Kent’s Dick Morris celebrates 102nd birthday, credits ‘little things’ for longevity


Laurel Young

Laurel Young

So what’s the secret to a long, healthy and happy life?

For Dick Morris, who last weekend celebrated his 102nd birthday, the answer is actually quite simple: Being content with what life has given you.

“I’ve tried to have a feeling that if I’ve had a reasonable day I should be content with how things are,” he said. “I think people should enjoy contentment while they have a reason to.”

And while Morris said he was proud of his ability to be happy and content with what he has, he gets a twinkle in his eye and a sly smile creeps across his face before he adds the second half of a motto he says has helped carry him through more than a century.

“I’m content, but not satisfied,” he said.

Morris was born in Emporia, Kan., in 1907. Emporia is a small farm town about halfway between Topeka and Wichita, but the simple life of a Kansas farmer was not in Morris’ future. After finishing high school, Morris and a buddy scraped together some money and decided to head for the West Coast.

“We wanted to see what the Rocky Mountains looked like,” he said, adding that Kansas is quite flat. “I thought, ‘gee there’s an ocean out there someplace.’”

After hopping a train to California and a short time working in a flour mill, Morris moved north to Portland, then back to southern California looking for work.

On June 28, 1928, Morris arrived in Seattle via freight train and has been in the area ever since.

In 1930, he married his wife Alice, who died in 2003.

“I was one of the luckiest guys that lived, being the husband of the woman I married,” he said.

Through his life, Morris said his main career was 25 years in the Fisher Flour Mill, but he also worked in real estate before retiring. The end of working, however, didn’t slow down Morris.

“I’m busier now doing nothing,” he said of his days now, his infectious smile returning to his face.

But Morris still keeps active, dancing the nights away at the Kent Senior Activity Center, where he is one of the more sought-after partners.

“I just like a good beat, a lot of swing,” he said of his taste in dance music.

Staying active is one of the things that keeps him going, Morris said, adding that it’s everyday practices, such as a lifestyle of physical activity, that keep you going.

“It’s the little things we do,” he said, adding “It’s what we don’t do as well.”

Morris said in his 100-plus years — through two world wars, a moon landing, the birth of aviation and of the automobile — the most amazing thing he has seen comes in the field of communications, which has gone from morse code all the way to personal cell phones and portable computers like the Blackberry, which he could not help but crack a joke about.

“It’s a good-tasting dessert,” he said with a chuckle.

He has even got some advice for the young whippersnappers who come to wish him a happy birthday, like a friend who wants to know his secret to living as long as Morris has.

“You better keep the bearings well-oiled,” he said to the 84-year-old wishing him a happy birthday, “You’ve got a ways to go.”

Talk to us

Please share your story tips by emailing

To share your opinion for publication, submit a letter through our website Include your name, address and daytime phone number. (We’ll only publish your name and hometown.) Please keep letters to 300 words or less.

More in News

Kent Police to offer teen academy for students in June

For high school students interested in law enforcement career

Madeline Goldsmith. COURTESY PHOTO
No suspect yet in July 2023 Kent murder of Madeline Goldsmith

Someone fatally shot 18-year-old Kentwood High graduate as she sat in vehicle near Lake Meridian

Police bust mother, daughter in Kent for retail crime spree

Two reportedly joined one other woman in 3-state crime ring taking women’s clothing from Lululemon

Reith Road in Kent to get two new roundabouts this year

City Council approves $4.28 million bid; project to start in late May or early June

Puget Sound Fire's Teddy Bear Clinic set for May 18 in Kent

Annual event provides free checkups for teddy bears and children

Overturned military vehicle causes I-5 backup near Kent, Federal Way

Wednesday, April 10 in northbound lanes near South 272nd Street

Kent Police Blotter: March 26 to April 7

Incidents include robberies, burglaries, shooting

State Patrol seek witnesses to I-5 hit-and-run crash in Kent

Collision at about 11:30 p.m. Monday, April 8 along northbound I-5 near State Route 516

Riverbend Golf Complex in Kent turns profit for 2nd consecutive year

City-owned facility brings in about $600,000 in 2023

Kent Police recovered nearly 800 catalytic converters in a 2021 bust. File photo
New state legislation fights catalytic converter theft

Governor Jay Inslee signed a bill on March 26 adding new regulations… Continue reading

Firefighting Diversity & Recruitment Workshop set for May 11 in Kent

Event designed to help potential candidates get jobs

Kentwood High grad's legacy of love lives on through organ donation

Madeline Goldsmith one of 344 organ donors honored by Gov. Jay Inslee in Olympia