Calvin-Morrison Jr.-Obituary

Photo courtesy of Swanson Funeral Home- East

Calvin A. Morrison Jr.

Apr 5, 1939 - Feb 13, 2021 (Age 81)

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In loving memory of a wonderful person. We will love you and miss you always. Kathrine Lawrence and Parthena Henry

March 1, 2021


Family and Friends
C/o Calvin A. Morrison, Jr.
806 E. Grand Boulevard
Detroit, MI 48207

SUBJECT: TUSKEGEE AIRMAN – CALVIN A. MORRISON, Jr.

On behalf of the Brodhead Association and the many represented Veterans, we express deep condolences to the family and friends of Calvin Morrison, Jr.

Some of the Brodhead Assn have had the opportunity to know Calvin on a personal level and will extend their condolences...

Kelly, I am so sorry for your loss. Your dad is in good hands now!!

Wow can believe it when my dad called me and told me the sad news. Still can't believe it to the family I miss yall.

Calvin was a dedicated pilot and friend. He was a special person and he and Christine made a perfect couple. They are now together as we keep their family in our prayers.

Wanda,
We are saddened by the passing of your Beloved Dad, Bro. Calvin. Our Prayers and Love are with You and Your Family.
May God Be Your Strength Now and Always.

I would like to give my condolences to Mrs. Kelly Rucker and the Morrison Family.

I am thinking about you all, and I will continue to pray for comfort and strength at this time.

To God be the glory, a beautiful celebration of life today for Mr. Calvin Morrison, Jr. To Wanda & the entire family, "Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted." We extend our deepest condolences and will be surrounding you with love & prayers - the Berry & Davis Family.

Obituary

Calvin's Obituary

Interment

Detroit Memorial Park - East

Warren, Michigan

 

Celebrating the Life and Legacy of 

Calvin A. Morrison, Jr.

Wednesday April 5, 1939 - Saturday, February 13, 2021

Celebration to beServices held

 

 Monday, February 22, 2021

Family Hour: 10:30 A.M. Home-Going: 11:00 A.M.

Swanson Funeral Home, Inc.

806 E. Grand Boulevard Detroit, MI 48207

Minister Michael Lloyd Echols, Pastor, Officiating

 

 

Order of Service

 

Organ Prelude – Mr. Steve Fitzgerald

Processional

Prayer – Minister Jeanette Duncan

Scripture 

Old Testament – Ecclesiastes 3:1-4 Minister William Rucker, Jr.

New Testament – John 14:1-4 Mr. William Hazel

Song – Mr. Clinton Benaugh

Special Presentations

Ford Motor Company- Charles Purnell

Friends of Detroit City Airport -Beverly Kindle Walker

Tuskegee Airmen Inc., Detroit Chapter – Lawrence Milben

Black Pilots of America, Gilbert A. Cargill Chapter - Andreas

Montford Point Marines of Detroit – CDR Middleton

Acknowledgements of Condolences and Obituary – Mrs. Tonya Morgan Brown

Remarks – Pastor DeShawn Morrison-Johnson Empowering Disciples Church, Roseville, MI

Song – Mr. Clinton Benaugh 

Eulogy – Pastor Michael Lloyd Echols

Recessional

 

 

Calvin Alexander Morrison, Jr. was born on April 5, 1939 in Clarksdale, Mississippi. He was the first of seven children produced from born to the loving union of the late Alzada Bell (McDonald) and Calvin Alexander Morrison, Sr.

 

CHRISTIAN JOURNEY

At an early age, faith, hard work, and education were instilled as fundamental principles around which Calvin shaped the rest of his life. At the age of 10, Calvin accepted Jesus Christ as his Lord and Savior and was baptized. As a child Calvin first remembered attending Mount Zion Church under the leadership of the late Rev. A.G Wright in Black Bottom, Detroit, Michigan.  He later attended Everybody’s Universal Tabernacle Church of Holiness, (affectionately referred to as ‘The Tab’) founded by the late Bishop Theodoshia Hooks. Later in life his family would worship at The Tab as well, attending every Sunday, including Sunday school, morning and evening services and all other weekly activities and services.  He later joined First Church of the Redeemed under the pastorship of the late Pastor Katherine Fitzgerald and currently pastored by Minister Michael Echols. Calvin loved the Lord more than life itself and was truly a biblical scholar. He loved reading and studying and teaching the Word of God. If you started a conversation with him about the Lord, you might as well grab a seat and take notes because you were going to get the whole history, Latin and Hebrew translations included.  In his Christian experience he served as a driver transporting members back and forth to church, a choir member, trustee, deacon, Sunday-school teacher, prison ministry disciple, praise team leader and even a carpenter. Calvin loved serving the Lord and served Him to the very end. 

