Our Story

Learn our story, from the beginning and into the future.

Ever since we opened our doors we have approached life (and death) differently. While some just see the end of a loved one’s life as a time for grief and mourning, we prefer to think of it as a time for reflection, appreciation and even celebration. This is evident in everything we do, from the way we conduct our services to the amenities we choose to offer. We are not a burial ground. We are a close knit community dedicated to honoring, sharing and preserving the amazing and inspirational stories that are life.

Why Us?

In a nutshell? Experience, professionalism, compassion, and empathy.

Why Us?

We've learned a lot over many years. Like how to present options without overwhelming. And how to meet the needs of many caring parties. People come to us in difficult times, and we respond kindness, calmness and expertise. Our goal is to create a beautiful occasion and make you feel welcome, always. We spend our days planning with families. We stay up to date with industry developments. And we make hard times a little easier.

The History of a Virginia Legacy

James Tolleison Morriss II’s family emigrated from Wales to America, settling in Charles City County, Virginia, where he was born in 1830. Upon his 18th birthday, the enterprising young man crossed the James River into the thriving city of Petersburg, where he began an eight-year apprenticeship with a successful furniture and undertaking business. In 1856, taking what he learned as an apprentice, Morriss launched J.T. Morriss & Co. on Bollingbrook Street in downtown Petersburg. Little did he know that his new furniture and undertaking establishment would become a Virginia legacy, and that his reputation for fairness and honesty would be handed down through four generations.

In no time at all, J.T. Morriss & Co. was thriving. And after just five years, at the onset of the Civil War, his casket and embalming services proved invaluable to the thousands of local families of Civil War casualties, as well as other families in their times of need. He was on call all day, every day and even purchased an ad in a Petersburg paper that listed his home address, so he could always be reached in this age before telephones.

Over the years Morriss’ business thrived and grew, forcing him to relocate to a larger building on Sycamore Street. In April of 1871, a fire ravaged his workshop in the rear of the building. Miraculously, the fire did not spread to Morriss’ warehouse, which contained the majority of his inventory. After the smoke settled, his business continued to grow, once again necessitating him to relocate to a larger building a few blocks down Sycamore Street.

Due to public demand and his great success as an undertaker, he sold the furniture part of his business in 1880, allowing him to focus solely on funeral work. A few years later he moved his location yet again to a new, larger location at 69 Sycamore Street.

In 1890, after 42 years of dedicated service, James Tolleison Morriss II passed away. His youngest son, Charles L. Morriss, took over the family business. Over the next two decades many advancements were accomplished in the funeral industry. Morriss, though deeply rooted in tradition, kept up with the changes and offered families the most modern of conveniences available at the time, all the while upholding his family’s reputation for honesty and fairness.

He moved and expanded the business again, this time to the corner of Sycamore and Washington streets. Under Charles Morriss’ reign, the business was incorporated in 1924 as J.T. Morriss & Son, Inc. and was staffed with a team of compassionate individuals that shared Morriss’ goals and virtues.

Unfortunately, Charles Morriss passed away a few months before the J.T. Morriss & Son’s current location was completed on the corner of Wythe and Adams streets in downtown Petersburg. His son, J.T. Morriss IV, took over the responsibility of running the nearly century-old family business. After his father's death, James “Jay” Tolleison Morriss V, managed to grow the business to have many chapels throughout the tri-cities area. In January of 2008 J.T. Morriss V passed away leaving the legacy to his only son. Today,  J. “Tolleison” Morriss VI is at the helm of Central Virginia’s premier funeral home, with chapels in Chester, Hopewell, Petersburg, and Dinwiddie. As a member of the sixth generation of the Morriss family, Tolleison continues to run the business in the tradition of fairness and respectability that J.T. Morriss II began 150 years ago. Always working hard to keep up with the latest advancements in the funeral industry while continuing the family tradition of a commitment to fairness and compassion.

Who We Are

Meet our staff. Members of the local community make everything that happens possible.
Together, we make this place amazing.

J. Tolleison Morriss VI

J. Tolleison Morriss VI

Funeral Director
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Jonathan Terry

Jonathan Terry

Funeral Director
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Tommy Peters

Tommy Peters

Funeral Director
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Charles W. Andrews JR.

Charles W. Andrews JR.

Funeral Director
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Clinton Billings Jr.

Clinton Billings Jr.

Funeral Director
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Mike Bolte

Mike Bolte

Funeral Director
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Michael Cochran

Michael Cochran

Funeral Director
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Curtis N. Craft

Curtis N. Craft

Funeral Director
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Matthew Lowery

Matthew Lowery

Funeral Director
Spencer V. Perkins Jr.

Spencer V. Perkins Jr.

Funeral Director
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Brion Seward

Brion Seward

Preneed Funeral Director
Brandon Woody

Brandon Woody

Funeral Director
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Dr. Ivan Perkinson

Dr. Ivan Perkinson

After Care Director
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Janae Ramey

Janae Ramey

Administrative Assistant
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Neely O'Keefe

Neely O'Keefe

Administrative Assistant
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Renee Best

Renee Best

Administrative Assistant
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Jyoti Townsley

Jyoti Townsley

Administrative Assistant
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Patsy Levenson

Patsy Levenson

Administrative Assistant
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Marian Richard

Marian Richard

Funeral Service Intern
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Scott Lazenby

Scott Lazenby

Funeral Service Intern
George Brewer III

George Brewer III

Funeral Assistant
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Carol Koogler

Carol Koogler

Funeral Assistant
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Pamela Avery

Pamela Avery

Funeral Assistant
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Judy  Barnes

Judy Barnes

Funeral Assistant
Gary Hill

Gary Hill

Funeral Assistant
Mariellen Trent

Mariellen Trent

Funeral Assistant
David Adams

David Adams

Funeral Assistant
Mike Wicks

Mike Wicks

Funeral Assistant
Eric Guntrum

Eric Guntrum

Funeral Assistant
Bonnie Perkinson

Bonnie Perkinson

Funeral Assistant

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