Monica Morris-Whelan and Chanda Morris-Jones are carrying on a family tradition that began 65 years ago, when Dr. Thayer Morris and his wife Gerri moved to Colorado and Dr. Thayer began his career as an independent career of optometry.
He first worked with Dr. James Bush in Grand Junction, then established his own practice in Delta in August 1952. In 1960 he purchased the property at 821 and 823 Main Street and established Needletree Vision Center.
Dr. Morris and his wife had six children, one of whom -- oldest son Terry -- came into the business as a full-time optician. Terry and his wife Cheri had five daughters who were raised in and around Delta. In 1980 the family moved to Cañon City, where Terry and Cheri continued in the optical field.
As he approached retirement in the early '80s, Dr. Morris brought in a new optometrist. Dr. Denis Warobiew eventually purchased Needletree Vision Center, which became Delta Vision Clinic.
In the spring of 1992, Terry and Cheri Morris returned to Delta and opened Morris Optical at 531 Main Street. Dr. Thayer Morris came out of retirement and began providing eye exams at the new business.
They were joined by Terry and Cheri's daughter, Monica Morris-Whelan, who apprenticed under her father and grandfather to become a certified optician. Chanda Morris-Jones came into the business full-time in March 2007 and she is now the office manager.
Terry died in 2004 and Cheri retired in 2012, leaving Chanda and Monica to run the family business full-time. Dr. Warobiew joined Morris Optical in the spring of 2007, and together they serve the residents of Delta County and surrounding areas.
"We are grateful to all those who have allowed our business to prosper all these years," Chanda said.
On Tuesday, Sept. 11, the Delta County Board of Commissioners called a special meeting to consider the board's response to the Bureau of Land Management's preliminary Environmental Assessment (EA) concerning the lease parcels proposed for the December BLM sale.
Several people from the North Fork were present to provide input.