Debbie Mobley Morris, 71
July 22, 1949 - March 5, 2021
Tupelo-Deborah Ann Mobley Morris, died Friday, March 5, 2021 at Baptist East-Memphis where she had been hospitalized from complications due to a brain aneurysm. Born in Fort Worth, Texas on July 22, 1949 to the late, John C. and Jeanette Barbour Mobley, she spent her earliest years traveling with family while her father was serving his country during the Korean Conflict. The Mobleys lived in Japan and were based in Utah, Nevada and Hattiesburg before settling in Tupelo. Debbie graduated from Tupelo High School in 1966 and attended the University of Mississippi where she received her BA in Liberal Arts/Social Work. A devoted social worker all her working career, Debbie was a founding member and first Executive Director of Shelter Assistance for Family Emergency (SAFE, Inc.) which still exists today. She married Joseph “Joey” Messner in the mid-1970’s and their marriage lasted until his untimely death in an automobile crash in 1983. She married Jim Morris June 18, 1991 and he survives. Debbie did additional graduate work at Ole Miss ever seeking additional knowledge to promote her advocacy of victims of domestic violence. She later became a full time advocate for shelters and programs across the State of Mississippi. Her face became very familiar at the State Capitol in Jackson where she partnered with progressive lawmakers to make many changes in the laws protecting vulnerable women and children. On several occasions, she would literally carpool to Jackson with local Reps like Steve Holland, Roger Wicker and Ronnie Musgrove to make sure the voices of the most vulnerable were heard. Additionally, she lobbied the U. S. Congress on issues of domestic violence. Debbie had a larger- than-life personality that touched so many with kindness and compassion over the years. She loved animals, was an avid reader, an avid bridge player in two bridge clubs, enjoyed the outdoors and travel anywhere. She and Jim literally visited every continent on the earth except Antarctica, and were planning to go there soon. She grew up attending St. James Catholic Church following her Mom’s heritage but had been attending the Unitarian Universalist Church in recent years. Debbie was a beautiful soul whose life made a difference for those struggling and her legacy will be that of a committed soul to non-violent progress for all people.
A Public Visitation will be from 12 PM – 2 PM Sunday, March 14, 2021 at the Tupelo Chapel of Holland Funeral Directors. The service will be private to family only. For those unable to attend, the service will be live-streamed at 2 PM at hollandfuneraldirectors.com/live-streaming and will be permanently archived thereafter.
She leaves behind her husband, Jim Morris of Tupelo; two stepsons, James R. Morris of Nashville and Dr. John D. Morris of Saltillo; four grandchildren, Ellie, Anna, Quinn and Richard Morris; one sister, Mary Alice Costley and Dan of Tupelo; two brothers, Bill Mobley and Diana of Oxford and Chuck Mobley and Fran of Brandon; three nephews and a niece, Will and Mark Mobley and Nora and Wade Costley.
She was preceded in death by her parents, Jeanette and John Mobley.
Memorials may be made to the Tupelo-Lee Humane Society, P.O. Box 2143 Tupelo, MS 38803.