Obituary of Ethel Ida Purcell Morris-Caffee

Longtime PFA member Ethel Ida Purcell Morris-Caffee of Tuscaloosa passed away on December 8, 2021, at her home. Below is excerpted from her obituary in the Tuscaloosa News. Our sincere condolences to her family.


Mrs. Morris-Caffee was born on November 15, 1936, in Gadsden, Alabama to the late John Robert Purcell, Sr. and Lois Ethel Waits Purcell.


After graduating from Hewitt Trussville High School in 1954, she attended Birmingham Southern College where she received her BA degree. She later graduated from the University of Alabama with a M.A. in Education and Ed.S (Education Specialist) degrees. She retired from teaching at Skyland Elementary School after a combined 44 years teaching first and second grades.


On December 21, 1963, she married Donald Blanton Morris. Some years after his death in 1991, she married William George Caffee, Jr. on June 25, 2011. Mr. Caffee passed away in 2017.


Mrs. Morris-Caffee was an active member of Forest Lake United Methodist Church where she sang in the choir, played handbells and helped with the Angel Food Ministries. She took great joy in writing stories for children. She had stories published in Tuskaloosa Tales and Tuscaloosa Stories. She was a Beeson Fellow with Samford University’s Writing Project and received many other honors in this field. She especially enjoyed writing nature stories that teach young children about our environment as well as stories that encouraged respect and appreciation for others. And, for many years, she sang in the Birmingham-Southern Alumni Choir for their Christmas Cantata.


Survivors include: sister Joan Purcell Creighton of Trussville and brothers John Robert Purcell, Jr. of Pensacola, Douglas Clare Purcell (Betsy) of Eufaula and James Michael Purcell (Jeannie) of Trussville; nephews John Clinton Morris (Ari) of Long Beach, CA and Christopher Douglas Purcell (Emily) of LaGrange, GA; nieces Lesley Dianne Purcell of Hoover, AL and Amanda Clare Purcell Tuttle (Scott) of Suamico, WI; grandnephews Scott Alec Tuttle, III, Tyler Jonathan Tuttle and John Maddox Purcell.

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