Sunday, January 23, 2022

Robert L. Morris, 88, active with Saint Bede Catholic Church

Robert L. Morris
Robert L. Morris

WILLIAMSBURG — Robert L. Morris, 88, loving husband of Elizabeth M. Smyth Morris, entered into eternal life Saturday, Jan. 23, 2021.

Born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, he was the eldest son of four children of Joseph A. and Philomena G. Morris, both deceased.

He attended Catholic schools and graduated from Northeast Catholic High School in 1950. He received a B.S. Degree in Chemical Engineering from Drexel Institute in 1955 and an M.S. Degree in Chemical Engineering from from the University of Pennsylvania, where he was an NSF and Yerger Fellow, in 1957. He later studied at the University of Cincinnati and the University of Chicago School Of Business.

His career included brief service in the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and employment in research and development with Procter & Gamble, Cincinnati, Ohio; Kraftco, Glenview, Illinois; ITT, New York City; and Continental Baking Company, Rye, New York, and St. Lois, Missouri, from which he retired as corporate vice president of technical affairs in 1992. He founded a consulting business, Managing Technology Inc., which he operated for 14 years.

He had served on of the board of directors of the Industrial Research Institute, of Fundación Chile (Santiago), of Olde Towne Medical Center and the Management, Food & Bioengineering, and Computing & Systems Technology Divisions of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers, of which he was elected a fellow. He also served on advisory boards of several universities and professional organizations and of the Grocery Manufacturers Association, the American Bakers Association, the American Institute of Baking and the American Dental Association.

He was active in men’s organizations in the Catholic church. At Saint Bede Catholic Church in Williamsburg, he served as chairman of the Finance Council, co-­chair of the Core Committee for the construction of their new church and as the owner’s representative during its construction.

He held two U.S. patents, published several technical articles and was a sought-after speaker. He received many professional honors and was most proud of his selection as an Outstanding Alumnus by Drexel. He was an avid reader, collected U.S. stamps and was an award-winning artist. He was very proud of his work in managing and building R&D organizations, especially Fundación Chile, and of his work in helping to build the new Saint Bede Church.

But most of all, he was proud of his decision to propose to Betty in 1953 and of their family of six children, Robert L. Jr., and his wife, Kim, of Sparks, Nevada, Thomas J., and his wife, Teresa, of Caledonia, Mississippi, Lawrence F., and his wife, Laura, of North Granby, Connecticut, Elizabeth M. of Coatesville, Pennsylvania, Mary Ellen, and her husband, the late Jack Saunooke of Whittier, North Carolina, and Richard B. of St. Louis, Missouri; 10 grandchildren, Sean I Brandon, John, Carl and Sorsha, Jonathan, Andrew and J. Maxwell and Toineeta and Samantha; and four great-grandchildren.

He was preceded in death by his sisters, Mrs. Helen E. Spielberger, R.N. of Lansdale, Pennsylvania, and Mrs. Regina Carey of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; and brother, Joseph T., M.D., of Naples, Florida.

Bob was a member of the Ford’s Colony Golf Club and thoroughly enjoyed the game of golf. After retirement, he and Betty continued to travel to visit family, friends and interesting places. They enjoyed fine food and wines, gardening, music and active volunteerism.

A funeral Mass will be celebrated at 11 a.m., Tuesday, Feb. 2, at Saint Bede Catholic Church, 3686 Ironbound Road, Williamsburg. It will be livestreamed.

In lieu of flowers, please consider donations to Williamsburg House of Mercy, 10 Harrison Ave., Williamsburg, VA 23185; or Saint Bede Catholic Church, 3686 Ironbound Road, Williamsburg, VA 23188.

Share online condolences with the family at Nelsen Funeral Home.

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