Cover photo for Robert Morris's Obituary
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1946 Robert 2021

Robert Morris

August 13, 1946 — December 26, 2021

To be early is to be on time.  To be on time is to be late.  This simple mantra defined Robert Morris.  There is a right way to do things, and being “on time” was the right way. 

On December 26, 2021, Robert Edward Morris, age 75, passed away peacefully at Haven Hospice.  It was way too early…

Robert was born August 13th, 1946 in Clarksville TN.  The son of the late Paul and Helen Morris, he developed a love of cars from his father who was a mechanic.  He also developed a love of music likely from a couple of his uncles since his parents were NOT musical.  One uncle was a band director, another a big band music aficionado.  He graduated from Clarksville High School in 1964 and received a BS degree in Music Education in 1968, from Austin Peay State University in Clarksville TN.  

After graduating from Austin Peay, he went to Benton KY and became the band director at Marshall County High School.  During this time, a new high school was being built in his hometown of Clarksville TN.  He applied for the job and became the first band director at Northwest High School.  Bob always put outstanding bands and musicians on the field and on the stage.  In 1974, the marching band was invited to participate in an anniversary celebration of The Battle of the Bulge.  The band traveled to Europe and performed at many different functions.  In 1977 the marching band was selected to march in one of the Mardi Gras parades in New Orleans.  Bob stayed at Northwest until June 1977 when he decided to take a new career path.  

During this time, Bob would lead the pit orchestra for musicals staged every summer in Clarksvile.  One year the production was The Music Man, and Bob met the love of his life, Karen.  Bob was not Professor Harold Hill but he did win over Marian the Librarian.  They were married on March 10th 1977, and he gained two titles he would cherish for the rest of his life:  Husband and Dad.  

Bob chose to be Dad and they became one family.  In 1980, the family grew with the addition of Michael.  The prefix “step” was never used in the Morris household.  Then in 1999, Bob would gain a new title he would cherish always…GrandPa.  

After 1977, Bob would have a series of career moves which sent them to Chicago, Philadelphia, Knoxville and then to Jacksonville, Florida.  In 1985, Bob began his long career with BellSouth.  He would stay with BellSouth for 22 years retiring in 2007.

After retirement Bob and Karen enjoyed traveling, entertaining their friends in their home and they especially loved spoiling their grandkids.  They were long-time members of the Orange Park United Methodist Church.  Bob continued playing trumpet and conducting through his life, in community bands and multiple church orchestras. Always prepared, always practiced and always on time. Bob had several “isms”, we hope you remember them as fondly as his family does.

Bob is survived by his loving wife of 45 years Karen Brown Morris, 2 sons Hugh Tappan (Beth) of Charleston SC, Michael Morris of Orange Park, 1 daughter Heather Butcher (Chris) of Orange Park.  3 grandsons Carter, Tanner and Rigdon and 1 granddaughter Alexandra all of Charleston.  Also survived by one brother Bart (Cathy) of Long Beach MS.  

Bob will be greatly missed by all who knew him.

Services will be held January 21, 2022 at 1:30 PM at Orange Park United Methodist Church.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Robert Morris, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services

Memorial Service

Friday, January 21, 2022

Starts at 1:30 pm (Eastern time)

Orange Park United Methodist Church

2051 Park Avenue, Orange Park, FL 32073

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