Rev. Dr. Robert Harding Morris

WATERVILLE – The Rev. Dr. Robert Harding Morris, 99, died peacefully at his granddaughter, Hilary Koch’s home in Waterville on Tuesday, July 7, 2020. Bob was born on Feb. 4, 1921 in Johnson City, N.Y. to Henry D. and Dora (Durland) Morris. In 1943, he married the love of his life, Anne Cappucci, who preceded him in death.

Bob worked at IBM Endicott, N.Y. as a systems engineer and analyst for over 30 years. While working for IBM, he concurrently earned his B.A. from Harpur College (now SUNY Binghamton) and completed a double major in French and philosophy. He was a student in the full-year foreign studies program at the University of Neuch√Ętel, Switzerland. Also during his IBM years, he received his Local Pastor’s License from the Methodist Church and served as part-time pastor of the Campville United Methodist Church.

After his retirement from IBM, Bob went on to finish his M.S. from SUNY Binghamton, a Master of Divinity from Princeton Theological Seminary, and a Doctor of Ministry from Drew University. He concurrently served as pastor of churches in Sayreville, N.J. and Ventnor, N.J. When he retired from the ministry, he continued to serve as a guest preacher and adult Sunday school teacher in the communities where he lived. He knew it was a blessing to continue to serve God.

Bob had a lifetime love of building dry stone walls and passed on his talent to anyone who had an artistic eye and a similar disregard for their fingers and toes. When he lived in State College, Pa. he spent 10 years excavating and reforming overgrown fieldstones into contoured pathways to be explored in an undeveloped municipal parkland. He began this stone labyrinth when he was 80 “for the exercise,” and completed it in 2016.

Bob was fully committed to Eastern Standard Time, and in his many worldwide travels he never once set his watch for another time zone. This presented many challenges for family and friends traveling with him. In addition, he had absolutely no sense of direction and could easily get lost within a few miles of his home. He was thankful to live long enough to enjoy having a GPS.

His sense of humor was legendary, and his family shares hours of anecdotes, jokes, and puns. He loved playing online Scrabble and texted friends and family using carefully curated emoji messages. Bob believed that chocolate was nature’s perfect food and ate it daily for most of his 99 years, insisting that his daily ration of chocolate enabled him to do daily sit-ups and pushups until the last few weeks of his life.

Bob is survived by his daughter Suzanne, his son Robert and daughter-in-law, Debbie; five grandchildren; and 10 great-grandchildren.

Bob was loved dearly and will be missed greatly by his family and his many friends. Inspired by a book he read with his book club at Pleasant Street United Methodist Church, Bob became very passionate about criminal justice reform.

If you wish, donations be made online in his memory to the Equal Justice


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