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STEPHEN J. MORRIS Ph.D.

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STEPHEN J. MORRIS Ph.D. Obituary
Stephen Jon Morris died on April 19, 2014 at Village Shalom, following more than three years battling with can-cer. He was nursed throughout this time by his devoted wife of 40 years, Bibie Chronwall. Stephen was born in Denver Colo- rado to Esther and Sidney Morris; his younger brother Arthur prede- ceased him. Stephen graduated with a Ph.D. degree in Neurobiology from Stanford University. Throughout his life he was motivated by a burning desire to find out how things worked: his quest for understanding biological mechanisms took him a few years after graduation first to Denmark and then to Cambridge University in England, where he worked with Victor Whittaker in the Department of Biochemistry on the mechanism of nerve cell function in the brain. He moved with Whittaker to the Max-Planck Institute for Bio- physical Chemistry in Gottingen, Germany, only returning to the USA in 1982 when he was offered a senior position with the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, MD, followed by a position as program director at the National Science Foundation. From there he was recruited to serve as Professor and Associate Dean in the new School of Biological Sciences at the University of Mis- souri at Kansas City. He thus re- turned to the city of his family home in 1987, working within the univer- sity until spending the final three years before his retirement in 2003 leading the image analysis unit at Stowers Research Institute. His de- votion to research stimulated graduate students and assistants in his laboratory to pursue successful careers in science; they also became treasured life-long friends. He was recognized by all as a generous and considerate colleague and collabora- tor. Stephen's passion outside the laboratory was antique cars. With many good friends he devoted his time to rebuilding, restoring and ex- hibiting English cars, both racers and fashionable saloons, originating in the period 1930 to 1960. He won several awards, not to mention great personal satisfaction. He enjoyed music, from playing American folk-music for charity in Gottingen to listening with keen un- derstanding to classical music and to hosting a series of intimate at-home concerts of the early Bach Aria So- loists and Cello Rondo. He was a born architect and designer, enjoy- ing remodeling the old house in Kan- sas City and improving the log-cabin in the old country with tradition-true additions. Stephen's mother Esther Loeb, his loving wife and research partner Bibie, and three adorable cats sur- vive him. A funeral service will be held at The Louis Memorial Chapel at noon Wednesday April 23 after which Stephen will be laid to rest beside his brother at Rose Hill Cemetery. After the service the family will re- ceive visitors at Stephen's and Bibie's home at 4-5:30pm followed by a short service. Stephen supported a number of charities, but donations to any of the following would be particularly ap- preciated by his family: Harvesters, The Prairie Foundation and any of the local animal shelters. Online condolences may be left at www.louismemorialchapel.com (Arr: The Louis Memorial Chapel 816-361- 5211)
Published in Kansas City Star from Apr. 22 to Apr. 23, 2014
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