Connor James Morris

Connor James Morris

Loving, compassionate, kind, humorous, selfless, friend

Connor was smart, humorous, sensitive, and kind, with the ability to make each person feel special to him. He was a skilled listener and had an acute awareness of the needs of others, often sacrificing his comfort for theirs. When going to dinner with his mom, Gretchen, he would pick a Thai restaurant (her favorite), with his dad, he would pick BBQ (dad’s favorite). He took the most uncomfortable seat in the van on family vacations and would never go for seconds until he was sure everyone had enough food.

As a child, he liked to go on cruises with his grandparents and dad and play with his older brothers, Shane and Josiah. Since they were 9 and 6 years older, he got picked on, all in good brotherly fun. Josiah and Connor went to concerts together and hiking in the Georgia mountains, and he spent time with Shane playing golf. Connor’s nieces and nephews loved time with their ‘Uncle Condog.”

Connor started baseball at four and played through his junior year in high school. His dad, Stan, recounts a story about Connor and baseball: “Connor was a baseball natural; He won his first game VIP pitching in 8th grade. He knew instinctively where the ball would go and was ready. Even the opposing team had to say, “good play!” Connor would smile and take it all in stride.” Toward his junior year, his dad noticed Connor would miss plays he normally made. “The zeal, zest, and love of the game was slipping. I didn’t realize Connor was beginning to suffer from depression,” his dad said. Even in an elite game in which he made error after error, he hit a home run over the fence, which no team had ever done. “Connor showed me his spirit to never give up,” his dad stated.

Connor was a few courses short of obtaining his college degree from the University of Central Florida, and not in active addiction when he was hired for a full-time code enforcement job. It was the first time he had paid time off, insurance, and a company car. Everyone was so happy for him. Connor had plans to find a life partner, have a family and eventually start his own company.

Andy, Connor’s stepfather, watched Netflix and chatted nearly every weekday with Connor after work. One Saturday, Connor asked Andy to play disc golf, as he knew he loved it. Andy had a lucky shot that day. They hooted and yelled about it and sent pictures to mom. “I loved we appreciated the same ridiculous things that happen in life and so thankful he asked me that morning, it was a great day.”

Gretchen says: “I used to think it shouldn’t be hard to quit using drugs. Now I know that is not the case. Connor couldn’t control it. I have compassion for those with SUD and their families. His death has also increased the fear that I will lose my other children to this disease. His presence in our house is missed, as well as his humor, kindness, and bear hugs,” his mom said. “We were lucky to have several years with him living with us again before he passed.”

Connor’s mother, Gretchen Fritsch, provided the information for this narrative with contributions from Connor’s dad, Stan Morris, and Connor’s stepfather, Andy Fritsch.

March 23, 1996-April 4, 2020

Age 24-Lived with the disease of addiction 7 years

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