Charles R. Morrison, a former Polytechnic Institute teacher who later joined the faculty of what is now the Community College of Baltimore County at Catonsville, died Nov. 2 at the Little Sisters of the Poor-St. Martins Home in Catonsville of cancer. He was 84.
The son of Frank Morrison, a machinist, and Rose Morrison, a homemaker, Charles Richard Morrison was born in Baltimore and raised in the 2600 block of Wilkens Ave.
After graduating in 1948 from Polytechnic Institute, he worked as a member of a surveying crew that was building U.S. 50 between the Bay Bridge and Easton.
In 1950, he enlisted in the Air Force and served as a military policeman in Colorado, California, Florida and Texas.
Discharged with the rank of staff sergeant in 1954, Dr. Morrison enrolled at what is now Salisbury University, where he earned a bachelor's degree in 1959. He later earned a master's degree in education from what is now Loyola University Maryland and his doctorate in education in 1978 from Nova University in Fort Lauderdale. Fla.
From 1959 until 1970, when he joined CCBC, Dr. Morrison taught mathematics and surveying courses at Polytechnic Institute. At Catonsville, he taught engineering-related courses and also developed the construction management curriculum.
He retired in 1989.
Dr. Morrison's lifelong love of the American West and its mountains and deserts began during his Air Force days. In the 1960s, he established HighTails, a guide service.
"He would lead horseback pack trips into the Bob Marshall Wilderness in western Montana," said his son, Brian R. Morrison of Catonsville. "The trips would take customers into the rural rugged wilderness of Montana for two weeks of fishing and sightseeing."
Dr. Morrison dissolved the company in the late 1960s.
"In later years, he traveled extensively throughout the West, often with his brother Bob on horseback through remote areas of the Southwest deserts and the western Rockies," his son said. "Just several years ago when he was 78, he rode to the bottom of the Grand Canyon on a mule and hiked throughout the canyon."
Age did not dim Dr. Morrison's enthusiasm for visiting national parks.
"My father loved national parks and took many trips to the Grand Canyon, Yosemite, Zion and Yellowstone, and other parks throughout the country," his son said.
Dr. Morrison, who owned several horses, liked to ride in Patapsco Valley State Park.
The former longtime Catonsville resident moved to the Charlestown retirement community two years ago.
He volunteered for 25 years at the Little Sisters of the Poor and had been a member of its Association of Jean Jugan.
"He spent his last weeks as a guest resident of the Little Sisters of the Poor," said his son.
Dr. Morrison also volunteered at Believe In Tomorrow Children's Foundation in Baltimore, which provides hospital and housing services to critically ill children and their families. The foundation was created by his son, who is also its CEO.
"He contributed hundreds and hundreds of hours to the foundation," his son said.
He was a member of the Irish Cultural Society and during the 1970s and 1980s, he liked to attend Irish dances. He enjoyed taking day trips in Maryland and visiting Italy.
His wife of 37 years, the former Rose Marie Cochran, died in 1988.
A memorial Mass will be offered at 11 a.m. Saturday at St. John the Evangelist Roman Catholic Church, 13305 Long Green Pike, Hydes.
In addition to his son, Dr. Morrison is survived by a daughter, Karen Creech of Ocean City; a brother, Robert Morrison of Lynchburg, Va.; seven grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren.