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Richard O. Morris

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Richard O. Morris Obituary

Richard O. "Dick" Morris

Died at home on February 6, 2014 after a long illness. He was born in Lebanon, Indiana in 1920 to Paul A. Morris and Amy Jessup Morris.

Dick graduated from Indiana University with Distinction in 1942 and received an MBA from Harvard Business School in 1943. He served in the U. S. Army at the Climatic Research Laboratory. Dick was later discharged with the rank of Captain.

In 1952, Dick married Jean Long of Columbus, Indiana. They moved to Chicago where Dick worked as a senior consultant for the international consulting firm of Booze, Allen and Hamilton, and their two children, Reid Morris and Leslie Morris, were born. Reid predeceased his father in 2010. Dick's first marriage ended in divorce.

After working for a number of companies, Dick moved on to do what he was meant to do: run his own business. He took over the failing Rytex Company as president and principal shareholder in 1968. The personalized stationary company based in Indianapolis enjoyed many years of growth, profitability and stability under his leadership. Dick sold the company in 1988.

Dick Morris was deeply grateful for the opportunity to volunteer his services to a number of civic organizations in Indianapolis. The Family Service Association, Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra, United Way of Greater Indianapolis, Indiana Repertory Theatre, and the Eiteljorg Museum all benefited from Dick's financial, organizational and leadership skills, particularly when unpalatable decisions were made palatable with a seasoning of his dry wit.

During his tenure on the Board of Directors for the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra, Dick oversaw the conversion of The Circle Theater, an historic grand movie palace, into a home for the ISO. The project came in on time and under budget. Having benefited personally from the Family Service Association's support when his children were young, Richard was honored to serve on their Board of Directors.

In 1990, Richard was given the Charles L. Whistler Award for outstanding service to the public/private sector of the community. Governor Mitchell Daniels granted him the title Sagamore of the Wabash in 2009.

Richard is survived by his loving wife, Lila D. Morris. His life was immeasurably enriched by their marriage of 27 years. Other survivors include his sister, Lois Morris of Bloomington; daughter, Leslie Morris of Austin, Texas; granddaughters Laura Keeler and Louisa Keeler; nephews Robert Morris (Toni) and Stan Morris (Chris), numerous great-nephews and great-nieces; Tish Hunter; and Joan Collignon (Brian and son Kevin). His brother, Robert Morris, predeceased him.

The family would like to thank Seasons Hospice, Malar Stewart, and Clayton Stewart II. Mr. Stewart's care and shared passion for basketball and baseball helped to sustain Richard during his final years.

The funeral will be held on Tuesday at 4 p.m. in St. Paul's Episcopal Church.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to the Huntington's Disease Society of America or a charitable organization of your choice.

Published in the The Indianapolis Star on Feb. 11, 2014
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