.
John Morris is preceded in death by his parents, George Meriwether and Mary Morris Gilmer.
He is survived by his children and their families, John Morris Jr. and Jennifer Gilmer and their children, Davis, Elizabeth and Jack; Anne Kendall and Carlos Solé and their children, Sophia, AnaClare, Camille and Charlie; two brothers, George Meriwether Jr. and William Lewis; sister-in-law, Pam; and nephews, Travis, William and George Gilmer.
Condolences may be sent to the family at 116 South Williams, Natchitoches LA 71457. In lieu of flowers, please donate a memorial to Doc to the charity of your choice.