In Memoriam – Alvin F. Morris

Alvin F. Morris of Northampton died on Wednesday morning, February 20, 2019 at Hospice of the Fisher Home in Amherst after a long period of declining health. He was 80 years old.

Born March 13, 1938 in Altoona, PA, Al was the first of three sons of Arthur A. Morris and Margaret J. (Roberts) Morris of Duncansville, PA. Even before graduating from Altoona High School, he began his career in the newspaper profession. At age 16, he started covering sports as a reporter for the Altoona Mirror. Over the years, he worked in a variety of editorial positions at newspapers in Pennsylvania, Massachusetts and Connecticut. While he was an editor on the copy desk at the New Haven Register, he made lifelong friends and met his wife, Mary, who was then a reporter. They were married October 5, 1974, in Washington, CT.

At age 39, Al began his studies at Wesleyan University in Middletown, CT on a full scholarship. He earned a bachelor’s degree in English, summa cum laude, graduating in the top 10 of his class in 1982. While living in New York City in 1982-1984, he was a writer and editor on the president’s staff at The New School for Social Research. He and his family moved to Northampton in 1984.

For 12 years, he was an assistant editor in the features department of the Daily Hampshire Gazette and for a few years also wrote the movie reviews until he retired in 1997. A voracious reader, Al always kept a fresh supply of books within reach and read three newspapers daily. He enjoyed traveling with Mary to Canada, England, Scotland, Ireland, Italy, France, Spain, Belgium and the Netherlands.

Al is survived by his wife of 44 years, Mary Duffy Morris, their son, Gavin D. Morris, daughter-in-law, Jennifer L. Morris, and grandson, Emmett Q. Morris, all of Northampton. He leaves four children from his previous marriage, Scott A. Morris and Marie J. Morris, both of Hamden, CT, Rodney G. Morris of Meriden, CT, and Courtney A. Morris of Wallingford, CT. He is also survived by his sisters-in-law, Dorothy Morris of Duncansville, PA, and Becky Morris of Kerrville, TX, and their families. He was predeceased by his parents and brothers, Gary L. Morris of Duncansville, PA and Jack E. Morris of Tucson, AZ. Donations in Al’s memory can be made to the Northampton Survival Center or Hospice at the Fisher Home.

Published in Daily Hampshire Gazette on February 27, 2019