American Veteran 02

Donald C. Morris

June 14, 1927 ~ November 23, 2020 (age 93)

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Donald C. Morris, 93, passed away November 23, 2020. He was born in Fulton, KY to the late Irby and Mary Sue (Williams) Morris and upon graduation from high school, enlisted in the US Navy. He served as helmsman and a bugler on the German, high-speed advanced technology SS Europa, which was captured by the Allies and altered for use as a US troop transport, bringing thousands of troops home from World War II.    

After the war, he earned his BS in Rubber Chemistry from the University of Akron and worked at R.T. Vanderbilt in Norwalk, CT, becoming a highly influential chemist specializing in latex. He co-authored the R.T. Vanderbilt Handbook, which was widely used throughout the rubber industry. Don was also active in the United Methodist Church, organizing a young men's Methodist Fellowship group and accepting various other leadership roles that enriched his spiritual life.

In high school, Don organized and led a 13-piece dance band and in the Navy, he was often offered opportunities to play with professional bands that traveled with the SS Europa. As a professional musician, Don played in marching bands, jazz bands, an Italian opera concert band, dance bands, and accompanied choral presentations of the Messiah, but playing Big Band music was at the top of his list. He enjoyed golf, tennis, bridge and travel, and especially enjoyed broadening his education through over 10 years as a Kent State senior guest student. 

Don’s marriage in 1971 to his loving wife, Juanita (Blount), brought deep joy into their lives. They were blessed with a blended family of 5 children: Donald L. (Larry) Morris of South Daytona, FL., Eric Lough of Akron, Kimberly (Alan) Steele of Potomac Falls, VA,  Laura Murphy of South Dayton, FL and Mary Beth (Rick) Kester of Akron; 7 grandchildren and 11 great-grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his sister, Marie Wilds.

Per his wishes, cremation has taken place and a celebration of his life will be held at a later date. Contributions in Don's name may be made to Family of Faith United Methodist Church, 800 E. Market St., Akron, OH 44305 or the charity of one's choice.

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