Robert "Bob" Morrison of Muscatine, a founder of Honor Flight of the Quad-Cities, died Monday.
"He passed peacefully in his sleep," Norma, his wife, wrote on her Facebook page.
A celebration of life will be 10:30 a.m. Saturday, Oct. 19, at Wesley United Methodist Church, 400 Iowa Ave., Muscatine. Visitation will be at 9:30 a.m. Ralph J. Wittich-Riley-Freers Funeral Home, Muscatine, is in charge of arrangements.
Morrison was hub director since the Honor Flight founding in 2008, when the Quad-Cities formed a chapter of the Honor Flight Network called Honor Flight of the Quad-Cities. Its purpose is to fly veterans to Washington, D.C., to visit memorials dedicated to veterans. Top priority is given to World War II and Korean War veterans and veterans with a terminal illness.
Morrison took many flights to Washington, D.C., with thousands of veterans, including one with his father, Don. The first Honor Flight of the Quad-Cities was in November 2008. The chapter's 50th flight will be Oct. 31.
Stephen Garrington, a retired Army lieutenant colonel, succeeded Morrison as Honor Flight hub director. In November 2015, Garrington organized an online fundraiser to help Morrison with medical expenses after Morrison was diagnosed with frontotemporal dementia. After the diagnosis, Morrison retired from Ridgecrest Retirement Village and Honor Flight, which operates out of the Davenport retirement facility.
Morrison thought it would be great for Quad-City veterans to go on honor flights after he discovered other areas had programs but was advised he needed to consider starting a Quad-City area initiative.
“He said, ‘I’m going to make an Honor Flight for the Quad-Cities,’” Garrington recalled.
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Even though other people might have given up, Garrington said, Morrison made it happen.
“It was in his heart to take care of veterans,” Garrington said. “His mantra was 'It’s all about the veteran.'”
Morrison, who touched thousands of lives through Honor Flights — veterans, their families and guardians — earned a Community Service Award from Modern Woodmen of America. He sometimes flew on back-to-back Honor Flights.
He earned many other awards, including the Marriage Encounter "Ham and Eggs" award for sacrificial service, the Silver Beaver award from the Boy Scouts of America, Rotary International's Guardian of Integrity Award, the Quad-City "Hometown Hero of the Year" award, which he earned twice, and the Mason City High School Distinguished Alumni Award.
Morrison was a past president of Illowa Partnership for Philanthropic Planning, formerly the Quad-City Planned Giving Council, according to his LinkedIn.com profile. He had served as development director at Ridgecrest Foundation and had been marketing director for Ridgecrest Village. He also was development director for United Marriage Encounter, an international marriage ministry.
A graduate of the University of Iowa Tippie College of Business, he was a longtime volunteer with Boy Scouts of America and served as a scoutmaster. He was an Eagle Scout.