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Joseph Franklin Morrison

Jan 8, 1936 - Jun 29, 2017

Joseph's Story

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Orrington - Joseph Franklin Morrison, 81, of Orrington, passed away peacefully after a long illness Thursday, June 29, 2017 in Bangor. He was born January 8, 1936 in Grand Rapids, Michigan. The son and third child of Annetta and Frank Morrison. During his youth, he moved Eastward as his father took various positions for business - from Grand Rapids he moved to Kalamazoo, Detroit, Niagara Falls, Springfield and later Cohasset, Massachusetts.
Joe graduated from Thayer Academy in Braintree, Massachusetts in 1955 and then attended the University of Maine at Orono, and studied education, history and science. There he met Alola Giffin, Pi Beta Phi and nutrition student from Norfolk, VA. He earned a BS degree in Education in 1959 from the University of Maine, and was a member of the Alpha Tau Omega (Beta Upsilon) Fraternity - where his two sons Mark and Ken would also later join. Soon after graduation, Joe worked a few years in the Boston area for his father at the Frieden Corporation selling business machines.
Then in 1962 he followed his passion and was soon appointed Teaching Principal at the Glenburn Consolidated School in Glenburn, Maine as the start to his career in education. Joe earned his Masters Degree in Educational Administration from the University of Maine in 1967. From 1966 to 1996 he held several positions within the Bangor School System, first starting as Vice Principal and Science teacher at the then 5th Street Junior High School for 6 years. In 1972, he became the Principal of the Fruit Street Elementary School for 16 years and was later tasked with reopening the Mary Snow Elementary School in 1988 where he worked for another 8 years until his retirement. He thoroughly enjoyed his time as an elementary school principal, working with the students, teachers and parents as he strove to create and maintain a positive environment for learning throughout his 30+ years as an educator.
Joe served on various curriculum committees and was directly involved with the University of Maine's teacher training program and was very involved with the local DARE program with the Bangor Police Department.
Joe is survived by his loving wife Alola Giffin Morrison of 56 years, son Mark Giffin Morrison and his wife Candace Jane Clewley Morrison of Windham and daughter Cheryl Ann Morrison Ginsberg and her husband Mark Ginsberg of Hampton Falls, New Hampshire and his sister Mary Morrison of San Diego, CA. Beloved grandchildren; Kristen Morrison of Saco, Greg Morrison of Windham, Connor Morrison, Olivia Morrison and Joseph Morrison all of Biddeford where they live with their mom Maureen O'Neil and her husband Rene Grandmaison.
Joe is predeceased by his parents Annetta and Frank Morrison and son Kenneth Morrison of Saco and sister Judy Stillwell of Warrenton, VA, and his very close in-laws Captain Alvin Giffin and Viola Purinton Giffin. Additionally, he is also survived by nieces and nephews; Larry Stillwell, Lynn Stillwell, Lisa Stillwell, Leslie Hudson and Kim Gilden along with several grand nieces and nephews and the many relatives from the Giffin and Purinton families.
Joe had a strong love of family and was happiest at the many gatherings and events over the years. He especially loved Fall and the Thanksgiving holidays spent with his parents and sisters and their families in Kennebunk and Plymouth Massachusetts and later here in Central Maine with the greater Clewley clan.
He was happiest outdoors landscaping, moving giant boulders by hand, gardening amidst blackflies, working in his woodshop, fishing, sailing and raking his forest. He enjoyed the family cottage at Pushaw Lake in Orono during the summers with his three dogs Barney, Casey and Comet.
Joe will be greatly missed as he touched many lives. He was a strong and caring, man who could always be counted on in a time of need. He was the consummate humble professional whose wisdom was often sought. His impact to the community was his advocacy for children and their education. He will be remembered for his resilience, positive attitude and very dry and witty sense of humor.
A memorial service will be hosted by his family at the Alumni Center at the University of Maine in Orono on Saturday August 5th from 1 -
5 p.m. with readings and memories shared starting at 2:30 p.m.
Published on  July 3, 2017
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