Rob Morrison

Rob Morrison died Feb. 26, 2024, at the age of 62.

Robert Graham Morrison, “Rob,” was born on April 30, 1961 in Olympia, WA to Robert Wilbur Morrison and Mary Jean Doane. At the timeofhisbirth,thefamilylivedinthenearbycommunityofLaceywhere his father was an optometrist. His middle name honoured his father’s older brother, a Canadian pilot who died in WW II. Later that year the family moved to Enumclaw, where they lived until the mid-1990s. Just after his first birthday, Rob contracted encephalitis which resulted in many weeks at Children’s and the U of W Hospitals in Seattle. In 1966 the family moved to a home on Florence Street which then lay at the edge of the city.

When Rob entered school, he spent many hours traveling to and from the Grandview School for special education which was in the Kent School District. This K-12 school had an enrollment of 120 and served multiple districts. In 1974 his otherwise uneventful childhood was interrupted when Rob rode his bike onto busy Roosevelt Avenue

and crashed through the windshield of a passing car. Another motorist with EMT training saved his life, but Rob spent a week in intensive care and had a long recovery. As a teenager Rob joined the Boy Scouts. ThereheenjoyedmanyhappymemoriesofdayhikesandovernightcampingasapartofEnumclawTroop 422. Rob also attended numerous Special Olympics at Fort Lewis where he participated in the 100-yard dash, shot put, and relay events.

In1982RobgraduatedfromGrandviewSchool.Afterthat,RobrentedanapartmentinAuburnwhere he worked various jobs as a janitor and as a dish washer. He returned to Enumclaw after his father died in 1988. Rob continued to live in Enumclaw for several years after his mother passed in 1994. After this his brother, Steven, served as his guardian. In 1996 Rob moved to Federal Way where he resided for the next three decades. He lived in an apartment with a roommate with the assistance of MAKSU, a state-supported care team which provided life skills, financial management, and medical support. Moving to Federal Way allowed Rob to reconnect with other Grandview alumni who live nearby or were in similar support programs.

WhileRob’slifeinFederalWaywaslowkey,heenjoyedbeingwithotherpeople.HebowledonMonday nights, participated in ‘People First’ events whenever he could, hung out at the local Wal-Mart, helped to set up lunches at the local Lutheran church, and enjoyed the freedom of making his own transportation arrangements, either on the bus or through Metro Access.

Rob enjoyed traveling. This likely started when his family started summer holidays to Victoria, BC to visit his father’s family. For his 18th birthday Rob and his parents flew to Hawaii for a week of exploring. After his mother died, he and Steven visited Disneyland to see Mickey and his friends. In 2007 Rob once again ferried to Vancouver Island for a family memorial, and in 2015 even took a cruise ship to Alaska withachaperonefromMAKSU.Moreoftenthetripswereclosertohome:rootingfortheTacomaRainiers or Seattle Mariners, special fishing excursions to Westport, or just seeing Leavenworth and Dry Falls in eastern Washington.

One of Rob’s greatest joys was eating out, particularly at Black Angus with his brother’s family. Christmas was his favourite time of year because Rob often got to be a bell-ringer for the Salvation Army. Althoughhis“Ho-Ho-HoMerryChristmas”voicecouldboom,itwasalwaysfilledwithjoyofthatseason.

Like many, Rob contracted Covid in 2020 and went to the hospital and then several months in a nursing home to regain his strength. Afterward his life changed. He spent six hours a day in dialysis three time a week. Rob continued to live in his apartment until his last year when he moved to the Life Care Center of Federal Way. Over that year he had heart surgery, twice and again for a broken hip. It somehow seems fitting that Rob passed during a medical appointment on Feb. 26, 2024. He will be interred in the familyplotwithhisfatherandmotherattheForestViewCemeteryinForestGrove,Oregon(hismother’s hometown) on May 17, 2024.

Rob is survived by his brother Steven W Morrison (EHS ’70) of Olympia, his niece Emily Grifin and her family of Woodinville, and cousins from Victoria, BC to Salinas, CA. The family wishes to thank the many employees of MAKSU for their assistance over the years. A memorial in Rob’s name will be made to Enumclaw Boy Scout Troop 422 by the family.