Phillip (Phil) Wayne Morrow
age 51, of New Philadelphia, and formerly of Cleveland, passed away Friday, June 7, 2013, in Union Hospital after an extended illness. Born at Dover, Jan. 19, 1962, he was a son of Harry L. and Madeline E. (Dalton) Morrow Sr., of New Philadelphia. A 1980 graduate of New Philadelphia High School, Phil earned a bachelor's degree in both music education and special education at Muskingum University. He pursued operatic arts at the Cleveland Institute of Music at Case Western Reserve University, which led to opera performances across Ohio. A love of music translated into 25+ years of teaching music education at East High School in Cleveland and later serving the district's special needs students. Phil's characteristic booming voice and prominent size commanded law and order. Yet, his giving, nurturing heart proved much larger than the man himself. Whenever a student faced a problem, he was ready to be of help, willing to sacrifice his own time and money to do it. No need big or small was beyond his assistance, whether it involved buying a student much-needed supplies, tickets for prom, or opening his home to those in need. Clearly, this shows why he was named East High's Teacher of the Year and, due to unprecedented alumni support, Educator of the Year for the entire district as well. Such kindness, caring and support is bound to breed a larger- than- life legacy, as evidenced by many of Phil's students who, upon hearing of his passing, flooded his Facebook page with tributes to "the best teacher I ever had." He and his students earned praise from the community when he directed the district's All City Gospel Choir. The spotlight continued to shine brightly when he began to perform and mentor aspiring musicians at Karamu House Theatre of Cleveland. Other interests include a love of shopping and floral design, self taught to provide corsages to students who couldn't afford them for school dances.
A lifelong member of the Dover First Baptist Church, Phil served as its music director before he passed. He first sang for the congregation at age 11, under the direction of Imosene (Sene) and the late Rev. Willie Sherrell, and over the years, when called upon, returned from Cleveland to sing for church events, from weddings and anniversaries to HomeGoing services.
Survivors, in addition to his mother and father, include his brothers and sister, Dr. Rodney (wife, Dr. Rebecca) Morrow of Gurnee, Ill., Harry Morrow Jr. of Lynwood, Wash., Nicole (husband, Jason) Currence of New Philadelphia, and maternal grandparents Robert and Dorothy McKee of Zanesville. He'll be sadly missed by his nieces and nephews Michael Reyes, Samara Morrow, JoVohn Morrow, Aaliyah, Arianna and Averee Currence, and god-daughters Melissa and Alyssa Fulford of Cleveland. Many aunts, uncles and cousins complete the family. Preceding him in death is his paternal grandmother, Luzon Todd of Dover.
The Morrows will receive friends Thursday from 2-4 and 6-8 in the Geib Funeral Center at Dover. Pastor Christopher Lowery, and a choir of many of Phil's colleagues in music, including some former students, will lead a HomeGoing service Friday afternoon at 1 p.m. at First Baptist Church, 140 Regent Street, Dover. The family will receive friends at noon. Following the funeral, the family invites you to join them for a repast at Geib Funeral Center, 5600 North Wooster Avenue, Dover. In lieu of flowers, Phil's family asks that contributions be directed to sound system enhancements at First Baptist Church, 140 Regent Street, Dover, OH 44622. Those unable to attend services are invited to share memories and condolences with the family and light a memorial candle for Phil by visiting his permanent memorial on the funeral home's website: www.geibcares.com
Linn-Hert-Geib Funeral Home & Crematory
116 Second Street NE New Philadelphia, OH 44663
Published in The Times Reporter on June 11, 2013