|Donald E. Morrison|
|June 29, 1931 - March 29, 2013|
|Rock Island, Illinois|
|Memorial Service: 10:30 a.m. Saturday October 12, 2013 at Centennial Hall, Augustana College, Rock Island, Ill.|
|Interment: Private , at Stuart, Iowa |
|Donald Eugene Morrison, 81, of Rock Island, died Friday, March 29, 2013 at home surrounded by family and friends.|
A memorial service celebrating his life will be planned at a later date. A private family burial service will be in Stuart, Iowa. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that contributions be made to your favorite charity or organization. Wheelan-Pressly Funeral Home, Rock Island is assisting the family.
Don was born June 29, 1931 in Stuart, Iowa, a son of Harry and Freda Hadley Morrison. He married Marilyn J. Hutchcroft on February 28, 1954 in Mediapolis, Iowa.
Don graduated from Drake University and received his Masters degree from Union Theological Seminary in New York City. He also studied at the University of Southern California, Southern Baptist Theological Seminary and Oakbrook University.
He served honorably in the U.S. Army from 1953 to 1955.
Don was a music teacher. He began teaching in 1957 at Hanover College, Indiana. In 1966 he continued his teaching career at Augustana College, Rock Island and retired after 27 years. Mr. Morrison conducted the Augustana Choir, Chamber Singers and Handel Oratorio Society, and also taught voice. In retirement, he conducted the El Paso Chorale and organized the Las Cruces Chamber Choir (New Mexico), was a mentor, accompanist and choir director for the Las Cruces high school. Don served the Church as an organist and choir director from high school through retirement.
One of his most cherished awards was to be named an Honorary Alumni at Augustana College – to be included in the group he valued so much, his students.
Don loved his family, friends and students. He enjoyed sports, following the activities of his grandchildren, many hobbies, flying kites, riding motorcycles and was a former Commodore of the Lake Davenport Sailing Club.
Surviving are his wife, Marilyn Morrison; son, Jonathan Morrison, daughter-in-law, Adrienne Morrison and grandchildren, Sarah, Jacob, Gillian and Taylor; son, David Morrison; son, Michael Morrison and daughter-in-law, Julie Morrison; brothers-in-law and sisters-in-law, Ted and Beverly Hutchcroft and Nancy and David Cox.
He was preceded in death by his parents; brother, Hank; and sister-in-law, Jane.
Online condolences may be left at www.wheelanpressly.com.
Dear Mom Morrison and Jon,
My heart and prayers are with you. I learned how to live my faith and have joy through my tears from "Dad" Morrison. I have no doubt that he is singing and directing the greatest choir ever! May God hold you very close in His heart at this time and all the days ahead. Give me Jesus as I hear the harps eternal!
Mary from Tennessee
-- Mary Sophia (Waggener) Hawks
To the Morrison family: My deepest sympathies to you at this time of loss. From the hundreds- perhaps thousands- of us who were touched by Don's devotion to his music and his students, I wish to offer my gratitude. He will always be missed and will always live on through the legacy he created.
-- Michelle Boyle
My thoughts and prayers are with the entire Morrison family. Mr. Morrison was a tremendous example of a humble servant of God and his musical legacy will forever live on in our hearts and voices, just as he taught us to do. May God be with you all.
-- Kim Munro
With gratitude and affection, I send my deepest conodolences to Marilyn and family. Don's presence in my life was a gift that left a continuing influence on my life as a musician and as a person. Thank-you for sharing him. Blessings and peace to you.
-- Luanne Deckard Siliämaa
My years in The Augustana Choir changed my life. I will miss Mr. Morrison terribly, and I send my thoughts and prayers to Marilyn and his entire family. May he rest in peace.
-- Daryl Empen
To the man who taught me how to worship; and that "Good effort" was never quite "good enough"...I look forward to auditioning one more time for the Choir you will surely lead in Glory Land...and thanks to ALL the Morrisons who have kept me close. God keep you all in the palm of his hand. Garth
-- Garth Gardner
There is a moment and place—1985, a deserted hotel dining room after breakfast in Copenhagen—that I return to often. A handful of us spent a quiet half hour drinking coffee, smoking cigarettes, and laughing far too hard after breakfast with Dr. Morrison. For some reason, that memory has always marked the beginning of my adult life, and although I was only in the choir for two years, the impact the man had on me continues to be gigantic. Never do anything unless you're going to commit to excellence: that was the lesson, and I thank him every day for teaching it to us. All my best to your family as you remember and commemorate his wonderful life, and to all of us who are better people than we thought we would ever become because of his influence.
