At 98-years-old and with a broken collarbone Liz Morelan is still keeping up with her volunteer duties.Morelan has been living in Grayson County for more than 50 years.
She moved to the area with her husband to enjoy living near Lake Texoma.
Though she recently broke her collar bone, Morelan still gets out of her house once a month to meet at the Keep Whitesboro Beautiful meetings held at Lovejoy’s on Main in downtown Whitesboro. Speaking of breaking her collar bone she said it happened just a few weeks ago, and at 98, it was her first time riding in an ambulance.
Morelan said she’s broken her hip numerous times but she’s always been able to drive herself to the hospital. She doesn’t want to sit around feeling sorry for herself either. Morelan said she’ll get back out there as soon as she rests up.
“My mind is willing but my body isn’t cooperating,” Morelan said. “At 98-years-old I should say I’ve had a full life but I’m not done yet, I have more work to do.”
Liz remained humble during her entire career while she utilized her talents to help organize political campaigns for more ambitious people around her. She became socially active at the age of 16 when she took a job working for a law office. Even at 17, under the legal age to vote, she became politically active and has been involved in campaigns ever since. She went to work right out of high school. She then went to South Eastern University in Durant before moving to Grayson County. She didn’t have just the one job either, she said during those days she worked three jobs. She helped her mother with her catering business when she wasn’t at the law office. Then she did baby-sitting on the side.
“We worked then, it’s just what you did,” Morelan said. “I couldn’t live with myself if people thought I was lazy. I stayed busy all the time. It’s not like today.”
Once she arrived in Grayson County she made Sherwood Shores her home base. Her and her husband bought a house where she lives to this day. He passed away from cancer more than 30 years ago. She recalls how she never stopped loving her husband the two were always like a young couple.
They had one child together, a son whom she said changed her entire world. She said being a mother was always one of her best memories.
“You never know what love is until you hold a little baby in your arms,” Morelan said.
She served as the city clerk for Whitesboro for a few years after she retired from her job at a local power company.
She said she worked as a business manager at a school district in the 1940s, before computers. She said she handled the payroll and organized the office. It was a lot of work but she said that’s what you did then, you worked for a salary and you stayed at it.
Morelan has been recognized throughout her career for her volunteer service. She was give two distinguished awards from the Whitesboro Chamber of Commerce over the years. She received the Outstanding Community Service aware and the Lifetime Achievement Award. The first award she said has only been given three times in the history of the chamber, all three were women she knew very well. The General Federated Woman’s Club even gave her the title of emeritus for her work within that organization. She’s held roles in a number of woman’s clubs, most recently the History Club of Whitesboro where she has served as president. She has even been to two national conventions for the GFW Club.
Morelan has also been a member of the Republican Woman’s PAC and League of Woman’s Voters. She was even the Grand Marshall in the Peanut Festival two years ago in Whitesboro. She said that was a treat getting to ride the truck and be paraded around town.
She talked extensively about her work with helping then Texas congressman Larry Philips with his campaign. She said she love Philips and the work he does. Philips was the first person Morelan turned to to help her realize a life-long dream of seeing the stretch of State Highway 56 made a part of the National Trails Service for it’s ties to the Butterfield Stage Trail. Philips was instrumental in seeing that project through and Morelan said she couldn’t be happier to see it done. She was even involved in the installation of a monument to that in Whitesboro.
Even now as she is seeing the world changer around her Morelan said she keeps going. She said she’s a little too old fashioned for the way things are today. She said she stays active so that others can be inspired. She’s a member of the Sherwood Shores Chapel Presbyterian Church in Sherwood Shores where she has been involved in the choir, as well as active member of the church.
Morelan said she’s always love car. She’s owned a lot of cars over the years, her favorite being her Ford Taurus from years ago. During her 30 years working in Sherman she said she never once had a car payment.
She said she stays active because she has too many friends. She named Sharron Welch, Karen Butts and Bobbie Irwin, each active in the community in their own way, as the people she stays in constant communication with.
“I don’t know what I would do without my friends,” Morelan said.