EDUCATIONAL JOURNEY

Calvin received his K-12 education in the Detroit Public Schools system and attended Marcy Elementary School, Barbour Intermediate H.S., and graduated from Eastern High School, class of 1957. Discouraged from playing football by his concerned mother, Calvin focused his athletic abilities into Track and Field where he became a member of the “E” Club, Eastern High School’s Athletic Hall of Fame. He began his college education at The Art School of the Society of Arts and Crafts known today as the College of Creative Studies (CCS), where he studied Commercial Art. There he was recognized as a talented sculptor, mentor, mathematician, carpenter, designer, and artist receiving the honor of designing and fabricating the institutions bronze front gates, which are still there today. 

MILITARY JOURNEY

After two years of studies and needing to provide more for his family, he suspended his educational pursuits and in October of 1961, Calvin began honorably serving a term of 4 years and 4 months in the United States Marine Corps as a Rifleman. He took this position seriously and excelled. His decorations and medals include the BAR Sharpshooter Badge, Rifle Expert Badge and Good Conduct Medal. As an active-duty Marine, he remained in top athletic condition prompting attention and an invitation to represent the USA at the 1964 Olympics in Tokyo, Japan, an offer he was denied  that he respectfully declined when his unit was activated. Calvin’s experience in the military was integral to him securing a position at Ford Motor Company., which provided him the financial security to continue his undergraduate studies at Wayne State University where he completed a Bachelor’s in Fine Arts with honors.

EMPLOYMENT and CONTINUED EDUCATION

Upon returning home from the military Calvin pursued employment and was hired into The Ford Motor Company. Exercising his GI Bill benefits he resumed his education.   After changing his major from Teaching to Fine Arts he transferred from the CCS to Wayne State University and earned a Bachelor’s of Fine Arts degree with honors in 19  .

Calvin began his life journey rooted in the church, where his earliest memories were attending Mount Zion Church in Black Bottom, Detroit after his family migrated from Mississippi. As his family began to grow, so did Calvin’s desire to become increasingly involved in his church community. Upon returning home after serving in the United States Marine Corps (USMC) Calvin joined the church that would become his spiritual home for many years, Everybody’s Universal Tabernacle Church of Holiness (EUTCOH). EUTCOH, founded by the late Bishop Theodoshia Hooks and conveniently located next door to the home Calvin resided in for the rest of his life, became the center of family worship and where Calvin was ordained a deacon.

GROWING UP

Calvin always had an exceptional work ethic and prioritized family first. It was at the home of Bishop Theodoshia Hooks where Calvin and Christine Thirkill were united in matrimony in August 1966 in a union that lasted until Christine’s homegoing in 2015 nearly fifty-two years later. They were blessed with six children, three daughters and three sons, that they surrounded with Christian values. After EUTCOH closed its doors, Calvin and his late wife Christine joined the First Church of the Redeemed under the pastoral leadership of the late Pastor Katherine Fitzgerald and current Pastor Michael Lloyd Echols. Calvin remained diligent as a servant of God and self-taught Biblical scholar. In addition to attending Sunday services, Calvin provided transportation to the church for those in need, served as a deacon, a choir member, a trustee, a Sunday-School teacher, a disciple of the prison ministry, a leader of the praise team, and a carpenter over his many years in the church. To the very end, Calvin served the Lord and instilled Christian principles in his family.

 

He was a successful product of the Detroit Public Schools systems, attending Marcy Elementary School, Barbour Intermediate High School, and Eastern High School (Class of 1957). Discouraged from playing football by his concerned mother, Calvin focused his athletic abilities into Track and Field at Eastern High School where he became a member of the “E” Club (Eastern High School’s Athletic Hall of Fame).

 

As a schoolboy, he stocked the shelves of Jerry and Louie’s Grocery and later as a teenager he served as a clerk at Rand’s Drug Store to help provide for his mother and siblings. Calvin also met his first love and future wife, Christine Thirlkill during one of his shifts. With the rest of his earnings, Calvin explored his passion for cars. Even before Calvin obtained his driver’s license, at the age of 15 he purchased a 1947 Chevy. This was the first of many cars, followed by a 1953 Ford hard top convertible that he customized by shaving the hood, installing a 45-record player, bubble skirts, swept tailfins, and glass packed mufflers. An early foreshadowing to his creative ability, ingenuity, and passion for cars that guided his educational and academic pursuits in the future.