-- Paul Johnson
I will always be grateful for what I learned from Mr. Morrison. My artistic sensibilities are what they are do to what he taught me. May he now sing with the angels. My heart is with you, Mrs. Morrison and your family.
-- lemuel wade II
We who were blessed to be his students were given so many gifts. God's peace to you and your family, Marilyn, as you celebrate his remarkable life.
-- Nancy Cole Polancich
My deepest thanks for sharing your husband so graciously with all of us. Words fail to express the impact that Mr. Morrison had on my life. Without him, I would not have attended Augustana, met so many incredible people (including the love of my life), and had such a vast library of beautiful music etched forever in my soul.
Blessings, peace, & love to you & your family as you grieve his passing & celebrate his life!
Laura Weaver Hughes
-- Laura Weaver Hughes (Augie Choir '88-'91)
Mr. Morrison touched many lives in his years of teaching. His artistry and talents helped all of us grow in the Augustana College Choir both as musicians and as people. Love and prayers to you, Mrs. Morrison, and family, at this most difficult time.
-- MaryBeth (Udy) Myers
Somehow, mere words can't describe how blessed we were to sing with Don. He loved the choral art, but loved his singers even more. I especially am thankful that our student/mentor relationship evolved into a beautiful adult friendship. While we will all miss him so very much, his music will always be with us. Every time I conduct a choir, I try to give back a small part of what he gave me. Thanks to Marilyn and the rest of the family for sharing him with all of us. My thoughts and prayers are with you. I can't help thinking that he arrived in heaven just in time to recruit a choir for Easter Sunday with Brian Nelson leading the bass section! Thank you, "Uncle Don" for "Four O'Clock". Love always, Kathy
-- Kathy Anderson Janicek
Mrs M & Jon,
An amazing teacher, a good friend, and a kind man. Please be comforted with the promise of the Resurrection. You are in my prayers, and Mr M is always in my heart and in my song.
-- Tony Stoutenburg
Dear Morrison Family, God's blessings to you all as we remember the life of one who truly embraced the call to, "Spread the Good News."
To be able to thank Mr. Morrison, Mrs. Morrison and the whole clan for the gift of allowing all of us to be adopted into your family is no small reality. Because of your love and sacrifice, WE, many of us certainly have been forged/changed because The Morrisons allowed all of us into the fabric of their lives.
It is neither an accident nor a coincidence on God's part, or Mr. Morrison's for that matter, that our dear teacher, mentor, choir director and friend went to God on the very Good Friday day the whole of the Christian Church remembered Jesus' death. Clearly, it was Mr. Morrison's faith that influenced EVERYTHING he did.
Furthermore, we would be remiss if we ever forgot not only his great patience and musical talent for working with people but also that sparkle in his eye when there was something going on in behind those glasses that made us truly appreciate a particular phrase of music or the latest limerick that was stewing in his mind...
"There once was a man from Iowa. . ."
We could all fill in the blank here and never be as clever or entertaining as our Dear Mr. M.
To Mrs. Morrison (I could never be so bold as to call you Marilyn), and the rest of the family, you are in the hearts and prayers of all of us who God allowed our path's to cross.
As we continue in this Easter Season in a sense of the Resurrection, we look to the day when we all will once again be singing in that Divine Choir.
God bless you and keep you.
Sincerely, Fr. Andy Pavlak -- Pastor, San Miguel & Missions, Socorro, New Mexico & Augie Choir Alum '86-'88.
-- Rev. Andrew J Pavlak -- Pastor San Miguel & Missions, Socorro, NM
My prayers are with the Morrison family. I pray they will be surrounded by God's love and comfort. For years Mr. Morrison and his students sang praises to God. I am confident that when Mr. Morrison went home to be with God, God was singing His praises to Mr. Morrison, His faithful servant, for a job well done. Mr. M was one of the finest men I have ever known. Such a wonderful example of how we should all aspire to live a Christ-like life. He was the embodiment of Christian love. That is his legacy, that and his beautiful music. I loved him dearly and and his memory will be in my heart and hearts of everyone who was blessed to know him, forever. My deepest sympathy to the family. God be with you all.
