The Garden Island
Notice #: 0001353024-01
Funeral Notices


Nancy Jane Morris (89) passed away at home in Honolulu, surrounded by her family, on Saturday, November 13, 2021. Nancy was born on October 10, 1932 in Pulaski, Virginia. The daughter of Mary Evelyn Brown and Dr. Hugh Benton Brown, Jr., Nancy grew up in Virginia, along with her sister Mary Helen Arens and brother Hugh Benton Brown, III.

Nancy’s intellect and character were evident from an early age. Her first grade report card noted "Keen mind, interested in library, artistic. Good citizen." She graduated from Pulaski High School in 1950, and then received her Bachelor of Arts degree from George Washington University in 1954. In 1975, Nancy went on to obtain a Master of Arts degree in Library Studies from the University of Denver. Nancy received another Master of Arts degree in Pacific Island Studies from the University of Hawaii at Manoa, where she also earned her Ph. D in Hawaiian and Pacific Islands History in 1987. At the University of Hawaii, Nancy was a highly respected librarian, head of the Hamilton Library’s Special Collections, and curator of the Jean Charlot Collection.

Nancy met the love of her life as a teenager. She and her husband, Alfred Dyer Morris, lived an adventurous life as they fulfilled their dream to settle in Hawaii, raise a family and pursue their professional careers. At the same time, Nancy and Alfred travelled the world by land, air, and sea, and welcomed countless visitors into their home and hearts.

A resident of Hawaii since before statehood, Nancy had a particular interest in Hawaii’s story. She was a pioneer in translating and cataloging Hawaiian language newspapers, and compiled biographies of a remarkably diverse population. She has written and published materials about Robert Wilcox, Juliette May Fraser, Beatrice Patton, the Merino family, Jean Charlot, and Robert Louis Stevenson. Her most recent book, published in 2019, is titled Na Kahu: Portraits of the Nineteenth Century Native Hawaiian Ministry.

Never forgetting her Southern roots, Nancy was ever the fine lady and matriarch who guided her family on the proper path. She loved her children and grandchildren dearly, and was blessed to see all of them graduate from High School and attend College. Nancy shared her love for family through her good heart, her southern meals and her plaintive ballads.

Nancy is survived by her loving husband, Alfred Dyer Morris; her sister – Mary Helen Arens; her children – Jean Lehua Morris with her husband Steve Cuvin, and Daniel Alfred Morris with his wife Monica Teresa Lehua Morris; her grandchildren – Kekoa Alfred Morris and Hannah Kai Cuvin; her nephews – Lewis (Buddy) Farland Morris, Jr. with his wife Cecile Morris, Russ Morris with his wife Beth Morris, James F. Arens II with his wife Katie Arens, Rhett Morris, Tommy Morris, Van Brown, and William Stuart Brown; and her nieces – Patricia Goforth with her husband George Goforth, Allison Morris Baker, Charlotte Morris, Paige Kramer with her husband Keith Kramer, Tracy Brown, Kimberly Brown Dulaney, Mary Jane Brown, and Mishell Evans.

A private memorial will be held at Punchbowl Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Jean Charlot Collection at the University of Hawaii at Manoa.

Arrangements Provided By: Oahu Mortuary