Early Life of Lenora
Lenora C. Morris was born to Elisha and Rose Scott Johnson on November 24, 1931 in Columbus, Ohio. Elisha’s military career afforded the family to explore many states and finally settle in Fayetteville, NC. The eldest of four, Lenora was a great role model and trailblazer in her family.
Encouraged to develop her own talents and interests, Lenora found the nursing field an honorable profession to pursue. As such, she received training as a Practical Nurse at the Jane Addams School of Practical Nursing in Cleveland, Ohio. Most notable, was her graduation from Portland Community College’s nursing program which made both her and her classmates the first African-American women to complete the program.
In 1949, Lenora married Oddie Glover who was also a military man. Together the two had six children, Kassandra, Oddie, Jr., Arnold, Millicent, Estrada, and Lance. As Oddie completed his tour in the Korean War and wrapped up his military service, Lenora stayed close to his family due to the needed support to raise their children in Cleveland, Ohio. This is where Lenora began her education and career in nursing.
Lenora’s determination and eagerness to learn landed her a job in a new hospital in Cleveland where she was excited to work in the operating and emergency room. Lenora’s career in nursing was pre-civil rights era where she became skilled at negotiating in a white-majority workplace. The timing of her career choice would prove to be one that would launch her into a life of serving, mentorship, and community leadership.
After her divorce in the late 1950s, Lenora and her six children moved to Portland, Oregon, in November of 1959. Well-rounded due to her extended travels to Georgia, Florida, San Francisco, and Cleveland gave her courage and purpose to endure this next chapter of her life. Lenora began her nursing career at Emmanuel Hospital where she worked in many departments.
In 1965, the family joined Bethel AME Church in Portland, Oregon where she took part in many ministries, including the inaugural Health Ministry where she was the Bone Marrow Coordinator and Blood Pressure Screen Coordinator which launched awareness in the African-American Community.
It would be through her children that she met, fell in love, and married Jordan T. Morris in 1966.
Wife, mother, nurse, and student would be her calling for the next few years as she completed a nursing degree at Portland Community College during the civil rights era. Lenora spoke of the challenges of registering for school which called for her to arrive at registration with an attorney and her pastor in the presence of law enforcement. These adversities only further inspired and encouraged her. She weathered the storm and stayed the course until graduation and she received public acknowledgement of her graduation from the program. In 1968, Lenora received her Associate’s Degree in Nursing and was licensed to practice as an R.N. in the State of Oregon.
As noted throughout this celebration, Lenora has been a beacon of light and inspiration to her family, vast extended family and her community. Contributions to the nursing field were as follows: Advisor for Portland Community College’s nursing program; Trainer for Emmanuel Hospital; Lead the Albina Health Clinic; coordinated community health initiatives through Bethel A.M.E Church; and fostered a relationship with Japan for their nursing program. The publishing of “The Ebony Princesses of the Portland Rose Festival” in 1982 was an endeavor she was very proud of, celebrating the African-American princesses of Rosaria. This is a testament to her innovative and enduring spirit.
Lenora C. Morris was involved in many organizations such as National Black Nurses Association in Canton, Ohio; American Nurses Association in Kansas City, Missouri; Council of Continuing Education of the American Nurses Association; Oregon Nurses Association Task Force on Government Relations; President of the local chapter of the National Council of Negro Women Incorporation; Urban League, National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP);
Lenora, the matriarch of her family, was called to her heavenly home on February 23, 2018 as family and many loved ones stood at her side. Preceding her in death was her mother, Rosa Johnson; father, Elisha Johnson; sisters, Mable Johnson Pressley; and Mattie Johnson; brother, Elisha Johnson, Jr.; husband, Jordan T. Morris; daughters, Kassandra Glover King; and Estrada Glover. She leaves to cherish her legacy and memories: Her son Oddie Glover, Jr.; son, Arnold Glover; daughter, Millicent Glover Robinson; and son, Lance Glover. In addition, a host of grandchildren, great grandchildren, nieces and nephews.