Morris Ray Skipper Sr., 82, of Leland, passed on Monday February 8, 2016, peacefully at home. Morris was born on September 25, 1933, in Brunswick County to the late Frances and Lela Skipper. Morris was known to family and friends as “Happy,” a nickname given by his grandfather when he was just a boy.
Morris joined the U.S. Coast Guard and was stationed in Elizabeth City and Cape May, New Jersey. During his enlisted days, he became a certified lifeguard and was on the search and recovery team on his ship. He also on the U.S. Coast Guard’s football team, and was by far the smaller man on his team.
On one of his passes home, he met the love of his life. Morris is survived by his wife, Carolyn, of the home. They have four children, Angie Aurgemma (Louis) of Harrells, Brenda Owens (Rick) of Hampstead, Pam Knowles (Mike) of Rose Hill, and one son, Morris Ray Skipper Jr.
Morris and Carolyn worked to start a small pest control company out of their home in 1973. Now Pestco Exterminating Company is one of the largest pest control companies in Southeastern North Carolina.
Morris was a Christian man with a strong faith in Christ. He was a member of Zion Methodist Church in Leland. Daily, Morris could be found reading his Bible and quoting scriptures.
Being a very caring and generous man, he gave to many organizations, clubs and charities such as Waccamaw Boys and Girls Home; New Hanover County Little League; Brunswick County Sheriff Department; Wilmington Santa Cop for Children; Cape Fear Habitat for Humanity; and the Wilmington Police Recreational Association.
Morris lived a full life and belonged to many associations, such as NC Pest Control Association, local as well as national. He was the president of the Woodsman of the World Chapter 6, a member of the Brunswick County Sporting Dog Association and a sponsor and participant of Ducks Unlimited.
So full of life, Morris loved to ride his loyal companion “King” on his ranger. He was an avid hunter and was one of the founders of Monks Branch Hunting Club, now known as Grassy Branch, where he served as president for more than 25 years. Morris loved to fish so he built a cabin and pond on his old homestead, which he nicknamed “The Old Place.”
Later, he built his retirement home on Town Creek Road and a large pond was then dug and stocked with catfish. On warm days, you could find him feeding the ducks by the pond and tending over 500 roses that surround his home accented in purple; to say the least, his favorite flower was a rose and his favorite color was purple.
Morris had a nickname for his loved ones and family; that’s how you knew he liked you. It was nothing to hear him call for Ole Ungins, Punk, Bristle Face, White, Tar Baby, the Doctor, Ole Baldy, Fish, and even Pooter-boy-pooter. Many nicknames he was honored to have included Happy, Happy Cat, Happy Jack, and Bug Man; his favorite by far was Papa.
Papa left behind eight grandchildren including Amanda Kraynick, Chris Aurgemma, Jason Flockhart, Trey Owens, Hayley Skipper, Jessica Wilson, Amanda Allen and Krysta Knowles. To make sure his legacy lived on, he was blessed by nine great-grandchildren including little Chris, Ethan, Braeden, Kylee, Taylor, Suzanna, Madi, Johnnie and Charlie.
Mr. Skipper left behind his extended family, the wonderful and loyal Pestco and Coastal Carolina Resource Group Associates: Adam Tower, Austin S. Harvey, Bobby D. Pierce, Bobby Lee Avery II, Brenda S. Owens, Bryan A. McCollum, Daniel R. Lucas, David McFarland, Edward C. Gibson, Hayley A. Skipper, Jeanette Skipper, Katherine A. Tinkler, Morris R. Skipper Jr., Nicholas S. Howard, Perry G. Smith, Raeford C. Horrell Jr., Richard A. Owens, Richard A. Owens Jr., Richard A. Owens III, Ronald P. Graham Jr., Ryan C. Lapps, Scott D. Harvey, Sheron E. Grady, William H. Huff, Gerald N. Branch, and Nicholas L. Garner.
Along with his parents, he was preceded in death by his daughter-in-law, Tara Skipper; three brothers, Henry Ford Skipper, Odell Skipper and Dewey Skipper; and three sisters, Marie Wescott, Alberta Pavlovich and Juanita Wescott.
Through all his giving, caring, sense of humor and his strong faith of God, our husband, daddy, and Papa, touched many lives and will be truly missed by many, especially his family.
The family will receive friends from 6 to 8 p.m. on Friday, February 12, at Coble Ward-Smith Funeral & Cremation Service. Funeral services will be held at 1 p.m. on Saturday, February 13, at the funeral home with Pastor Aaron Wescott and Pastor Buddy “Floyd” Wescott officiating. Pallbearers will be Billy Flockhart, Scott Harvey, Bryan Eady, Danny Craver, Michael McNeil and Gerald Branch. Honorary pallbearer will be Albert Brown. Interment with military honors will follow in Greenlawn Memorial Park.
Condolences to the family may be offered at Coble Ward-Smith Funeral & Cremation Service.