Boise community members honor the late Velma Morrison

Credit: Adam Worthington / KTVB

Boise community members honor the late Velma Morrison

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by Andrea Lutz

Bio | Email | Follow: @KTVBandrealutz

KTVB.COM

Posted on July 14, 2013 at 11:05 PM

Updated Tuesday, Jul 16 at 11:40 AM

BOISE – Sunday, hundreds gathered to honor the life and legacy of the late Velma V. Morrison.

Inside the Cathedral of the Rockies, they shared stories about her accomplished life and tell of her vibrant personality.

She was a product the of the California gold rush, a World War II riveter, a mother, a loving wife and a very successful business woman, all before she ever set foot in Boise.

Morrison gave Boise the gift of the arts and provided the financial backing for many community organizations.

Inspired by her late husband, Harry Morrison, Velma helped come up with the funding to build the Morrison Center for the Performing Arts on the Boise State University campus.

“She was just fun loving, she really and truly was, she could always see the bright side of things but she was a visionary too, “said Marilyn Fordham, a charter member of the Morrison Volunteers.

“We are 380 strong,” she said. “380 volunteers and its touched many lives in this city.”

First and foremost, Velma loved the arts; she even had her children in music lessons and was a very accomplished vocalist herself.

At her memorial service Sunday, there was plenty of music and that was just the way Velma would have wanted it.

“I think we are going to miss her but she is going to leave a wonderful legacy for this city,” said Fordham.

Karen Stucker spoke about how Velma hired her to start an arts education program.

“She said this just has to happen now and there wasn’t time to wait,” said Stucker.

She remembers how the funding was put on hold for roughly two years, but Velma found a way to start educating Idaho’s children right away.

“She said 'I am just going to give the money to you as the director and start this program now,'” said Stucker.

Velma Morrison gave generously to the Boise community and to Boise State University, but many can agree the Morrison Center for the Performing Arts was probably her biggest legacy.

“If she wanted it done, she just did it," recalled Stucker. "She was one of those people that just did it herself."

When Harry Morrison died, Velma continued his work by taking over leadership of the Harry Morrison Foundation.

The work of the foundation will continue through Velma’s children and grandchildren.

Another tribute to Velma will be held at the performing arts center that bears her name at Boise State that will be September 22nd at the Velma Morrison Center.
 

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