Richard William  Morrison, 86

Published 3:16 pm Friday, May 31, 2024

Richard William  Morrison, 86

Richard William Morrison, 86, passed away on May 23, 2024, at Stonecroft Health Campus in Bloomington, Indiana. Dick Morrison was born May 28, 1937, in Muncie, Indiana. He was the youngest of four sons born to Blanche (Hamilton) and Harold K. Morrison. He spent an idyllic boyhood in Yorktown, Indiana. He played basketball, baseball, and ran track in high school. He recounted his youthful exploits in an as-yet-unpublished collection of stories, called “Yorktown Boy.”

Dick met Ethelyn Berrier when they were both students at Indiana University (IU) in Bloomington. They married on September 2, 1960. Their son, James Erwin, was born on September 13, 1961, and their daughter, Dawn Marie, on December 20, 1962. The family lived in Indiana where Dick taught high school and coached while pursuing a master’s degree at IU. He then worked for the Indiana State Department of Education in schoolhouse planning. He decided to pursue a degree in educational leadership and completed his doctorate at Ball State University in 1970.

Dick’s career took the family to St. Louis, and then to Winfield, Kansas, where he served as superintendent of the local school system. The family spent the kids’ high school years there. They hosted South African exchange student, Tshepo Molope, and formed a life-long bond. Dick then served as superintendent in Austin, Minnesota, and Richmond, Indiana. Ethie became an expert at packing up the family and finding new positions as a high school science teacher.

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In 1990 Dick and Ethie moved to Fripp Island, South Carolina. Dick had a great time as assistant principal at Battery Creek High School and relished his daily contact with students. He was always an advocate for kids and made a positive difference in the lives of many young people.

Dick retired from Beaufort County Schools in 1999. In retirement, he and Ethie enjoyed exploring their artistic selves as students at John C. Campbell Folk School in North Carolina. Dick became a talented wood-turner, making beautiful bowls, trays, and pepper mills. Dick and Ethie enjoyed selling their art at fairs in South Carolina and later, in Bloomington.

In 2014, Dick and Ethie moved back to Bloomington, where they first met, to be close to son Jim and his family. Dick set up his woodshop in the garage of their apartment at Meadowood retirement community and enjoyed a steady stream of friends dropping by to visit. They quickly formed a group of good friends at Meadowood. He was a loving caregiver to Ethie as her Alzheimer’s progressed. Ethie died on January 8, 2020.

Dick was a natural athlete and a long-time runner. He completed two marathons and numerous shorter races. He loved sports and was a steadfast fan of women’s basketball and volleyball once he returned to Bloomington. He frequently attended concerts at the IU School of Music. He loved golf and played whenever he could. Dick was funny, social, and charismatic. He had a talent for people which served him well in his profession, but more importantly allowed him to make a friend of almost everyone he met. He loved to challenge himself whether it was refurbishing a miniature golf course in his garage (for his kids to run as their first summer jobs) or listening to motivational tapes in the car.

Dick was preceded in death by his parents; his brothers Keith, Jack, and Sam; and his wife Ethie. Surviving him are his son Jim and wife Erika Dowell of Bloomington, and his daughter Dawn Graves and husband Philip, of San Jose, California, and grandchildren Adam Graves, Clara Graves, and Johnathan Morrison.

The family would like to express gratitude to the caring, kind, and professional staff of Stonecroft and Southern Care Hospice. You brought comfort and dignity to Dick’s last year. If you would like to donate to a cause close to Dick’s heart, please give to the Alzheimer’s Association. Because Ethie died just as the world shut down due to COVID, family was never able to celebrate her life properly. The family is planning a joint celebration of both Dick and Ethie in the fall of 2024.

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