Elly Morrison

Celebration of Elly's Wonderful Spirit

2:00 pm - 3:00 pm
Saturday, October 22, 2022
Bellingham Unity Church
1095 Telegraph Rd.
Bellingham, Washington, United States

Obituary of Elly Morrison

On June 16, 2022, Elly Marie Berta Friese Morrison died peacefully at home with her daughters Krista and Amanda by her side. Born in Kiel, Germany, on March 13, 1935, Elly was the second of four children born to Elly S. Scharnberg and Carl F. Friese. Elly grew up in Hamburg, Germany, where she spent many happy hours playing piano, reading, and walking her beloved German Shepherd, Armour. After the devastating loss of her older brother Carl Friese Jr., in 1950, her parents sent her to Goucher Women’s College in Towson, Maryland. The entire family eventually immigrated to the Eastern United States. In Elly’s final week, she spoke about how proud she was that she got everyone to America.


Elly was a consummate seeker of knowledge with a lifelong passion for learning. She received a bachelor's degree in Political Science from Goucher Women's College in 1958. As the first woman from Germany to graduate college in the United States after WWII, Elly formally attended a luncheon hosted by Eleanor Roosevelt. She earned her master's and Ph.D. degrees in German Literature from Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland, and a degree in Development Directing from Goucher in 1985. In the 1980s, she discovered the Landmark trainings in self-development, which influenced her outlook for the rest of her life.


Elly and her first husband, Robert Apitz (1925-1979), raised their daughters Krista and Amanda outside Washington, DC, where the family enjoyed outings to the museums and concerts. Elly taught throughout the DC-Baltimore Metropolitan area at the University of Maryland, Baltimore Lutheran, Harford Community College, and Trident Tech. She also taught for the Occupational Training Administration, training the unemployed to rejoin the workforce, administrated at L'ecole Culinary Institute, and raised funds for the Maryland Science Center.  Never afraid to take on new challenges, she even had a stint as a real estate agent in the DC metropolitan area.


Elly was a social butterfly who made friends wherever she went. She was kind and gracious, and a good listener as well as a great storyteller. Elly was a member of Toastmasters in Charleston and Bellingham. With a passion for history, she served as a docent in the Charleston museums. Known for her elegant style, Elly was also a member of the Charleston hat ladies, a community service organization promoting volunteerism with luncheons and parades wearing hats.


Elly married  Richard Morrison, Ph.D., in Kensington, MD, in 1993. They had a loving partnership until Richard’s death in 2018, sharing a love for music, metaphysics, and natural health. Their 24-year marriage took them from the DC area to Charleston and then to Bellingham, WA, where they retired. They participated in the Tisa Ensemble, a Hungarian Folk Band, and once performed a New Year's Eve concert at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC. Richard and Elly were members of the Unity Church of Charleston and the Unity Spiritual Center, Bellingham where they enjoyed the fellowship and sang in the choir. Elly loved the Unity community and looked forward to every Sunday service, streaming from home when she could no longer attend in person.  


Elly is survived by her two daughters, Krista Anne Apitz of Everett, WA, and Amanda Elena Apitz of Bellingham, WA, and stepsons Steve Vasiloff, Gary Vasiloff, and Rick Wagner. She is also survived by her brother, Claus Friese and sister-in-law Hilde Friese, nieces Margit Mchaney, Kimberly Friese, and nephew Carl Friese, all of the Atlanta, GA area; and her nephews Andrew and Erik Kuusisto and Paul Nilson of the New York area. She was preceded in death by her sister Christa Marie Friese Kusisto and brother-in-law Henry Kussisto.


Please join us in celebrating Elly's wonderful spirit on October 22, 2022, at 2 pm Pacific Mountain Time, at the Unity Spiritual Center in Bellingham. We invite you to join us in person, by Zoom or live stream, to share stories, memories, and music. We hope family and friends from the US, Canada, and Germany can attend. We want to celebrate Elly's love of hats,  so please wear your favorite hat or fascinator. Details for the Zoom and live stream links will be shared on this site closer to the event.

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