Obituary: Jonathan Morris, 1979-2021 | Obituaries | Seven Days | Vermont's Independent Voice

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Obituary: Jonathan Morris, 1979-2021

Musician and woodworker's greatest joy and passion was his family

Published September 10, 2021 at 6:10 a.m.
Updated September 10, 2021 at 5:40 p.m.

Jonathan Morris - COURTESY PHOTO
  • Courtesy Photo
  • Jonathan Morris

Johnny (Jonathan Ellis) Morris, of Montpelier, Vt., flew away free on September 3, 2021, in the wee dark hours just as the day began. After a three-and-a-half-year journey with brain cancer, and just three days after his 42nd birthday, Johnny died at home in his sleep, with his loving wife nestled in beside him.

Born on August 31, 1979, in Nanticoke Territory/Salisbury, Md., Johnny moved to Abenaki Territory/central Vermont to attend New England Culinary Institute in 2001. He felt right at home here in the Green Mountains, beneath the starry skies, wrapped in the warmth and connection he shared with the many dear friends he made with ease.

Johnny had a gorgeous, welcoming smile. His kindness was palpable, and his hugs were divine. His genuine, purehearted spirit was a gift to all who had the pleasure and the privilege of sharing this wild and tender world with him. He was a delicious cook, a gifted builder by trade and a prolific recording artist. He cofounded, produced and performed with hip-hop duo Boomslang and the synth-pop group Champagne Dynasty, as well as created brilliant instrumental tracks under the name JL. He had a zeal for digging for records, finding hidden gems within each album and blending them with the rhythmic backbeats he created so naturally. His home production studio was one of his favorite places, and he spent countless hours there exploring, experimenting and collaborating with friends, mentees and fellow musicians.

Above all else, Johnny's greatest joy and passion was his family. He was a loving and nurturing father, son, partner and friend who savored kitchen dance parties and snuggles with his wife and kids, coaching and cheering Jaya's basketball team, cooking and conspiring with Jahana, watching Khalil drop-in the big bowls on his skateboard, and riding waves in the snow and the ocean with all of the above.

He was and is deeply loved, and his rich legacy will live on through his music and his beautifully crafted woodwork, as well as in the hearts and minds of his wife and dear friend, Lindsay Armstrong; amazing children, Jaya, Jahana and Khalil; mother, Barbara Knapp Morris; father John Morris (Avery); brother Whitney Morris (Michel); mother-in-law Suzanne Bryant (Les); and brother-in-law Jonathan Armstrong; along with a large and loving Maryland family and many close friends in Vermont and beyond. All stood by him and his family throughout his illness.

A memorial and celebration of Johnny's life will be held at a later date. In lieu of flowers, please share your courageous vulnerability with one another and truly appreciate those you love. If you feel called to support Johnny's children with a financial gift, donations can be made here: Online condolences may be left at

Johnny, we'll love you forever and miss you like mad!

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