Morris Whitsett Hollis Sr.
Sept 28, 1925 - Oct 18, 2016 Morris Whitsett Hollis, Sr. died October 18, 2016. For a man who never earned a diploma from either high school or college, Dr. Hollis left an indelible mark on his world. Morris was born September 28, 1925, in Georgiana, Alabama. He spent his early years in Troy, and moved to Sylacauga when he was 15. During high school, he prided himself on playing football for the Aggies, while also marching with the band at halftime- playing the trombone. He never graduated from Sylacauga High, because, in 1943, he was drafted into the U. S. Army. Honorably discharged in 1946, Morris immediately enrolled at Birmingham-Southern College, to study pre-dentistry. Once again, he left BSC without a diploma. Instead, he was admitted into the University of Alabama School of Dentistry, after only three years of undergraduate study. Upon – finally - receiving a degree, this one as a Doctor of Medicine in Dentistry in 1952, Dr. Hollis returned to his beloved Sylacauga, where he practiced family dentistry until he retired in 1996. During his career, Morris became intrigued with the interplay between proper jaw alignment and seemingly-unrelated body pain. This interest in orofacial pain became a hallmark of Dr. Hollis' 44 years in practice, and patients would come to Sylacauga from across the United States, and even internationally, to be treated by him. Despite his widespread acclaim, and opportunities to leave private practice for academia, he never wavered from the conviction that one can never be happy or satisfied in a vocation unless he or she is directly helping humankind. He instilled that simple, yet profound, lesson in his children, grandchildren and great grandchildren, and we are all much better for having learned it. Morris was preceded in death, by only eight weeks, by his beloved Betty, to whom he was married for almost 70 years. He leaves behind, sad but proud, daughter Marie H. McElheny (Terry), son Morris Whitsett Hollis, Jr., granddaughter, Allison McElheny (Stuart Jeff), grandson John H. McElheny (Leslie), and six great grandchildren (Mo Jeff, Nelly Jeff, B.B. Jeff, and Abby McElheny, Miles McElheny and Reid McElheny). A memorial service for Dr. Hollis will be held at Trinity United Methodist Church, 1400 Oxmoor Blvd., in Homewood, on Friday, October 21, 2016 at 1:00 p.m. A visitation will precede the service at 12 o'clock noon. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that memorial gifts be made to any of the following: St Martin's in the Pines (4949 Montevallo Road, Birmingham Alabama 35210), the Sylacauga City Schools Foundation (43 North Broadway Avenue, Sylacauga, Alabama 35010), or the First United Methodist Church of Sylacauga, (105 East Spring Street, Sylacauga, Alabama 35010).
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