Robert Rising Morrow (1920 - 2013)

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Morrow, Robert Rising

Eden, UT: Robert Rising Morrow, Cornell University Professor of Forestry, passed away on February 4, 2013. Bob was born in rural Vermont in 1920, the oldest of five siblings, and learned the hard work of farming during the depression. He was sent to Syracuse University with a Regents scholarship and a one-way bus ticket. He worked his way through school, obtaining his B.A. and then, at the onset of World War, joined the U.S. Navy. He attended midshipmen's school, becoming one of the sorely needed "90 Day Wonder" officers. He served as the firing officer on the USS Brooklyn, supporting the Allied invasions of Sicily, Anzio, and southern France.

Following the war, Bob returned to Syracuse to marry his sweetheart, Betty Tracy. He obtained his PhD in 1950 from the College of Forestry, graduating in their first class of PhDs. He went on to teach at Cornell University's Department of Natural Resources, where he instructed over 1000 students in good forestry practices. He taught and practiced environmental care. Additionally, he worked to develop the rural maple syrup industry and in 1986 was inducted into the American Maple Museum Hall of Fame for his contributions. Cornell's Arnot Sugar House was named in his honor during retirement ceremonies in 1983. Bob and Betty encouraged lifelong learning, in their family and others', establishing scholarships at Syracuse University for deserving students.

Bob and Betty were active in their community of Newfield. They were the primary instigators and contributors to building the Methodist Sunday school, which serves as a focal point in the community. He was active in youth athletic leagues, coaching several summer teams. They were also strong supporters of both the United Way and Habitat for Humanity; Bob sponsored a Habitat house in honor of Betty following her death in 1991.

Bob and Betty are survived by four children: Betty Jean (B.J.), James Robert, Robert Rising, and John Dwight. They have nine grandchildren and two great-grandchildren. After thirty-four years at Cornell, he retired to Easley, South Carolina, where he raised prize-winning azaleas and rhododendrons and enjoyed boating on local lakes. He developed a hobby of hiking to local waterfalls. This mirrored his interest in natural beauty found through travels around the world.

Bob and Betty are both missed; they were truly a part of "the greatest generation". Bob will be long remembered by family and friends, including his dear companion of several years, Fran Westmoreland.

Published in Ithaca Journal on Feb. 16, 2013
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