Robert Morgan

  • "Bobby was my cousin and Iloved him dearly. Last time I..."
    - Patricia Ventura
  • "Bob, your beloved waterfall bubbles into your pond as your..."
    - Tom McKeaney
  • "Today is October 3, 2011, the one year anniversary of Bob's..."
    - Tom McKeaney
  • "Missing my uncle, Dr. Bob, on his birthday and Christmas..."
    - Sherrye Weinstein
  • "Today, Dec 22 is Bob's 85th birthday. In his long life, Bob..."

Bob (Robert) Morgan, Ph.D., 84, died Oct. 3, 2010, in Anchorage.

He was born Robert Bloom on Dec. 22, 1925, in Massachusetts. As he grew up in Worcester, his boyhood interests were outdoor activities such as sports, fishing and shooting. Although expelled from two or three high schools, Bob became a leader in the field of education.

Bob joined the U.S. Army Air Corps before graduating from high school. After being wounded in World War II, he was discharged honorably, receiving the European African Middle Eastern Theater Medal. Afterwards, Bob continued his education with night classes while working as a salesman in Boston and New York.

Bob had a passion for education, both as a student and as a teacher. He began his pre-med education after the war at Norwich University, acquiring his Bachelor of Science Pre-Med at the University of Montana. Education included a master's degree in psychology and counseling from Boston University, school administration courses at Harvard, and graduate courses at the Massachusetts College of Education. In Massachusetts, he was a physiologist at the Fernald School in Waltham, taught biology at Gloucester High School and coordinated counseling services for the Bedford school system. He reviewed state/federal programs for educational reform as a consultant. He attended and taught classes at Kent State University, Ohio, where he received his doctorate in psychology in 1970.

Relocating to Anchorage in 1976, he continued his education in psychology at the University of Alaska. Bob became psychological coordinator for the Anchorage public school system, president of Alaska Associates for Human Development and a psychologist for Hope Cottages and for Southcentral Foundation, a Native health corporation. While there, he implemented the Circle of Healing Program, an approach to health care that allowed patients to access Western medicine, traditional Native healing and alternative health care, and to integrate all of these practices.

For more than four decades, Bob was involved in the creation and application of clinical, educational and community development programs for health needs of American Indians and Alaska Natives. He believed this path was laid out for him from birth. Bob, of Lakota, Latvian, German and Russian ancestry, believed that mankind will only be able to flourish and continue "... when the buffalo learns to fly," rather than stampeding over the edge of the Earth.

Bob, accompanied by partner Tom McKeaney, traveled around the world meeting healers from a variety of cultures. His life training along the "Red Road" took place in indigenous communities worldwide with ceremony and prayer, including contact with tribal leaders from all four directions to encourage healing of all people. He lectured and developed programs at all academic levels at universities and schools, presenting at major conferences. He came to understand the vast amount of wisdom available to us in our aspirations to integrate past, present and future efforts for healing of people and Mother Earth.

"Doctor Bob" was an honored elder of the UAF-UAA Ph.D. program in clinical-community psychology, a role model and leader in cultural psychology, and a wisdom bearer and pathfinder whose influence continues to guide the community. He took great care before leaving to pass along his wisdom and vision to students and faculty in the aforementioned Ph.D. program, teaching his last class at home the day before his passing. His generosity, kindness and patience were boundless. Bob lived a life of giving and was prepared for his death. When asked what the most important lesson of his life was, he replied, "Stay connected to the spirit world." He will be missed even as he lives on within our hearts.

Bob Morgan is survived by his life partner of 40 years, Tommy McKeaney; niece, Sherrye Weinstein and partner Tony Woodward; nephew, Mark Weinstein and wife Sandy; and great-nieces, Pamela and Jessica. Friends include Marvin and Fay Snider, Jerry Hamel, Zhanjun Yang, Max Chickalusion, Candyce Childers, Lyn Freeman, Derek Welton, Patrick Frank, Kathy Graves, Ray Pastorino, Gil Sanchez, Linda Weatherwax and Greg Schmitz, Luann Benson, Rita Blumenstein, Max and Lisa Dolchok, Bob and Geri Chaney, Marie Mead, Tanya Bell, Gloria Manogiamanu, Mary Garvin many others who loved him.

He was predeceased by his loving parents, Harry and Esther Bloom; sister, Helene Weinstein Weiss; and mentor, Chief Rolling Mountain Thunder.

A memorial potluck was held at Southcentral Foundation.

Published in Anchorage Daily News from Oct. 19 to Oct. 20, 2010
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