by Sarah Cedeño, Village Historian
Jackie Morris, Village of Brockport Historian Emeritus passed away on November 16th, 2016.
Jackie was born in 1925 in Indiana and married Raymond Morris in 1943 after courting long distance during WWII. Jackie’s first child Rayleen (Bucklin) was born shortly after. The family moved to Brockport in 1946 so Raymond could serve as manager of the Houston’s store on Main Street, and there the family (Jackie, Raymond, Rayleen, and Mark) resided at 45 Maxon Street. Raymond passed in 2012, and Jackie lived in their home on Maxon Street the remainder of her life.
Before serving as village historian, Jackie served on many boards and committees. She worked as the head cook at Brockport’s Ginther Elementary School.
Jackie was plainspoken and kind. She was generous with her time and devoted to her position as Village Historian, which she assumed after William Andrews retired. When asked how she became historian, she joked, “I was the only one still alive.” She was quick-witted and genuine. She kept the Knapp Museum open with her daughter Rayleen and friends Doug Wolcott and Dan Burns for some years. Jackie worked with many College at Brockport students who studied and interned at the museum as part of their programs in Anthropology and Museum Studies.
If Jackie didn’t know the answer to a question, she sought it out. One time, I approached her at the museum researching a Brockport crime that occurred in 1982, and when Jackie admitted she didn’t have anything to share, she invited the investigating officer to her house for tea and the next time I visited the museum, she provided me with a copy of the deposition and an interview with the officer.
Jackie loved gardening and had a large collection of Americana. Her home resembled a museum in its own right. The early Knapp Museum Board held a few meetings in her dining room, and one time she took me into the den and gestured to a photo of Raymond, speaking at length about his pipe collection and his time in the military.
As a part of the Knapp Museum Board, Jackie acted in the best interest of the museum and worked to preserve the collection. She was strong in her positions and her views. It was a loss when she resigned.
Her commitment and devotion to educating others about local history has had a major impact on the Emily Knapp Museum’s identity.
Please feel free to share memories of Jackie in the comments section.