Katherine Morrison

Obituary of Katherine Long Morrison


On the morning of Thursday, October 3, 2019, Katherine, age 94, died peacefully at Toronto General Hospital in the company of family members and friends.

Born in Detroit, Michigan on February 1, 1925, Katherine was the only child of Mason and Melinda Long. She graduated from the University of Michigan in 1947 and later worked for the Girl Scouts and as a flight attendant for United Airlines in the early days of commercial aviation.

On December 17, 1949, Katherine married Russell J. Morrison with whom she shared almost 67 years of marriage until Russell's death in October 2016. The couple are survived by their three children, Donna (Mark), Leslie (Tony), and Robert (Nui); seven grandchildren, Charlotte (Chris), Elliot (Inchai), Ben (Jennifer), Laura (Joey), Daniel, David, and Aria; and three great-grandchildren, Sebastian, Freya, and Mary.

While raising her three children in the 1960s, Katherine returned to academia, earning graduate degrees in English Literature at Concordia (M.A. 1971) and the University of Toronto (Ph.D. 1979) and teaching courses at U of T's School of Continuing Studies in the 1980s.

Katherine and Russell created the Morrison Foundation in 1978, which funded numerous educational causes and projects in Canada. At the University of Toronto, it was a key supporter of the Morrison Pavilion, Morrison Hall, and Robarts Common (currently under construction). It has also supported projects at Queen's University, the University of Western Ontario, and the University of Saskatchewan. It is a founding donor of Pathways to Education and the Loran Scholars Foundation.

Katherine received an honorary LL.D. (Doctor of Laws) from the University of Toronto in 2004.

An avid reader and scholar, Katherine was a long-time member of the Arts and Letters Club of Toronto.

Writing until late in life, and reflecting her long-standing interest in cultural differences between Canada and the U.S., Katherine published two books—Canadians Are Not Americans: Myths and Literary Traditions (2003) and Loyalism and the Conquest: Historical Roots (2014). A testament to Katherine's belief in life-long education, the second of these was published when she was 89.

There will be a service to remember Katherine at 3:00 p.m. on Sunday, November 3rd at the Humphrey Funeral Home A.W. Miles – Newbigging Chapel, 1403 Bayview Avenue (south of Davisville).

Donations in Katherine's memory can be made to Pathways to Education.  Condolences may be forwarded through www.humphreymiles.com.