-- Tina Honiotes Dierkes, Augie Choir, 1967-71
Mrs. Morrison and family, you are in my thoughts and prayers. Mr. Morrison was my teacher, mentor, comic relief, task master and friend. I am so very sorry for your loss and am so glad he was a part of my life. With love,
-- Gina Strafford-Ahmed
Dear Mrs. Morrison and family:
Although I was not in the Hanover College Choir, I was fortunate to have contact with Prof. Morrison when I was the liason for Dean Tate, who was acting as chaplain. Twenty-five years later I attended a performance of The Messiah at Augustana, and Prof impressed me by recognizing me. Through the years many church organists have appreciated that he taught me to get hymns to them as soon as possible, and I've always been indebted for the appreciation for music that he fostered and encouraged.
-- Bob Hamilton [Hanover College '63]
My heartfelt sympathy to the Morrison family in the loss of a great man. Mr Morrison will forever remain one of the most influential persons in my life. He was a teacher, father and friend to me and he will be missed greatly.
-- Brad Church
To Marilyn and the entire Morrison family - Thanks for sharing him with us. Every time I conduct a choir, I can sense Don's presence with me. I try to give back just a little of what he gave to me. There just aren't any words that seem right at this time. I will miss my teacher, mentor and very dear friend. We were all forever changed by being together at f o'clock every day, With thanks and love,
Kathy Anderson Janicek '74
-- Kathy Anderson Janicek
I treasure the time I spent with Mr. Morrison and the Augustana Choir and am so grateful to have had the opportunity to sing under his direction one final time during our last reunion. Gods Peace to you all.
-- Kathy (Anderson) Heller
To Mrs. Morrison and family my most heartfelt sympathy. So hard to believe that this larger than life force that he possessed is gone. But what will always survive is the legacy of music and faith that Mr. Morrison instilled in anyone who had the honor to sing in any choir that he conducted. The Lord Bless You and Keep You. Blessings, Zanda Moore
-- Zanda Moore
Mr. Morrison was one of the key reasons that my college experience was as awesome as it was. Not only was he a favorite professor, but he was our mentor, spiritual advisor, friend and confidant in times of need. He helped me through some hard times and he was a joy to work under. He made Augie Choir a favorite time of the day! An hour of fellowship, worship, and music all in one! Thank you Marilyn for all your love and support to all of us. Our memories we will cherish for a lifetime. My easter was even more moving because i kept envisioning Mr. Morrison leading a choir in heaven! Tears kept flowing. Heaven is most certainly brighter!
-- Patty Lupinek
Singing in the Augustana Choir under Mr. Morrison's direction was a defining time in my life for which I'm so grateful. Peace be with you all.
-- Gina Maurus Bergstrom
We started our Augie careers together in 1966, I as a freshman and Don as the new Augie Choir director. He had tough shoes to fill in following Henry Veld, but he did so with humor, grace, and high competence. In my four years under his direction we had wonderful choirs with wonderful concerts. The music we performed influenced my later concert career and we will always be grateful for his guidance.
-- Mark T. Lundholm
As a member of the Augie Choir, I grew in my appreciation for Don's incredible skill and passion for achieving the sound that he desired in the music he chose. He often teased me that he didn't choose me for choir because of my voice, but rather for my passion and enthusiasm for life and people.My life is blessed to have known him and I wait for the day when by faith I will see him again in eternity. God's comfort and peace be with his family now and in the days ahead.
-- Pastor Ralph Olsen
There are "numberless infinities" of reasons that I am grateful to have been a student of Don Morrison. It was God's grace that brought me to Augustana and it was His grace that made it possible to be his voice student as well. The influence upon me as a person, as a musician, and as a teacher was more than profound. His style and sensitivity will be with me always. One of my school choirs will be singing the Billings "Easter Anthem" in honor of Mr. Morrison on our final school concert. I will try to share as best I can the things that he taught me and pass it along to my students as he passed things along to me and countless others. What "grace" it is to have known both Mr. and Mrs. Morrison. I am so sad at the loss but also full of confidence in the victory. I also learned that confidence from "the Donald" much more than any religion class. God bless you for giving so freely to others.
