Farmersville lost one of its beloved community leaders Sunday.
Kim Morris died Sunday, Dec. 18, at the age of 71 following a heart attack.
Perhaps most well-known as the Farmersville Fire Department Chief until his retirement in October 2021, Morris was much more to those who knew and loved him.
Morris’ quick smile, kind heart and upbeat personality served him well in his leadership role and his holiday side hustle as Santa Claus, often accompanied by his wife Sharon portraying “Mrs. Claus.”
In a Sept. 2021 interview with the Times regarding his retirement from the Farmersville Fire Department, Morris reflected on his 50-year career in public service that began in 1972 with the McKinney Fire Department.
At McKinney Fire Department, Morris said he became the department’s “very first EMT” and recalled that he received his emergency medical technician training at a hospital in Richardson.
In 1978, Morris became an arson investigator for the Job Corps office based in McKinney before joining the Navy. He served eight years as a search-and-rescue aircraft crew member, which presented him with an opportunity to take part in a history-making event.
Morris said he served on the flight crew that flew the hostages who had been held for 444 days in Tehran, Iran to freedom after they were released on Jan. 20, 1981, the day President Reagan took office.
After his Naval career ended, Morris and his wife moved back to North Texas and settled in Farmersville with their four daughters.
His career with the Farmersville Fire Department began in 1997 first as a volunteer firefighter. According to Morris, his day job at the time was as a paramedic with AMR, the medical emergency services company that serves the city.
Morris took over as fire chief in 2006, becoming the first paid firefighter in the city’s history, a position he held until his retirement in 2021.
Prior to his becoming chief, Morris said previous fire chiefs served as volunteers along with the men and women they commanded.
Morris expressed pride in two programs, Sparks of Freedom and Public Safety Sunday, that began during his time as Farmersville’s chief firefighter and for improving the department’s Insurance Services Office rating from a “5 to a 2.”
Additionally, Morris said he was able to replace some of the old firefighting equipment, which included an old bread truck and an old farm truck with water tanks attached, with state-of-the-art vehicles during his time with the department.
In the interview, Morris said he had no regrets about his tenure as Farmersville fire chief or about any of the nearly 50 years he spent in the fire service and as a medical first responder.
“I have loved every minute of it,” he said.
A public service for Morris is scheduled for 11 a.m. Wednesday, Dec. 21 at First Baptist Church of Farmersville, 124 S. Washington St. in Farmersville. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions can be made to the Kim Morris Memorial Fund, c/o Commercial Bank of Texas, 201 S. Highway 78, Farmersville, TX 75442