Retired PN judge McCall dies at 90

Published 10:09 am Friday, March 2, 2018

PORT NECHES — Retired Port Neches Municipal Court Judge Morris McCall, known for his gentle personality and caring nature, died at Memorial Hermann Hospital Houston on Wednesday.

McCall, 90, had been undergoing care for a heart issue.

Debbie Plaia, executive director of the Port Neches Chamber of Commerce, said McCall was like a grandfather to her and took her under his wing when she took her post at the chamber. Soon he was coming by, watering the plants and chatting.

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“I kind of adopted him,” Plaia said of how she referred to him as ‘her judge.’ “He made you feel you were super special to him.”

McCall had the nickname ‘Mr. Port Neches’ and was very community-oriented.

“He supported (Port Neches-Groves High School) football and anything happening in Port Neches in any way he could,” she said. “Last fall season he and Dorothy (his wife) were at the games though they may have left at halftime.”

McCall was a member of the chamber board and was an honorary ambassador. He took over heading up the chamber’s Easter sunrise service years ago and was a chairman of the chamber’s annual Christmas parade. On Feb. 13, which was McCall’s 90th birthday, the chamber announced they are renaming the Easter service in his honor.

Port Neches Police Chief Paul Lemoine had known McCall since high school, and the two saw each other frequently as McCall was the city’s municipal court judge for 41 years before retiring two years ago.

After making his rounds at the county jail, McCall would stop by the police station and have coffee before going to the chamber and later the Port Neches Senior Citizens Center.

“He was a great guy, always smiling and upbeat and community-oriented,” Lemoine said. “He was committed to everything he did. Family and church first, then municipal court judge, Rotary and more.”

McCall was proud of his city but also proud of his hometown of Diboll and was known for saying, “I was born in Diboll where Jesus has his summer home.” He was also proud of his church, First United Methodist Church, or ‘‘The church’’ as he called it.

“There’s not many people like him in the world,” Plaia said. “He’ll be missed by a lot of people.”