 

LOVE and FAMILY

While working as clerk at the “Rand” Drug Store, Calvin met his first love, Christine Thirlkill. They began a courtship that withstood the test of time, Chris and Cal were united in holy matrimony in August 1963 at the home of their pastor, the late Bishop Theodosia Hooks. They were blessed with six amazing children, three daughters and three sons.  As husband-and-wife Calvin and Chris enjoyed serving the Lord, bike riding, bowling and playing bid-whist together. While raising their family in Christian principles and values they spent summer vacations taking their family on road trips. Calvin, He loved to drive and would take the family to visit relatives in Alabama, Western Michigan, Illinois, ,Ohio, Missouri, and California. While driving, he taught his children how to read maps, road signs, and loved sharing interesting facts regarding the landscape. Birthdays and holidays hosted by Cal and Chris were always spectacular.  Later in life they enjoyed traveling together to many warm weather destinations including Hawaii, Trinidad, New Orleans and Florida.  They enjoyed attending Christian events together. They were blessed to share almost 52 years together until Christine’s homegoing in 2015. He continued bowling, even partnering with his wife in a co-ed league, late into his years. While relaxing at home, Calvin loved watching movies and reading about  aviation, politics, military strategy, and history. He loved cinema featuring these themes as well as superheroes, Old-Western life, and action.

CAREER

He began his undergraduate education at The Art School of the Society of Arts and Crafts, known today as the College of Creative Studies (CSS), where he studied Commercial Art. There he was recognized as a talented sculptor, mentor, mathematician, carpenter, designer, and artist receiving the honor of designing and fabricating the institutions bronze front gates. After two years of diligent study, Calvin suspended his educational pursuits to better provide for his growing family and joined the United States Marine Corps (USMC) in October 1961, where he served honorably for four years as a Rifleman. As with all things, Calvin excelled in the USMC and was awarded the BAR Sharpshooter Bade, Rifle Expert Badge, and Good Conduct Medal. As an active-duty Marine, he remained in top athletic condition prompting attention and an invitation to represent the USA at the 1964 Olympics in Tokyo, Japan that he respectfully declined when his unit was activated. Calvin’s experience in the military was integral to him securing a position at Ford Motor Company, which provided him the financial security to continue his undergraduate studies at Wayne State University where he completed a Bachelor’s in Fine Arts with honors. 

 

Calvin’s love for cars and design steered him into a career with Ford Motor Company, allowing him to demonstrate his leadership and artistic abilities. He began his career at Ford as a Clay Modeler and progressed to an A-modeler.  He later became one of the first and few black men to earn the highest position in the industry, Master Modeler. His work is familiar to most as he has influenced designs of many of the cars we know such as, the Mustang III, the 2002 (Retro) Thunderbird, the Taurus, and the Lincoln series. During the height of Affirmative Action, navigating the racial and political climate at Ford proved to be a challenging and Calvin thrived when out to the test. He and a lifelong friend confronted the unjust ways in which layoffs were conducted and won their case in court immediately making the layoff process fairer nationwide.  After 35 loyal years of service, Calvin retired from Ford in 2001.

Calvin’s career at Ford Motor Company allowed him to demonstrate his leadership and artistic abilities. Calvin began as a Clay Modeler on internship but was soon advanced to an A-modeler. He later became one of the first and only Black men at Ford to earn the position of Master Modeler. His work influenced the designs of cars such as the Mustang III, the 2002 (Retro) Thunderbird, the Taurus, and the Lincoln series. At Ford, Calvin also served as a Civil Rights activist in the evolving corporate climate and the height of Affirmative Action. Calvin worked with empathizing co-workers to confront unjust layoffs, changing policy for Ford Motor Company nationwide. After 35 loyal years of service, Calvin retired from Ford in 2001. 

 

AVIATIONA stable professional career allowed Calvin to explore several hobbies and travel with his family. Early on, Calvin enjoyed fishing, hunting, biking, bowling, and taking his family on road trips. He loved to drive and would take the family to visit relatives in Alabama, West Michigan, Illinois, Missouri, and California. While driving, he taught his children how to read maps, road signs, and loved sharing interesting facts regarding the landscape. He continued bowling, even partnering with his wife in a co-ed league, late into his years. When not out and about, Calvin was a ravenous reader of aviation, politics, military strategy, and history. He loved cinema featuring these themes as well as superheroes, Old-Western life, and action.

 

At Ford Motor Company, Calvin was introduced to one of his most unique and involved passions, aviation. After Calvin obtained his private pilot license, he purchased a Cessna 172. He found brotherhood and friendship in the Gilbert A. Cargill Chapter of the Black Pilots of America (BPA). Here, he developed his skills as a pilot receiving an instrument rating to fly in dangerous conditions at which allowed him to fly. He flew across the country with BPA. Calvin loved aviation so much that he shared it with anyone interested in listening, especially the youth of Detroit. As a member of BPA Calvin worked continued to work tirelessly with the BPA, the Detroit Chapter of the Tuskegee Airmen, and the Friends of Detroit City Airport to successfully re-open the successful Benjamin O. Davis Aerospace Technical High School to its prior full curriculum which included studies in aircraft maintenance, flight training and avionics. He also raised money with the BPA to send young adults to Operation Skyhook, an intensive aviation camp geared towards training young pilots.

