NASHVILLE, Tenn.––With a gift from World Wide Technology, the Strength for Service Corporation needed a place to store 30,000 copies of books for military troops and first responders.
“We want all our funds to be used to provide free books––not for storage,” said Larry Coppock, executive director of the corporation founded by UM Men. “We were getting storage quotations that hovered around the $300 a month when the Dennis Paper Company stepped up to provide free storage in its 71,000 square-foot warehouse in Nashville.
“The reason I wanted to provide the space,” says Ronald Dennis, president, “is because my father is a World War II veteran, and these books were first published for World War II troops.”
Ronald’s father, Dennis, 89, volunteered for the Navy at age 17.
His tour of duty would include serving in the amphibious division piloting a LCVP landing craft carrying troops and supplies to the beaches of France. His unit was the replacement unit immediately following the Normandy invasion. How could such a young boy advance so quickly to such responsibility? The reason would serve to be the foundation of success for the rest of his life. He volunteered for the risky position while no one else would because to him it was a job that needed to be done.
During his sixteen months on LST 58, he would complete 45 missions between England and France before being transferred to the newly commissioned Destroyer 866 USS Cone. As boatswains mate his responsibility included overseeing the deck and personnel mid-ship to bow. After six months serving on the USS Cone and a total of two years in the Navy, he would return to his home in Nashville and a job at Bond Sanders Paper, a company later purchased by Champion Papers.
He later worked for Athens Paper before starting his own company in 1969. In 2004, Morris was named “Person of the Year” by the Printing Industry Association of the South. The association presented Morris with the “Founders Award” in 2009, and in 2015, he was presented with the “Stanley O. Styles Industry Excellence Award,” the “Pulitzer Prize” of the printing industry.
This year marks Morris’s 70th year in the paper industry.