Jane Morris, an accomplished and influential public servant and longtime resident of Mesa, passed away Sept. 1 from complications following cancer surgery.
A memorial service is planned for tomorrow, Sept. 24, at 1:30 p.m. in the Orpheum Theatre, 203 W. Adams St. Morris played a big part in preserving the theater. A reception will follow directly in the lobby areas of the Orpheum.
Morris received her master’s degree in public administration from Arizona State University. She was only retired from public service a few months before being diagnosed with cancer. Her long career spanned more than three decades that started in Illinois, encompassed a variety of positions during her 25-plus years with the city of Phoenix and concluded recently after several years of service as the executive director and CEO of Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport.
“I had the pleasure of knowing Jane and her family and I join everyone in grieving this loss,” said Mesa Mayor John Giles, chairman of the Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport Authority.
“This is a big loss for us,” said Lt. Gov. Monica Antone of the Gila River Indian Community, who also serves on the Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport Authority board of directors. “She’s done so much for our people.”
While at Gateway, Morris was responsible for planning and development work for future expansion of the airport and a wide variety of economic development and facility improvement projects.
“She helped rehab and bring to life (Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport),” said Ryan Smith, strategic communications and government relations for Phoenix-Mesa Gateway Airport Authority.
Morris will be interred alongside her mother and brother in her hometown of Glencoe, Ill., at a later date.
The family is asking that in lieu of flowers, contributions be made in her memory to the Women Leading Government (WLG) Initiative sponsored by Arizona City/County Management Association. Recently formed in Arizona, this program assists women in their career development towards becoming exceptional local leaders. Checks can be made payable to: Arizona City/County Management Association and sent to: Arizona City/County Management Association, Attention WLG, 1820 W. Washington St., Phoenix, AZ 85007.