James Morrison Obituary (1928 – 2022) – Racine, WI

James R Morrison

Nov 28, 1928 – May 30, 2022

KENOSHA – James R. Morrison, 93, beloved father and grandfather, passed away on May 30, 2022.

Jim was born in Racine on November 28, 1928, the son of Earl and Theresa (Beyer) Morrison. Jim’s parents died when he was very young. He and two siblings grew up in a household headed by his oldest sister and her husband. Jim started working at an early age and was employed by the Horlick’s Malted Milk Company during high school. The first in his family to graduate from college, Jim earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

On June 9, 1951, Jim married Sylvia Dergarabedian. The newlyweds lived in Columbus, Georgia for two years while Jim served in the Army. In 1953 they returned to Racine where they raised their three children. Jim was a reporter for the Voice Journal in South Milwaukee. In 1957, Jim began working in corporate communications for Western Publishing, where he would spend the rest of his career.

Jim’s favorite holiday was the Fourth of July when he and Sylvia would host backyard pool parties at their house on North Street. After joining his children and grandchildren in the pool, Jim took charge of the grill and enjoyed the company of friends and family.

When the first Lighthouse Run was held in 1979, Jim decided to challenge himself to see if he could complete the ten-mile course. He did and, in doing so, discovered a love of running that would last for decades. When the Lighthouse Run celebrated its 25th anniversary, Jim was one of only three runners who had competed in all the races. Even his quintuple coronary bypass surgery in 1982 was timed so he didn’t miss the race. Jim became active with the Racine Area Running Club and served as president. He took sports medicine classes at UW-Parkside and enjoyed sharing training strategies with other runners. The wall in his family room was filled with ribbons, medals and trophies as he competed in numerous races, triathlons and half-marathons. Jim completed 12 marathons, including Boston. He achieved his personal best time of 3 hours 30 minutes for a marathon when he was in his early 60s (he would want you to know that.)

When Sylvia suffered a serious stroke in 2004, Jim proved to be a different kind of “Iron Man” becoming her primary caregiver. It was a role he steadfastly filled even as her needs became more serious and complex.

After Sylvia passed away in 2018, Jim moved to the Parkview Senior Apartments on Douglas Avenue. He truly loved being part of the Parkview community and was happy to make new friends at that stage of his life. In March, 2022, Jim moved to an assisted living apartment at the Addison in Pleasant Prairie. The family gratefully acknowledges the conscientious and compassionate care he received.

In addition to his wife, Jim was preceded in death by his siblings: Ethel Linders, Mae Feest and Earl Morrison.

He is survived by his children: Jill (Alan) Sahakian of Northbrook, Illinois, Kathryn Morrison of Madison, Wisconsin and Jim (Diane) Morrison of Burnsville, Minnesota; grandchildren: Zachary, Joshua (Alexandra), Nicholas (Sarah) and Chelsea Morrison. He is also survived by nieces and nephews; with special thanks to nieces: Debbi Mueller and Diane Falbo; and great-nephew, Rob Ottosen, for all those great dinners at Mike & Angelo’s and Dawn Feest who visited and always kept in touch. Heartfelt thanks to running buddy Paulette Dunbar for her years of friendship.

Interment will be private. To honor Jim’s memory, the family suggests you follow his advice and his example: get off your butt and get some exercise.

Purath Beach Funeral Home & Crematory

3915 Douglas Ave

Racine, WI 53402

(262) 639-8000


Published by Racine Journal Times on Jun. 5, 2022.

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