Robert L. Morrell ’47

Robert L. Morrell ’47 died on October 13, 2019, in Brunswick, Maine.

(The following was published in the Portland Press Herald on October 17, 2019:)

Lifelong Brunswick resident Robert Lincoln Morrell, 93, died peacefully on October 13, 2019, in Brunswick, Maine. He was born in Portland, Maine, on Aug. 16, 1926, the son of Allen E. and Ellen Baxter Morrell.

Bob attended Brunswick schools, and graduated from Governor Dummer Academy in Massachusetts. Following his service in the Army Air Corps training to be a pilot, he graduated from Bowdoin College in 1947 and did a year of graduate work at MIT.

He met his wife of sixty-nice years, Nancy “Nan” J. Kirkpatrick, on a sailing date in Brunswick in 1949, and they were married on June 27, 1950, at the Stanford University Chapel in Palo Alto, California.

Bob joined his father in business at the Brunswick Coal & Lumber Company, later renamed Downeast Building Supply and Downeast Energy, until his retirement in 2012. Bob’s brother Dick joined the business shortly after Bob and the two became known in Brunswick simply as “Bob and Dick.” Several of their children joined the business over the years and helped it grow. Bob loved to go to work each day and interact with family members, employees, and customers.

Over the years he helped many local organizations with fundraising and leadership, including the Curtis Memorial Library, Brunswick Area Chamber of Commerce, Bowdoin College, Bath-Brunswick Mental Health Center, and the Brunswick Area United Way, receiving the Annual Citizenship Award from the Brunswick Area Chamber of Commerce in 1982 and the Bowdoin College Alumni Service Award in 2002.

Among Bob’s many interests were flying, which he learned as a teenager, sailing, fly fishing, beekeeping, growing fruit trees and orchids, tennis, golf, woodturning, and cheering on Bowdoin athletic teams of all types. One passion of Bob’s throughout his adult life was smoking his beloved pipe. When Bob took on a hobby, he pursued it with complete focus. His biggest passion in later years was turning wooden bowls on his lathe and giving them away as gifts. Many people in the community gave Bob wood from cut down trees and in return he would happily make them a beautiful bowl.

We all appreciated Bob for being the sweet, kind, generous, calm, good-natured, easy-to-live-with, and polite person he was. Even well into his dementia he always held doors open for people, motioned people to go before him, got up to say goodbye to anyone leaving the house, and thanked people all the time. Alzheimer’s Disease was unable to alter his core values.

In addition to Nan, Bob is survived by his children, Douglas Morrell and wife, Georgette Harpin Morrell of Brunswick, Daphne Morrell and husband, Timothy Wilcosky of Chapel Hill, N.C., and William Morrell of Brunswick; grandchildren Rebecca Morrell, Christopher Morrell and wife, Sarah, Lucy Morrell, Peter Morrell, Libby Wilcosky Lee and husband, Eric, and Annie Wilcosky, great-grandchild, Emmett Lee, and Bob’s brother, Richard (Dick) Morrell and wife, Eleanor, of Brunswick along with their four children.

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