-- Ron May
Dear Marilyn and all of your family--I am so sad to hear of Don's passing. The wonderful memories of him and you, and of the wonderful times in Augie Choir are some of my most cherished memories. I will carry them with me always, as I know all of Don's students will. My love and prayers go out to you all during this difficult time. Love always, Sandy
-- Sandy Slothower Conklin
Dear Mrs. Morrison and family,
Passages from "Come Ye That Love The Lord" come to mind -- no doubt Mr. Morrison is joining with the saints in a song of sweet accord and surrounding the throne. In addition to being an incredibly talented musician, Mr. Morrison was a warm and wonderful teacher with a great sense of humor. He had a knack of making you feel special, even 30 years after he had you as a student. I will miss his mischievous smile, the twinkle in his eye, and his affectionate hugs. His love and legacy live on in all who were blessed to know him.
-- Sarah Oaks, Augie Choir '82-'85
Carol and I have the fondest memories of Don and the Choir. We met there, singing next to each other in our scrambled formation. I also sailed with Don in the Lightning on the river. This poem by Emily Dickinson has always comforted us, and we share it with you.
This world is not conclusion, a sequel stands beyond; Invisible - as music, but positive - as sound.
Our thoughts and prayers are with you Marilyn, and all your family.
Love, Lance and Carol
-- Lance and Carol Christell, ('73 &'72)
Don and I had wonderful conversations before or after his practicing sessions at Redeemer, prior to our move to Indiana in 2004. He told me that Hanover here in Indiana is where he launched his career. His dedication to practice and lifelong learning was a great inspiration. May the knowledge of the resurrection in Jesus be your great consolation.
-- Shelley Heil
I have such fond memories of the 2 years I was in Concert Choir at Augie. He will be sorely missed and my prayers are with your family.
-- Wendy Chwistek Johnson '79
You have my deepest sympathy from a sailing friend of Don's. Don occasionally dropped by the sailing club in Davenport and invariably sought me out to say hello and crack a joke or two (of the many he had). He also let me know of his experiences in Texas and New Mexico which were always fun and interesting. I was keen to attend some of his concerts he led at Augustana's Centennial Hall because I could tell people that the conductor up on the stage was a friend of mine. I'll sorely miss his visits to the sailing club.
-- Tony Bruskas
Heaven has received its new director. My memories of Don and your family will always remain with me. I remember the one Christmas Eve I spent with you all because of a snow storm. And I truly remember being a "freshman" in the choir with Mr. Morrison during his freshman year at Augie. My pleasant thoughts and prayers are with you all. I look forward to someday joinging another choir of "angels" in heaven with him. Sincerely, Tom Pogemiller
-- Tom Pogemiller
Our grateful prayers for the gifts and passion that filled the life of Mr. Morrison, who will forever now be smiling and singing with the heavenly voices he has joined. We send also our sympathy to you all.
-- Maria Erling and John Spangler
Mr. Morrison - you taught me to pray with song and to worship with melody. Thank you.
-- Julie (Johnson) Kamenetzky; Augustana Class of 1989
Singing in the Augustana Choir with Don Morrison was probably the most profound experience of my life. He made a huge difference for thousands of people. Thank you, Mr. Morrison! LOVE,
-- janet norquist, Augustana class of 1974
Dear Marilyn and family,
We have such heavy hearts now, but we have such wonderful memories of the time we have spent with Don. We're certain God has a very special place in Heaven for him. Our prayers, our thoughts, and our love are with all of you.
-- Mark and Judy Paaske '81 Miller
Mr. Morrison pointed us to God, to great music, to friendship, to laughter. Mrs. Morrison, thanks for sharing your life and your husband's life with so many.
-- Eric Kolb
So saddened to hear of Mr. Morrison's passing. His life is a lasting legacy of faith for those of us who remain and sang under him. He always reminded us that we are one choir, regardless of our graduation year. "To God and to the Lamb I'll sing on!" Can't wait to sing with Mr. Morrison when I, too, pass to the great beyond. My thoughts and prayers are with you, Mrs. Morrison.
