There were a few things in life that Winfred “Wimp” Morris couldn’t do without. Two of those were cars and basketball.
“Wimp was a great basketball player,” said Marvin Arrington, a longtime friend and former Fulton County Superior Court judge. “He loved the game. He always had a new shot, or a new move, and I know he played until he was 55 or 60.”
Morris also had a long-standing love affair with cars, said his daughter, Jayna W. Morris, of Atlanta.
“He collected the model cars and he loved antique cars,” she said. “And he refused to drive a dirty car.”
Winfred Morris Jr., called Wimp by most, of East Point died Friday of complications from cancer. He was 70.
A funeral is planned for 11 a.m. Friday at Providence Missionary Baptist Church, Atlanta. Burial will follow at Lincoln Cemetery. Gus Thornhill’s Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.
Morris grew up in College Park and played basketball for South Fulton High School, his daughter said. A leading scorer, Morris led the team to two AA state championships, she said.
He went on to play basketball at Tennessee State University, where he earned the name “Showboat,” said the Rev. Gerald Durley, a friend from college.
“We didn’t call him that as anything negative, but he had skills some of us just didn’t have,” said Durley, pastor emeritus of Providence Baptist Church. “He could do anything he wanted with a basketball.”
In 1966 Morris was drafted into the military, where he played on the Army’s basketball team, his daughter said. That same year he married his high school sweetheart, the former Vivian McIntosh. The couple raised two children together, a son and daughter, before divorcing in 2001. Though they were no longer married, the two remained friends, their daughter said.
When Morris returned from the Army, he spent more than 25 years working for the U.S. Postal Service. Upon his retirement, he enjoyed a life of basketball and cars, friends and family said.
“Wherever there was a pickup game, Winfred Morris would meet you there,” Arrington said. “He even played in a senior’s league.”
In the 1990s, Morris purchased a 1937 Cadillac limousine and started a small transportation business. He only took money that he needed to keep the car up and running, and never tried to make money from the people he ferried around, his daughter said.
“It was his way of helping people, especially elderly people,” she said. “He would take kids to the prom, or elderly women to the store in that car. He once drove it to Birmingham so my friends and I could go to a concert in style. That is just who he was.”
In addition to his daughter, Morris is survived by his son, John Winfred Morris of Chamblee; two sisters, Bessie Martin of Atlanta and Yvonne Fuller of Duluth; and two grandchildren.
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