 

THE LEGACY

Calvin was a loving husband, devoted father, caring grandfather, great-grandfather, respectful son, loyal brother, uncle, brother-in-law and an honorable friend. He was one of God’s most dedicated soldiers who shared his many gifts with the world. He was a man of his word and backed every wordit with service, action, deed, and commitment. His spirit and legacy will live forever.

 

On Superbowl Sunday February 4, 2021, while preparing himself to attend First Sunday Communion service, his heart arrested and on Friday, February 13, 2021 the Lord said unto him, ‘well done my good and faithful servant’ and called him home.

 

Calvin is preceded in death by:

His parents: Alzada B. Morrison and Calvin A. Morrison, Sr. His loving wife of over 51 years: Christine Morrison, Two children: Calvin Alexander, III and Trina Monette,  Three brothers: Ernest Gilbert, Edmund Emmit and Will Rogers (Chico), Three special brothers: George Rogers, Melvin Edwards and Sam Mayers

 

Calvin leaves to cherish his memory:

His four children: Wanda LaTresse Morrison-Hazel (William), Kelly Ann Rucker (William), Calvin Ernest Morrison and Bryan Kieth Morrison

Two brothers: Van (Yvonne) and Hall (Andrea) Morrison, One sister: Curlee Vickers, One sister-in-law: Clarice Dodson, One brother-in-law: Richard Thirlkill.  Eight grandchildren: DeWayne Antjuan Morrison (Sheria), Christopher Alexander Harris (Nerissa), Calvin Ryan Harris, Kayla Alexandria Boyette (Timothy), Danielle Antoinette Morrison, Kenya Alexis Rucker, DeVante Kyre Lloyd and LaToyia Renee Rucker, Three Four great-grandchildren: Roman Alexander Harris, Conan Alexander Harris and Sophia Joy Boyette. A host of nieces, nephews, great-great nieces and nephews, cousins, other relatives and friends

 

 

 

PALLBEARERS 

Sons, Grandsons and Nephews of Mr. Morrison

 

Calvin E. Morrison

Bryan K. Morrison

DeWayne A. Morrison

Christopher A. Harris

Calvin Ryan Harris

DeVante Lloyd

Jake Vickers, III

Harold D. Morrison

Jason P. Warley 

HONORARY PALLBEARERS

Brothers, Sons-In-Law, and Friends for Life of Mr. Morrison

 

Van R. Morrison

Hall H. Morrison

William C. Hazel

William R. Rucker, Jr.

The Friends of Detroit City Airport

The Montford Point Marines

The Black Pilots of America, Gilbert A. Cargill Chapter

FLOWER BEARERS

Granddaughters and Great Nieces of Mr. Morrison

 

Kayla Alexandria Boyette

Danielle Antoinette Morrison

Kenya Alexis Rucker 

DeAinna Husband

Averyanna Morrison

Michelle Husband

Bria Morrison

Kaelyn Dart

Curleasha Daniels

Sydney Vickers

Jasmine Vickers

Allayah Morrison

HONORARY FLOWER BEARERS

Daughters and Nieces of Mr. Morrison

 

Wanda LaTresse HazelMorrison-Hazel

Kelly Ann Rucker

Pastor DeShawn Johnson

Yolanda Cleveland

DeYonna Edwards

Kimberly Dart

Cheryl Cantrell

Tamika Lester

Monique Cleveland

Darlene Husband

 

FUNERAL ARRANGEMENTS ENTRUSTED TO:

Swanson Funeral Home East

806 East Grand Boulevard

Detroit, MI 48207

 

INTERMENT

Detroit Memorial Park East

4280 E. 13 Mile Road

Warren, MI 48092

 

ACKNOWLEDGEMENT OF APPRECIATION

The family of Calvin A. Morrison, Jr. wishes to express their deep appreciation and sincere thanks for your many acts of kindness, comforting messages, floral tributes, and prayers evidenced through word, thought, and deed. We are profoundly grateful to all that have provided comfort and support during this hour. Please accept the card marker in your program as our personal “Thank you”. 

God bless you all. The Morrison Family ♥️

DUE TO COVID, WE REGRET TO INFORM YOU THAT THERE WILL BE NO REPAST. The Governor has mandated that all gather privately.

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