Donald H. Morrison
A fun-loving husband, father, brother, grandfather, father-in-law, uncle, and friend, Don Morrison, 89, died peacefully in his sleep on the morning of February 15, 2017. Don loved the world and gave himself freely to it, through community service and volunteer ventures.
He was a very special, kind, and loving person whose presence, humor, and grace made things better wherever he was.
He was born on September 9, 1927, in Albany, New York, the son of George Hayward Morrison and Sady Flecker Morrison. Don grew up in Delmar, New York, where he attended the local public schools. In September 1945 he entered active service in the U.S. Army and served in the Philippines where he received an appointment to West Point Prep School. He failed the eye test needed to enter West Point, but went on to Union College via the G.I. Bill where he earned a Bachelor of Science in civil engineering. He joined R.O.T.C. at Union and was called up by the Air Force during the Korean War and was stationed in London.
Don is survived by Jean Garland Morrison, his wife of 51 years; his daughter Alyce Morrison Garver and her husband Robert of Mountain Lakes, New Jersey; his son William Morrison Garland and his wife Julia of Brooklyn, New York; his grandson Simon Garland of Brooklyn, New York; his brother Alan Morrison and his wife Amy of Media, Pennsylvania; his nephew Jeffrey Morrison of New York; and his niece Julia Morrison of New York. Donald was predeceased by his sister Carol Morrison.
He spent his working years in New York City and Boston. Early in his career when he worked for the New York Central Railroad, he was Terminal Engineer for Grand Central Terminal, a job which he really enjoyed. Most of his career he was a project manager or owner’s representative, building high-rise hotels, office buildings and apartment buildings.
Don and Jean retired to Jean’s hometown, Camden, in 1991 expecting to enjoy the good life in Maine and do some traveling. Their life took a different turn when they learned they could combine traveling and volunteering around the country.
Among the highlights was a full summer season at Star Island, a UU/UCC Conference in the Isles of Shoals, where Don was Assistant Island Engineer. This was followed by Habitat for Humanity, Americus, Georgia, for three months working to prepare for a 20-house build which would be done in one week by hundreds of volunteers, including President and Mrs. Carter.
They made many trips over the years to work at Heifer International Learning Center on a ranch in Perryville, Arkansas. They also volunteered for Heifer in Ceres, California, and at Overlook Farm, Sterling, Massachusetts.
One summer was spent at Sheldon Jackson College, Sitka, Alaska, where Don primarily spent his time planning for and working with service groups coming from “the lower 48” to do much needed maintenance for the college.
They spent two academic years in Asheville, North Carolina, at Warren Wilson College, which requires all students to work on campus. Don was part of the carpentry crew where his co-workers were students. Jean worked in the college post office and bank with a student crew.
After the collapse of the Soviet Union, Don volunteered with the International Executive Service Corp working on real estate development projects in Russia, one in Perm and one in Kislovodsk. Jean joined him on these trips and did some English tutoring.
Don’s globetrotting adventures still left time for him to become part of the local community via his involvement with the First Universalist Church in Rockland, Knox County Democratic Committee, Maine Coast Men, Camden Rotary, Window Dressers, he also was invited to join the Elite Coffee Group in Camden, even though he was “from away.”
A memorial service will be held at the First Universalist Church, 344 Broadway, Rockland at 2 p.m. on April 15.
Memorial donations may be sent to the Knox County Health Clinic, 22 White Street, Rockland, ME 04841.
Arrangements are under the care of Direct Cremation of Maine, 182 Waldo Avenue, Belfast. Memories and condolences may be shared at www.directcremationofmaine.com.