Mary Chase Heaton Morss

May 1, 1933 - January 1, 2009
Mary Chase Heaton Morss

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Mary Heaton Morss, 75, of Hendersonville, NC, passed away Thursday, January 1, 2009.

Mary was born in Chicago, IL on May Day (May 1, 1933), the daughter of the late Chase and Marie Heaton.

She is survived by her son, William C. Tripp and wife, Donna, of Oakdale, CA; two grandsons, Andrew Chase and Michael Heaton Tripp of Oakdale, CA; her sister, Jacqueline Sharp of Oklahoma City, OK; and four nieces, Karen Sharp of Oklahoma City, OK; Patty Stahl of Carmi, IL; Mary Beth Guard of Oklahoma City, OK; and Cynthia Reininger of Woodlawn, IL.

Mary resided in Southeastern New England most of her life as her family was well established in Westport, Massachusetts and Little Compton, Rhode Island.

Mary Heaton attended Westport Public Schools, then Penn Hall in Chambersburg, PA, where she graduated Summa Cum Laude. She later attended the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, majoring in English with a concentration in Shakespeare.

She subsequently worked for the Fall River Electric Light Company and Chamber of Commerce as an executive assistant.

In 1972, she was appointed Executive Director of the Bristol County Development Council (BCDC), a private non-profit organization based in Southeastern Massachusetts. During her career at the BCDC, she initiated the Americana Trail, a 119 mile tri-state tourism program which supported attractions from Mystic, CT to Plymouth, MA, including Mystic Seaport, Historic Newport, and Battleship Cove.

She worked diligently in that position to promote economic growth, tourism and industrial development within the New England region. With the help of staff, she developed the factory outlet business in Fall River, New Bedford and Taunton, MA. She was also instrumental in securing cruise ship visits to Fall River and New Bedford. In addition, she organized and publicized the Bristol County Bicentennial. She was appointed President of the Governorís Council on Tourism and was on the Shawmut Bank Board of Directors. She was a long-time member of the Fall River Junior League.

She retired in 1988 to Westport, MA at Acoaxet, later moving to Jekyll Island, GA, and ultimately to Hendersonville, NC, where she enjoyed playing tournament croquet, cooking, and entertaining family and friends. She was an avid follower of the PGA Tour and Tiger Woods.

A private remembrance ceremony has been scheduled by the family.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions can be made to the Tiger Woods Foundation (, 121 Innovation, Suite 150, Irvine, CA 92617 (949-725-3003), or to the American Cancer Society, 120 Executive Park Bldg. 1, Asheville, NC 28801.

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  • January 06, 2009
    Debby Ladd says:
    I was so saddened when I heard of Mary's death. Although I have not seen her for years I have wonderful memories of her and her wonderful smile. My prayers are with the family, may she rest in peace. Debby Ladd

  • January 06, 2009
    All the Trauma Girls says:
    Will and Family, we are truely sorry for your loss. We are constantly thinking of you. You and your family are all in our thoughts and prayers.

  • February 11, 2009
    "Willie" says:
    Mom, Your warmth, love, hospitality, and caring for others will never be forgotten. I miss you so much yet know that you are comfortable in his hands.

  • November 04, 2016
    Richard (Dick) Lincoln says:
    So early, so sad. Mary was such a great person! Although I knew her for only a short slice of her life--when we dated at age 16--she was much fun to be with. And a great tennis player--an energy girl.