Cover photo for Kay Summers Morris's Obituary

Kay Summers Morris

January 14, 1950 — September 19, 2023

Burlington

Kay Summers Morris

Kay Elizabeth Summers Morris, age 73, passed away on September 19, 2023 at Duke University Hospital with her loving husband by her side. 

Kay was born on January 14, 1950 in Burlington, NC and took her place as the second child of Betty Sue Drake and Joseph William (J.W.) Summers, Jr.  Along with older sister Betty Jo and younger brother Jeffery, Kay grew up with hard-working parents and surrounded by the large and lively extended Drake family. She graduated from Walter Williams High School in 1968.

As an infant, Kay was diagnosed with a serious heart condition and in 1955 was one of the first young children to undergo open heart surgery on the pulmonary valve at Johns Hopkins University Hospital in Baltimore.  The ground-breaking surgery and her recovery were included in a documentary film that is still studied by doctors across the county.  Although her heart remained weak and presented life-long health challenges, Kay lived her life with enthusiasm, humor, optimism, and Christian faith.

Throughout her life, Kay was devoted to caring for the special needs of Betty Jo and Jeffery, as well as her own children, Kristi and Chad.  She was their strongest advocate, ensuring that each one received attention and the best care possible.  She was determined in her mission to keep them fully engaged in the world as they traveled together and enjoyed many activities, including Special Olympics, Disney World, musical performances, school events, and beach trips.

Kay and Leland met by chance in 1995 and married on April 18, 1996.  They adored each other and had a happy life together for over 27 years.  They recently joined St. Mark’s Community Church where they quickly made many friends.  They treasured time with family, gardening, traveling, and cheering for the Alabama Crimson Tide. 

Kay completed a long and successful career as a sales representative and team supervisor for Levy Home Entertainment before retiring in 2013.  When she managed to find time for herself, she liked reading, crafting and searching for items to add to her collections of figurines and colorful roosters.

Kay Morris is survived by her husband, Leland Douglas Morris of the home and her children Kristin Lynne Phillips and Chad James Garner.  Other survivors include her aunt, Patsy Drake Helms and numerous cousins.  The family is grateful to the numerous doctors and medical professionals who cared for her chronic heart condition and contributed to her miraculous longevity.

A celebration of life for Kay Summers Morris will be held at 2:00pm Saturday, September 23, 2023 at Alamance Memorial Park Mausoleum. Family members will preside and greet visitors following the service.  

Memorials in honor of Kay S. Morris may be designated for the Ralph Scott Lifeservices, 408 West Trade Street, Burlington, NC 27217 or to St. Mark’s Community Church, 1230 St. Marks Church Road, Burlington, NC 27215. You may send condolences to www.lowefuneralhome.com.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Kay Summers Morris, please visit our flower store.

Past Services

Celebration of Life

Saturday, September 23, 2023

Starts at 2:00 pm (Eastern time)

Alamance Memorial Park Mausoleum

4039 S. Church Street, Burlington, NC 27215

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

Visitation

Saturday, September 23, 2023

Starts at 2:45 pm (Eastern time)

Alamance Memorial Park Mausoleum

4039 S. Church Street, Burlington, NC 27215

Family will receive friends following the service.

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

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