-- Denise Heinze Newell '79
Mr. Morrison came to Augie to fill Dr. Veld's big shoes, and fill them he did - what passion for excellence, what insistence we believe what we sang, what humor he added to lighten our task. I was also fortunate to be his voice student and have him as organist for my wedding at Ascension Chapel. His suggestion that my groom and I use two great hymns for the processional and recessional, just as he and his wife had at their wedding, were just the thing to help bind our two families from Catholic and Lutheran traditions. "Praise to the Lord Almighty" rang out then and still echoes, even now in thankful memory of such a gifted teacher and friend.
-- Carol Miller Blauvelt
Dear Marilyn and Don's family, We who loved Don share in your grief at his loss. Marilyn, I thank you for all the recent times you let me enjoy a visit with you when I returned to Augie. They will be some of my most treasured memories, along with the countless hours of music and laughter and learning with Don in choir. I thank God for the immeasurable influence he has had on my life, and for the endless joys he made possible. Julie
-- Julie Hamann Hodgson
God was good to me and our Augustana family to have been led by such a graceful man. What musical and life lessons I learned from him.
-- Carl Boyens
To Mr. Morrison, who joined so many of us in community, spirit and song, blest be the tie that binds.
-- Beth (Ellison) Boddy
What an amazing musician and teacher! My sincere condolences and prayers to his family and close friends.
-- Lynne Stukart
To Marilyn and the Morrison Family,
I cannot express in words my feelings and profound gratitude I have for Don Morrison! He was truly my mentor, a teacher of choral conducting and life. He had a lifelong passion for choral excellence and truly loved his students. I was so fortunate to be one of them. As recent as a few months ago, he was still helping me locate the highest quality choral music for use with a semi professional choir I am now conducting. I was learning from him 40 years ago, and still continued to learn from him 6 months ago. In my heart, my upcoming Spring Choral Concert will be dedicated to his memory. Next year, one concert will be formally and publically dedicated to him. In the meantime, I am quite certain there is a heavenly choir that now rehearses at 4:00 P. M. sharp daily. They are most likely singing “Come Ye That Love the Lord”, and guess who’s on the podium!
-- Gregory Day
To the man who moved us, and himself, to cry in concert. What one of my fellow choirs expressed in later life as " the closest thing to a miracle he has ever experienced". I am much enriched by him.
-- Paul Renken
Mr. Morrison touched my life profoundly as he did the lives of so many others. I was honored to be a part of his choir and admired Marilyn's devotion to him.
-- Carol Masden Simpson
Mrs. Morrison and Family ~ Mr. Morrison will be missed, but his legacy of faith, love and joy through music lives on in so many ways. He has inspired, encouraged, and served so many people and I am so blessed to have had the opportunity to be a member of the Augustana Choir family...the memories I will treasure always. "Hail, Thou Gladdening Light" was laid on my heart over the past Easter weekend and now I know why. I am shedding tears of joy just thinking about Mr. Morrison in his glorious heavenly home. I pray that God's peace will give you all comfort. Blessings ~ Deb (Vega) Wegehoft Theys
-- Debra (Wegehoft) Theys, Choir Alum 1986-1990
In my mind, Mr. Morrison will always be on the podium, catching our eyes, poised for that first attack. His grace as a conductor, the movement of his hands, the soulful expressions, instilled in me a desire to cultivate beauty; it also happened to be Mr. M's path to God.
No one else has ever quite clarified the marriage between beauty and God’s voice for me.
All the best at this difficult time, Mrs. Morrison, Jon and all.
-- Sharon Kilarski Rudorf
To the Morrison Family: Thank you so much for sharing Don with so many of us. Of all the many good teachers at Augie, he made the biggest impact on me and he was the person I most wanted to see whenever I'd return to Augie for Homecomings and other occasions. It was always such a thrill to sing under his guidance -- a thrill I was fortunate enough to experience as recently as the alumni concert two summers ago. He was a true friend and will be missed terribly. The heavenly choirs must be thrilled, and I look forward to singing "Come Ye That Love the Lord" under him at some point in the future!
