Mabel Inez Morris peacefully left this troubled world to be with her Lord and Savior at 6:55am on Monday, August 23rd from her home in Aster Place, Lafayette, Indiana. She was born the second of three children to Loarn and Mary (Robbins) Bledsoe at their home in Ben Hur, Lee County Virginia September 30th 1930 on her mother’s 22nd birthday. (Her mother named her but, for some reason, insisted on spelling Mabel’s name “Mable” about half the time in letters and picture inscriptions.) Mabel grew up in depression-era Lee County among her extended family and later played guard on the Jonesville High School Girls’ Basketball (45-46) team before her father moved them back to Indiana for the second time. Tired of being the new kid so often, she dropped out of high school at age 16 and went to work at the TraV-ler Radio Corporation plant in Orleans, Indiana putting together table top radios and early TV sets just after the end of WWII. At the same time, her father was operating the Old Hickory Village Travel Court #4 at the junction of State Roads 37 and 60 just south of Mitchell, Indiana. There, she shared housekeeping duties with her younger sister, Erma, and her mother while working at the plant. She hated it. Sometime in 1947 she was introduced by a co-worker to a dashing 22 year old WWII vet working as a carpenter in greater Orange/Lawrence County. Barely eighteen, she and Jack E. Morris eloped on October 30th 1948 and were married by a pastor in French Lick, Indiana, initially settling in Paoli. At that time, she hadn’t yet obtained a driver’s license but nevertheless drove around town at will and eventually motored over to the license branch to take her test, which she passed. They spent their first few years enjoying life and the company of many friends and family in and around Paoli, going fishing, playing cards and picnicking at Spring Mill State Park. In March 1952 they pulled a small mobile home with their 39 Chevy to Lakeland, Florida in search of a warm climate and prosperity in the Sunshine State. However, after 3 months of playing shuffleboard and drawing unemployment they decided to return to Indiana, mindful that their first child was on the way. Michael was born in December 1952 while Jack was working at the Korean War gun powder plant near Charlestown, Indiana. Employment was, at best, temporary for a carpenter in the fifties, so they pulled up stakes often in their mobile home. Later, Ken was born in May 1956 while they were parked at Marion, Indiana during the construction of the Fisher Body plant there. In 1958 Jack and Mabel bought a National Home and settled in Lafayette, mainly because Purdue was experiencing a construction boom and carpenters were in demand. Mabel was a stay-at-home mom until both boys were in school full time, initially working at Sears and later Centra Lab in West Lafayette until 1989. However, her main focus was always being a mother and wife and later a grandmother and great-grandmother. She made the best pumpkin pie and cinnamon rolls in the world. Until her health prevented it, she was very active with her church and church family and sang in the choir for many years. Most recently she was a member of Good Shepherd Baptist Church in Lafayette. Mabel was the proud widow of a WWII vet, mother of 2 veterans, grandmother of 2 more veterans and great grandmother of yet another veteran, all of whom have served overseas in time of conflict. She was preceded in death by her parents, her husband, older brother Carl and a great granddaughter, Venetta. She is survived by her beloved kitty, Sadie, her sister Erma (the late C. Reed) Cornwell of Paoli, sons Michael (Cheryl) of Lafayette, Ken (Sharon) of Napa, CA, grandsons Matt of Lafayette and Chris (April) of Grosse Pointe Farms, MI, great grandsons Isaiah, Alex, Ethan, Keegan, Nathan, Aaron, Andrew and numerous nieces, nephews and cousins. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made in her name to Good Shepherd Baptist Church or the American Cancer Society. Arrangements are with Hahn-Groeber Funeral and Cremation Services. A graveside service will be held at the West Point Cemetery on a date yet to be determined. Please feel free to leave memories and condolences at www.hahngroeberfuneralhome.com
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