Morphis Jamiel, a beloved local attorney whose rich life path led as far as the battlefields of 1940s Europe but always back to Warren, died Saturday morning, Jan. 26. He was 91.
Major General Jamiel was a pillar in the Warren community for many years. He retired last month as Warren probate judge, a post the attorney had held for 21 years. Previously, he’d served in the state legislature, on the Warren Town Council, planning board, was the town solicitor and also served in other capacities around town. He was known as a mentor to many aspiring young attorneys in Warren, and his last act as probate judge was to swear in his successor, Stephen Minicucci.
Always proud of his country and his service to it, Major General Jamiel (retired, Rhode Island National Guard) had a long history in the military. Starting out as an Infantryman in World War II, he earned a Bronze Star with three Oak Leaf clusters, the Purple Heart and the Presidential Unit Citation. In 2011 he was inducted into the Army Officers’ Candidate School Hall of Fame, and in December was inducted into the Order of Saint Maurice, an award bestowed by the National Infantry Association.
“Major General Morphis A. Jamiel … has distinguished himself by devoting his life to serving God, his country, and his community,” the paperwork read. His “numerous leadership positions and his Masonic achievements and associations in Rhode Island and nationally are legendary.”
As a lifelong Mason, Major General Jamiel was a life member of Washington Lodge 3 and was its past Master, as well as past Most Illustrious Grand Master of the Grand Council of Rhode Island. He was an active member of the Shriners and its clown unit, where he was past First Boss Clown.
Even though the was “retired” as an attorney, he still kept his office on Market Street and went to work every day. Though cramped from floor to ceiling with papers and books, he always joked that he knew where everything was and could find anything at a moment’s notice.
When he was honored by the Warren Town Council last month for his years of service on the bench, he said the pleasure had been all his.
“I enjoyed every bit of it.”