-- David Westman
I was greatly saddened when u saw my cousin's message on Facebook about Mr. Morrison's death. Having lost my own dad a year ago I am well aware of the valley. It is funny--I have had him on my mind for a couple of months, and that got me missing Jon so much I searched for him online! Being that Jon dated my BFF back then we were pretty close ;). I was a choir wannabee. I had grades and scores to go anywhere but my cousin Sue Harper sang in the best choir I'd ever heard so I went to the only college I applied to--Augie. I nearly made the choir that first year. I clutch in auditions. I did have the great fortune if being in the Chapel choir the year he led that, too. And I tried out--4 more times. I never made it. But, I still loved that choir, and grew to be socially a part of it. Seeds were planted, though, and I grew beyond my horrid auditions and sang in a professional choir for six years. And then I discovered what he knew. The real joy is leading others to WORSHIP GOD. I've lead groups of 5 and 500, and i've taught more than 1000 kids to love music. It is the joy and the gift that I saw in him. And I've seen it passed on to so many. My mother, who is nearly 80, told everyone she could about being in leadership in the Iowa MYF with Don the year he was president. He kindly would say he remembered her when she would attend a concert and approach him. Jon if you'd like to get caught up on the past 33 years, Miriam knows how to contact me. May you all feel the presence of God close at hand as you celebrate and grieve. I send my love. Tacy
-- Tacy (Lackore) Heisey
No single educator impacted my life more spiritually or emotionally than Mr. Morrison. My life was changed for the better the day I auditioned for The Augustana College Choir. I absolutely loved that man. I can only imagine how the angels are singing under his direction. Mrs. Morrison and Family, my deepest condolences to you all. The true mark of a man's life is measured via the impact he had on others. There is no scale large enough for what he did. May God's blessings be upon all of you at this time.
-- Chris Hughes
We were saddened to her of Don's passing. Laurel and I will always have fond memories of what an excellent choir we were a part of.
And the close relationship we had with our devoted director. May your husband, father,grandfather, friend, Rest In Peace
-- Patrick Carsell
I extend my sympathies to the family in their loss. My daughter, Suzanne Dell-St. Clair, was blessed to be part of Don's choir and chorale the four years of her attendance at Augustana College. My husband and I knew how fortunate she was to be selected for that honor, as did she. We admired Don for his great gifts, his humility, and warm personality. He will never be forgotten.
-- Carol Dell
I was one of his students at Hanover College and also sang in the church choir. He was a great example of a fine educator and I have fond memories of his classes. He and his wife both participated in our musical review my senior year and we finally got to see him on stage. His memory lingers on.
-- C. Michael Traw
What a great teacher and gentleman he was. He really made an impact on my life during those high school years at LCHS. You will be missed Uncle Don!
-- Harley Bergsma
Mr. Morrison came into my life during my Las Cruces High School Choir years (94-98). A wonderful tall man with a kind voice filled with so much musical knowledge and passion. He taught me, a non-singer, to sing. I can honestly say, when I was on stage, I never wanted to let him down.
As I've gotten older I may have forgotten events from my life but I have never forgotten Mr. Morrison and the impact he made on me.
Mr. Morrison, it was truly an honor knowing you.
My sincerest condolences to the Morrison family.
-- Santino Jimenez
How sad to hear of my dear friend and mentor's passing! There are no words to express my tears today! No one has had more impact on my musical career...ever! Don arrived in Las Cruces, New Mexico to retire and start a new chapter in his life with dear Marilyn...Luckily- I found him at solo and ensemble festival and fell in love with his knowledge, humor and wit! For ten years I learned from this wonderful scholar, and my students were the beneficiary of all his gifts! God gave Don the ability to reach musician's souls. He, above all others I have known...developed the soul of a piece of music...no longer just notes, rhythms and text. Beyond his amazing musical abilities...he loved making rugs, playing with his dog, riding his motorcycle and talking to his friends. I watched him transform all who had the great fortune to study with him...and so many are now paying it forward. I pray that God will give him a golden baton, a crystal clear grand piano, and Gabriel's instruments! Our world has lost a true treasure! I am so greatful that God gave him to us for 81 years! Save me a place in your choir Don! I love you!
