Jesse B. “JB” Morgan, Jr. (Sign Guestbook)

Jesse Bryon “JB” Morgan Jr. passed away July 19, 2019 at age 91. He was a veteran of the United States Army, served during the Korean Conflict, owned and managed several Wholesale Optical Laboratories and was a member of Fountain City United Methodist Church.

JB is preceded in death by his parents, Jesse Bryon Morgan, Sr. and Evelyn Holland Morgan; sister and brothers, Olivia Morgan Brown, Clarence Morgan and Dean Morgan. He is survived by his wife of 62 years, Willie Swan Morgan; brother and sister Neal (Jackie) Morgan and Betty (James) Law; children, Sandy Morgan, Jeff (Rene) Morgan and Susan (Andrew) Crawley; grandchildren, Brandi (Kenny) Smith, Morgan Crawley, Josh (Charlotte) Morgan, Johnny (Casie) Morgan and Jordan Crawley; great grandchildren, Kierstin Parson and Jaxson Morgan as well as many beloved nieces, nephews, cousins, in-laws, Glenwood NC school classmates and friends.

JB loved his family well, enjoyed his profession “making eyeglasses,” and filled a garage full of classic cars. In 1949, JB met Ray Odom who persuaded him to work for American Optical in Jacksonville, FL rather than return to his hometown of Marion, NC. After working in the Surface Department at AO, JB was drafted and served in Korea in the 31st Infantry Regiment on the fighting front. In 1952, JB returned to American Optical and worked his way up to Assistant Manager while attending business college at night. JB also persuaded Willie Swan to be his wife and they were married in 1957. That same year, JB and two partners bought Peninsula Optical in Jacksonville, FL. For 15 years, JB was instrumental in building Peninsula into a thriving progressive lab. In 1972, Peninsula was sold to Itek Corporation. One year to the day later, JB turned in his notice to Itek. The family moved to Tuxedo, NC where JB opened a General Store similar to the one his father owned in Glenwood. However, JB was soon lured back into the Optical business to become General Manager for Wren Optical Labs in Augusta and Savannah, GA and Charleston, SC. He served in this capacity for 8 years. In 1982, JB and Willie visited the World’s Fair in Knoxville, TN and stopped by to visit Charlie Arnhart at Volunteer Optical. In 1983, JB purchased Volunteer Optical. JB worked until age 79 when he sold the business to Hoya Vision in 2007 and retired. JB was joined at Volunteer Optical by his three children, Jeff Morgan – Knoxville Laboratory General Manager, Sandy Morgan – ERP Manager/IT Specialist, and Susan Crawley – Director of Internal Audit & Compliance who continue to work for Hoya Vision.

JB leaves a wide legacy and impact on all who knew him. He was known for his honesty in business and love for people in all settings at home, work, church or travelling adventures. He had a unique ability to build relationships by treating his customers, vendors, peers and friends with care and respect. From the beginning, JB embraced technology, education, and networking in the optical industry. JB served as Lightbender President and OLA Director. He was also recognized as an OLA Pioneer Hall of Fame Inductee, Knoxville Enterpriser of the Month, TOA 2003 Public Service Award Winner, and Rodenstock Lab of the Year Owner.

Our hope is that he was met by beloved family and had a beautiful Packard waiting for him!

In lieu of flowers donations may be made to Remote Area Medical (2200 Stock Creek Blvd. Rockford, TN 37853 or online at The family will receive friends from 5:30-7:00pm, Thursday, July 25th at Fountain City United Methodist Church with a Funeral Service to follow at 7:00pm. Graveside will be at 9:00am on Friday, July 26th at Berry Highland Memorial Cemetery.

Gentry Griffey Funeral Chapel is honored to serve the Morgan family and invites you to view and sign the online registry below.

6 guestbook entries for “Jesse B. “JB” Morgan, Jr.”:

  1. Bradley Roupe says:

    J.B.’s charm touched the lives of everyone who met him and he will be dearly missed. I’m blessed to have known him and made to feel like a part of his family. My prayers for them.

  2. Steve Swan says:

    JB was the best Uncle that I could have asked for. He was a man of deep convictions and loved his family dearly. The world got a little dimmer when his light went out but heaven got a little brighter. Condolences to his entire family.

  3. Stephen M Swan Jr says:

    What can I say…. I remember my grandpa, Bob Swan always speaking highly of J.B… He would tell me he was a stand up man, that loved God, his family and friends. He truly was a great man, and will be missed dearly.

  4. Cotton and Debbie Lane says:

    Mr. Morgan was that person that never forgot your name, even when he hadn’t seen you in years. We are so thankful to have known him, and we are praying for comfort for all of you. Praying for you all.

  5. Dan Kelly says:

    J.D. and I attended the Fountain City United Methodist Church. J.D., Willie, and I were in the same Christian Fellowship Class there. It was in the class that I got to know the Morgans. They were a reserved couple, very regular in their attendance. I enjoyed visiting them on their “compound” where they had given property to their children for their homes. Visiting the Morgans from time to time, J.D. would take me out to see his collection of antique cars; he was very proud of them all. I feel blessed to have known them both.

    I pray that the family may be comforted in knowing their parents are “safe in the arms of Jesus. “Blessings to all the family. Rev. Dan Kelly

  6. Harold Knott says:

    Sorry to hear of J. B. passing. We had a wonderful business relationship. I always looked forward to his visits and enjoyed talking with him. He will be greatly missed. Our thoughts and prayers are with you.

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