Centenarian's Century of Grit: Austin Native Elizabeth Morris Turns 105, Serves Up Timeless Work Ethic

Centenarian's Century of Grit: Austin Native Elizabeth Morris Turns 105, Serves Up Timeless Work Ethic Source: Unsplash / Iulia Buta
Matt Mitchell
Published on November 29, 2023

In what reads like a script from a bygone era, Elizabeth Morris, an Austin, Texas, centenarian, celebrated her 105th trip around the sun with pearls of old-fashioned wisdom: "Get a job and get to work." as stated in the CBS Austin report. Morris, who marked this incredible milestone on Tuesday, lived a life that pairs tenacity with simplicity, rooted in the same city where she drew her first breath in 1918.

As CBS Austin reports, the birthday bash, which unfolded at the Brookdale senior living facility in Round Rock, was a testament to longevity and hard work. Morris, who spent a mere decade away from her beloved Austin, offered up her personal recipe for a life well spent. It's advice as straightforward as it comes, reflecting the spirit of a woman who maneuvered through the trials of widowhood and rearing three boys solo.

Still, this celebration isn't just another cake and candle moment. Morris's story, as loved ones gathered, echoes a robust chronicle of the American work ethic. She logged years with a construction company and steered the ship as an office manager, shepherding her family through life's inevitable ebbs and flows. "My husband passed away when the boys were small," Morris told CBS Austin. "So, I had the three boys and me. And we made it all the way.”

No stranger to recognition, Morris has received nods from high up the political ladder, with personal letters from former presidents Trump and Biden. These tokens sit close, mementos from her century-plus-spanning journey, from watching her sons grow into septuagenarians to scaling back tenancies to ninety-nine. "I got a letter from Trump and I got a letter from Biden," she proudly told Spectrum Local News.

Resilience had a name and it was sketched into every paycheck handed out at construction sites, a role that once saw Morris square off with workers unwilling to descend from their lofty perches. "They told me I'd have to climb the ladder to give it to them. I said, 'I'm sorry. I'll take your checks back to the office.' They said, 'OK, we're not going to come down.' And I said, 'I'm not coming up!'" she recounted with a chuckle, as per Spectrum Local News report. Despite the demands of work, she always carved out time for her boys, balancing the books and bleachers with unwavering dedication.