My blessings to Marilyn and family. Please let us know about the Memorial service.
-- Diane Schutz
My deepest and warmest thoughts are with you and your family. Being in Mr. M's presence was a joy and an honor. He made me smile and definately made me a better singer and person. I will miss him eternally. Mrs. M, you always had a smile and a happy heart to share with all of us on each and every choir tour and I thank you for that. Know that you and Don will always be in my prayers. Thank you for letting me partake in the joy and happiness you both were so eager to give.
-- Jennifer Lane
What this earthly world has lost, the heavenly world has gained. You were such an influence on my life, Don Morrison, as you have been to countless others. I will always treasure those moments at Augustana (and on tour and elsewhere) and the man that made them all possible. Thank you!
-- Gregory Braid
Our sympathies are with Marilyn and the family.
-- Wayne & Marianne Maley
Dear Marilyn and all the Morrisons: Thank you for sharing Don with us over the years. I am privileged and thankful to have known him as my conductor and teacher, mentor, and friend. I will miss talking with him in this life, but I am glad that he now knows the joys of the presence of the Lord and of heavenly worship. My prayers have been and are with your family during this time.
-- Brian Bailey
After contemplating Don's passing for a week know, I've come to appreciate more fully his profound influence on me, both musically and spiritually. I owe him a debt of gratitude for teaching me in Augie Choir and for his friendship in the years since then. Cathy and I send our love and deepest condolences to Marilyn, and to Jonathan, David, and Michael and families who brought him much joy over the years. May you be comforted by knowing how many lives Don affected during his career. He was an extraordinary man - one that will be missed greatly by all who knew him well.
-- Bill Simpkins (Augie Choir 1972-76)
Mrs. Morrison, Jon, and family, my heart is with all of you during this difficult time. I have kept so many fond memories of my four years in the Augustana Choir close to me throughout the years. One that stands out is when Mr. Morrison found out that I would be student teaching at Rock Island High School, he told me that I shouldn't let Jon "get away with anything!" I didn't!What fun and meaningful times we had singing every day at 4:00. Mr. Morrison had such a profound influence on all of us. He taught us discipline through music that I have carried with me throughout my life. Thank you, Mr. Morrison, for sharing not only your incredible musical talents with us but also life-long lessons in courage and stamina. May the strains of "Hail, Thou Gladdening Light" comfort you, and may God keep you in His loving care.
Chris Kaminskas Daniels, Augustana Choir,'71-'75
-- Chris Kaminskas Daniels
It truly was an honor to sing under the direction of Mr. Morrison. What a great, talented and kind man. My prayers go out to Marilyn and family during this time. Peace be with you all.
-- Lisa Pirch-Burmahl
I remember Don very well from working with him at Augustana. Always a wonderful person, I know he will be sorely missed. My thoughts and prayers are with Don and his family. May he rest in peace.
-- Susan Granet
My condolences to Mr. Morrison's family. Though I was not a part of the Augustana Choir so many of my close friends were and that made a memory impact on me. They loved him. They loved their experience singing for him. He was a man of integrity which is so lacking in a culture. He will be missed!
-- Suzanne Miller '85
Dear Mrs. Morrison and family,
It was sad to read today in the Augustana Alumni Newsletter that Don has passed away. I will never forget his invitation to me to sing the soprano role in Handel's Messiah in Dec. of 1982. As a graduate of Augie, it had always been one of my professional dreams to return as a soloist and sing those wonderful portions of scripture. We did three marvelous performances and it was a joy
to sing under his baton. I so appreciated that he was a true believer in Christ and that his life was spent in serving God with his talents.
My sympathy to you all as he will be greatly missed by all. He is surely a part of the glorious music in heaven!
Suzanne Johnson Peterson
-- Suzanne Johnson Peterson
I had the wonderful experience of singing Handel's Messiah with the Oratorio Society under the direction of Dr. Morrison two years in a row back in the late 1970's. It was an experience i'll never forget for two reasons. 1) singing with 300 voices and a full orchestra and 2)between the first and second years that I sang, Dr. Morrison became a Christian and the Messiah took on a whole new meaning for him. In the rehearsal room before our performance, he shared his conversion experience and how the the message of the Messiah was real. He prayed before we filed out to perform. It was incredibly moving. I will never forget it. I am so glad that I was there for that. God Bless his family as they mourn their great loss. Thankfully, he is in Gods arms now.
