George Morris - Retiree Puts Assets to Work

Updated:Oct 15,2012

George MorrisGeorge W. Morris Jr. led an active life as a high school and college athlete, and he continued to enjoy a variety of outdoor activities as an adult. But at age 47, while vacationing with friends, he suffered a severe angina  attack. His friends drove him straight to Cleveland Clinic where he had his first bypass surgery.  George’s EKG showed he’d already suffered a heart attack 10 years earlier, an event he hadn’t recognized at the time.  He took his volunteer leadership seriously and two years ago, he and Theresa made a major contribution to the American Heart Association through a charitable gift annuity. Both George and Theresa say they feel even better today about their decision than they did when they first made it.

 “It’s a win for the American Heart Association and the donor,” George says. “Having been in the insurance business most of my life, I believe this type of gift makes a lot of sense. I strongly urge anyone with the financial means to make a similar contribution. Our hope in the near future is to make another planned gift to the American Heart Association. Only through cardiovascular research can we help future generations.”  Now retired, George and Theresa are building their dream home on a mountain in western North Carolina. They plan to keep their residence in Salem, Ohio, too. Retirement means travel and enjoying their six grandchildren who live in North Carolina, Ohio and Washington state. 

Despite his many heart episodes, George says there’s always hope. New research in the treatment of congestive heart failure, gene therapy, and new wonder drugs have improved the quality and quantity of life for many people who, like George, suffer from cardiovascular disease.

Since that first surgery, George’s experience with heart disease has been a roller coaster ride. He’s had two triple bypass surgeries, five angioplasties, six heart catheterizations and five heart attacks. No wonder he’s earned the nickname “The Marathon Man.” Since the early 1990s, George has dedicated himself to fighting heart disease. He’s made many lifestyle changes so that he and wife Theresa, his childhood sweetheart, could enjoy their children and grandchildren.George also became a volunteer board member of the American Heart Association in the tri-county area of Columbiana, Mahoning and Trumbull counties in Ohio. He’s been active in fund-raising efforts and a strong proponent of — and speaker for — equipping police and fire personnel with automated external defibrillators (AEDs).

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Yes, the IRS allows and encourages these creative plans that can stretch your giving ability. Your gift to the American Heart Association goes into an account that pays income to you and/or other beneficiaries for life. When there are no remaining beneficiaries, the balance in the gift account is paid over to us for the purposes that you specified when you set up your gift.