Virginia Wailes Morris

Obituary of Virginia Louise Elam Wailes Morris

Edgar James and Sarah (Ericsson) Elam had a baby girl on November 27, 1925, and they named her Virginia Louise. Virginia’s father owned Elam Mercantile in Milliken, Colorado. Her mother helped with the store leaving Virginia’s grandmother, Florence Ericsson, to care and dote on her. She made all her dresses, and oh, how pretty they were! Virginia grew up in the town of Milliken and had a neighborhood full of kids to play with under the street lights at night. Virginia had two older siblings; her brother, E.J., started high school and her sister, Florence, started college when Virginia began first grade. With so many years between them, she was basically raised as an only child. During her high school years, World War II broke out, and many of the boys in her class joined the service leaving only 18 to graduate in 1943, from Milliken High School.  Virginia was Valedictorian.   

Virginia married her high school sweetheart, William Wailes, in 1943 while he was in the Army Air Corps. They made their dairy farmstead and home in the Johnstown area. There, they raised their eight children, Linda (Jim) Young, Diana (Joe) Parker, Bill (Elaine) Wailes, Shirlee (John) Stevenson, Eric (Michael Holloman) Wailes, Marc (Janel) Wailes, Debbie (Glenn) Huwa, and Gregg Wailes. After 38 years of marriage, William passed away in 1981. Virginia then married Gene Morris in 1996 and shared 10 happy years with him until his passing in 2006.    

When Virginia’s youngest son, Gregg, started school, she became a school secretary at Johnstown High School. From there, Virginia and Bill bought a dairy and moved to Kersey. She then began working for Weld Board of Cooperative Educational Services at LaSalle and later became the bookkeeper for Kersey High School. They then moved to Holyoke where Virginia worked for the Agricultural Stabilization and Conservation Service of the US Department of Agriculture. Following that, she became the Holyoke High School secretary. After 26 years, Virginia retired. One of the highlights of her life was when all her family came to help her celebrate her last day of work.  

Upon marrying Gene Morris, Virginia moved to Greeley. After Gene’s passing she returned to her roots by moving back to Johnstown, and she remained there until she passed away on July 22, 2023.  She loved her home in Johnstown.   

Virginia had many interests. She loved to entertain and was a wonderful cook. Cinnamon rolls were her specialty! She welcomed all into her home and always served refreshments; she truly had a servant’s heart. She enjoyed reading and gardening and also loved to travel, visiting England, Scotland, Germany, France, the Netherlands, Belgium, Italy, and Israel.  

Virginia was an active member of the United Methodist Church of Johnstown. Her faith was strong, and she expressed that throughout her life. She belonged to many organizations, including PEO, Estrellita, Cheerful Learners, Kil Kare Klub, Dairyettes, Eastern Star, Agenda Club, Hope Circle, and many Bible study groups.  

Her family brought much joy to Virginia, especially her grandchildren. They include: Christy (Van) Duvall, Scott (Amy) Young, Heather (Blake) Blewitt, Hollie (Jeff) Wald, Heidi (Scott) Elmore, Eric Tyler (Kristina) Aden, Jenny (Justin) Cowan, Lindsay (Ryan) Perrich, Evan (Bailey) Huwa, Sheldon Wailes, Andrew (Kourtney) Wailes, and Colby (Nick Ulibarri) Wailes.  Step-grandchildren include: Tamie (Mike) Goss, Debie (Scot) Dutcher, Jeff (Pam) Parker, Laura (Henry) Rosenbrock, and Chris (Andrea Dunn) Colglazier.  Her great-grandchildren: Molly, Julia, and Kayla Duvall; Landry and Aydan Young; Nathanael, Lindsay, and Lucas Garcia; Ayanna and Kyla Hollier; Kate and Sarah Elmore; Hadley and Emery Aden; Connor and Caleb Cowan; Brooks and Eloise Perrich; Reese, Navy, and Halle Huwa; and Lane and Amelia Wailes.   Step-great-grandchildren include: Anneka and Rhys Rosenbrock; Finnegan Parker; Robert Soukup; Kayd, Taryn, Slayter, Coltyr, and Syree Goss; and Denim and Kinsley Dutcher.  

Virginia is also survived by her sisters-in-law Dixie Wailes Halker and Shirley Wailes, nieces and nephews, and great nieces and nephews. 

Preceding Virginia in death were two of her children, Debbie Wailes Huwa and Bill Wailes, Jr. Losing two of her children left a hole in her heart.    

Virginia would say life has been good and would thank God for blessing her with two wonderful husbands, family, friends, and two loving dogs - Jackie and Betsey. Let this be a happy time, a time of celebration for her life in heaven. 

Virginia’s family is grateful for all the loving care she received, including caregiver, Linda Windedahl.    

Virginia’s Life Celebration will be held at 10:30 a.m. Saturday, July 29, 2023 at the Johnstown United Methodist Church with a luncheon to follow.  Private family inurnment at Linn Grove Cemetery.    Services will be live streamed on the church's youtube channel and Facebook page: 

Memorial gifts may be made to the “Johnstown UMC” or the “Milliken Food Pantry” in care of Adamson, 2000 47th Ave., Greeley, CO 80634.  Condolences may be shared at

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Life Celebration

10:30 am - 11:30 am
Saturday, July 29, 2023
Johnstown UMC
108 King Avenue
Johnstown, Colorado, United States
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