Alene Moris Women’s Center

Alene Moris

Alene H. Moris died August 31, 2019 at the age of 91. She was born to Henry Halvorson and Jona Jonasson on March 28, 1928 in Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada.

A photo of Alene H. Moris speaking at a conference

She graduated from St. Olaf College, Minnesota, with a B.A. in Music, where she met and, in 1949, married Walter J. Moris.

Together, they served Lutheran parishes in Wyoming, Nebraska and Montana before she and her husband were sent to Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, Malaysia on a 4 year mission.

After teaching for four years at Lok Yuk Senior Secondary School, in Kota Kinabalu, Alene returned with her family to the U.S., where she earned her master’s degree in Educational Counseling at Northern Illinois University.

In 1970, Alene became the assistant director of Continuing Education for Women at the University of Washington, where she co-founded the Women’s Center.

In 1972, she co-founded the Individual Development Center, a pioneer career counseling center on Capitol Hill in Seattle which she directed for 14 years. Alene’s lifework was dedicated to helping women become leaders in society. For 38 years she counseled individuals, taught seminars and consulted with organizations nationally on issues pertaining to women in leadership in the workplace. Alene was also the keynote speaker at a wide variety of business, professional and political conferences. Well known for her sense of humor in her presentations, her passion was to bring men and women into full partnership for a more just and humane society.

In addition to authoring two books, Alene wrote many career-oriented materials and was a columnist for the National Association of Bank Women Journal for 8 years. She was given multiple awards and honors for her contributions, including an honorary doctorate from Seattle University in 1990, distinguished alumna awards by both her college and her graduate university as well as the 1996 Seattle Community Catalyst Lifetime Award from Mothers Against Violence in America.

In 2004, the University of Washington Women’s Center established an endowment fund in her honor. Upon retiring in 2010, she moved to Horizon House, a senior community in Seattle, where she continued her work, presenting seminars for both men and women. Her husband, Walter Moris, Director of the Lutheran Center on Aging in Seattle, passed in 1996.

She is survived by her children Karin, Kristina, Erik and Karl, 10 grandchildren and 6 great-grandchildren.

A memorial service will be held at Our Redeemers Lutheran Church at 2400 NW 85th St., Saturday, Oct. 5th at 2:00 pm. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to the Alene Moris Endowment Fund.