Samuel A. Morris, 15, Boy Scout, athlete for Carroll County teams


Samuel A. Morris, a Westminster Boy Scout who swam and played soccer and football for teams in the region, died Wednesday at Suburban Hospital in Bethesda of injuries he suffered when a car struck him while he was on the way to his school bus. He was 15.

A former student at Mount St. Joseph High School in Baltimore and Oakland Mills High School in Columbia, Samuel moved to Bethesda with his mother, Laura Decker, and her fiance, John Moustakas. He most recently attended Bethesda Chevy-Chase High School, where he was a sophomore honor student.

Samuel was a member of Boy Scout Troop 2007 and had been elected by members of his troop into the Order of the Arrow, a fellowship dedicated to service, selflessness and generosity.

His mother described him as a caring and compassionate teenager whose generosity was exemplified by his wish to have his organs donated when he died. Three people received his organs, including a North Carolina teenager who received Samuel's heart.

"He was a big kid, but he was gentle," said Ms. Decker. "He was first of all funny and lively, which kind of sometimes hid that he had the biggest heart in the world."

Samuel was racing to his school bus stop when he was struck by a car as he crossed Massachusetts Avenue in Bethesda about 6:30 a.m. Sept. 21. He died the next day as members of his Boy Scout troop were preparing a prayer service on his behalf, his mother said.

From kindergarten through eighth grade, Samuel attended St. John Roman Catholic School in Westminster.

Family and friends said Samuel was a strong, independent person who liked to hold onto the things in which he believed.

"He believed in Santa Claus until he was 13 and was absolutely crushed when he found out there was no Santa," said Jeannie Vogel, a Westminster resident and family friend. "He said, 'Oh no, Mom, don't tell me there's no Easter Bunny.'

"He was smart and he was interesting and funny," she said. "He was an amazing kid."

Samuel was active in sports in Carroll County, where he lived from birth until last year. He joined the South Carroll Swim Club and Westminster Riding Club swim teams, the Westminster Soccer Association and the Westminster Optimist Club football team.

Services and interment were held Saturday at the Church of the Resurrection in Ellicott City.

In addition to his mother, Samuel is survived by his father, Robert Morris of Atlantic Beach, N.C.; and two brothers, Benjamin C. Morris, 13, and Charles R. Morris, 9, both of Bethesda.

The family asked that donations be made to the American Trauma Society, 22 S. Greene St., T3R19, Baltimore 21201.

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