Morris, Richard A.
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Nov. 10, 1931 - Feb. 17, 2010
Richard A. Morris, 78, died at his home in Sarasota, Fla., on Feb. 17.
He was a graduate of Bronx Science and Adelphi College. Dick was an unusually gifted man. After retiring for health reasons from the insurance business over 30 years ago and moving to Sarasota, he began an (unpaid) career as co-founder, with his wife Sue, of the nonprofit, member-supported Sarasota Film Society, now the premier film society in the Southeast. As booker, screener and distributor of classic, independent and international films, Dick was a highly visible promoter of the arts, including film, as opportunities for enlightenment as well as entertainment.
Beyond his considerable influence in the cultural life of Sarasota, Dick was a pioneer in creating new venues for quality films in areas of the country outside their usual reach. Famously outspoken in his remarks on both culture and politics, Dick was admired by many as a "contrarian with a cause." He was a member of the Sara Bay Country Club.
Surviving family members include Dick's wife of 50 years, Susan Morris (nee Kroll); daughter Leslie (Robert) Godwin; son-in-law Steve Samuels; grandchildren Aiden Samuels and Tristan Godwin; sister Julie (Jack) Nadel; brother Victor (Carole) Morris; sister-in-law Joan (Peter) Novick; nephew Michael Novick; nieces Shari (Ed) Glazer and Hillary (Scott) Weintraub; and cousin Jeffrey (Sharen) Levine.
He was predeceased in 2002 by his daughter, Kathryn "K.T." Samuels.
Dick served in the military during the Korean conflict.
There will be an informal gathering at 10 a.m. Sunday at Burns Court Cinemas in his honor.
Contributions may be made to the Dick Morris Memorial Fund at Sarasota Film Society, 10715 Rodeo Drive, Suite 8, Lakewood Ranch, FL 34202. Private funeral arrangements are being handled by the National Cremation Society.
Published in Herald Tribune from Feb. 22 to Feb. 23, 2010