-- Elizabeth White
Don provided me with a different perspective for what it is to perform a piece of music from a place of collaboration, reverence, that focused on lifting up all who participated. That was in stark contrast to other experiences. I am blessed for the brief time our paths crossed. Prayers and blessings of thanks to the Morrison Family.
-- Brenda Helms Pratt '87
I had the pleasure of singing for Professor Morrison in the Chapel Choir for 4 years in the late 70's. One of my greatest memories of Augie is one when Professor Morrison took me aside after try-outs for the main choir and told me so graciously that I loved to sing, but I did not have the voice for the main choir. I loved his honesty, the way he encouraged everyone to do their best, and it was a joy to sing in the Handel Messiah for these 4 years. My sympathy to his family as I know he will be greatly missed. He was a special human being filled with love.
-- Ward Rivenburg
My four years at Augie(1972-1976) were enhanced by Dr. Morrison's Outstanding Imstuction and Conducting. I join the Alumni in offering prayers to the entire Morrison Family. Dr. Morrison shall forever remain in our hearts.
-- Mettrice Davis
Sail on, Don, sail on
-- Gil Dierkes
My wife, Susie and I send our sympathy, thoughts and prayers to Jon (my confirmation classmate from Trinity)and the whole family. I enjoyed singing with Don at Trinity during the summers I was home in Moline. Just a great, musical guy.
-- Andrew Swenson
I was very blessed to have sung under the diection of this great man. Heaven's choir has received a truely great musician. My condolences to the Morrison family.
-- Lynn (Northrup) Valentine '87
Marilyn, My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. I read your husband's obituary in the Mediapolis News. I have wonderful memories of you, your brother (Ted) and sister (Nancy) when we all lived in Mediapolis. Love from a cousin, Norma Jean (Starkville, MS)
-- Norma Jean (Blake) Smith
Boppa- I still can't believe you are gone. To see how much love you have gotten from so many people touches my heart and truly shows me how deep your love that you shared was. You were the greatest grandfather a girl could ever ask for, and I am so grateful to have spent 28 years as your favorite (shh-don't tell my siblings!) I love you more than my words can ever express.
-- Sarah Elizabeth Morrison
Marilyn -- I was so sorry to hear of Don's passing. Please know, that though this message is tardy! -- you've been in my thoughts and prayers. Don was a special person in my life. You've both been much missed here in LC. I started at community teen choir 8 years ago, and I've done several pieces with them that I sang with Don -- I thought of him every time! I was so pleased to be able to share with those kids what Don shared with us. God bless you!
Terry Kay & Brian Gilbert
-- Terry Kay & Brian Gilbert
Dear Marilyn, I just learned of Don's passing a few days ago (July 2013). Although the Fairleighs and the Morrisons only overlapped at Hanover College one year, we so enjoyed getting to know you, Don, and your family. My late husband Jim greatly admired Don as a colleague in the HC music department. My deepest condolences to you and your family. Marlane Fairleigh Hodges (Seneca, SC)
-- Marlane Fairleigh Hodges
Dear Marilyn-- Thanks to you and Don for the mentorship and support you provided at Drake and at Union. Both of you larger than life.
-- Larry Long
Ubi caritas et amor, Deus ibi est. (Where charity and love are, God is there.) Durufle. I still vividly picture his conducting in my mind. He wasn't really "just" conducting; he was playing an instrument and the instrument was his choir. The little finger on his right hand could coax the suspended grace note ornament from the altos, his face would emote to make you weep, a dramatic downbeat was like a silent cannon. I have not since experienced such a talented, caring, mentoring, awe-inspiring musician. I am reminded of Mr. Morrison nearly every day in my education career. He inspired me so much and I have taken many lessons I learned from him to my students - not just musically, but in my rapport and interactions with them.
Rest in tranquility, Mr. Morrison, and thank you.
-- Patrick Goodwin '74-78 and Lisa Bade Goodwin '77-78
Thank you for helping me "grab the brass ring," Mr. Morrison.
-- Tom Kudart