Monday, August 26, 2013

My Dad. R.I.P.

James O’Connell Morgan
(July 21, 1918 – August 20, 2013)

James O’Connell Morgan was an artist, a veteran of WWII, a loyal husband and father of six. Morgan was founder of Morgan Studio in Cleveland, Ohio, the advertising, art and photography business he started and ran for the better part of four decades. The Cleveland native, later in life, lived in the village of Key Biscayne, Miami Florida and Keller, Texas with his wife Mary until her passing in May of 2011. He then moved to Tampa, Florida.   

He Graduated from St. Ignatius High School in Cleveland. (He was an average student, but showed early talent as a promising artist and illustrator.) He Graduated from John Carroll University where he was a Three-year letter winner and two-year starter as both offensive and defensive lineman on John Carroll's first and only Big Four championship team in 1939. Team record was 13-3-1 (.794) in his two years as a starter. (He was 60-minute Morgan at John Carroll University in Cleveland). Years after he graduated, he was installed in JCU’s sports Hall of Fame.

He studied at Pratt Institute of Design in New York where he began to solidify his career path before the call of military duty caused him to take a detour. The year at Pratt and the time he spent in New York City influenced him greatly.

He was a soldier during World War II. First enlisting and later entering officer candidate school (OCS). He served as a leader of a camouflage unit and led Black troops (at a time when the army was still segregated). He went wherever they asked him to go and yet was able to stay out of harm’s way. He served his country with honor for over four years.

After his time in the U.S. Army, he began his career at Malmquist Studio as a commercial artist until he left to start his own business in Cleveland, Ohio. He founded Morgan Studio in 1951 as “the architects of the printed page.” He was convinced that design was a noble and worthy profession. Along the way, Morgan Studio served a roster of blue chip clients including Ohio Bell Telephone, Youngstown Steel Door, Cleveland Electric Illuminating Company, L’erin Cosmetics, Ernst & Ernst, Glidden Paint, Stouffers Restaurants, Lake Erie Screw Corporation, Mooney Chemicals, Cleveland Federal Savings and Bonne Bell Cosmetics.

He was a devoted husband to Mary Francis Lawton Morgan (Jim and Mary were married in December of 1942 –Mary died May 2011. They were married for nearly 70 years.)

James O’C. Morgan and his wife had six children: Sundance (formerly James O’Connell Morgan Jr. – born 1944), Mary Lynn (born 1952), Wesley (born 1955), Gregory (born 1956), Daniel (Born 1958) and Robert Morgan (born 1959). 
James is survived by nine grandchildren:
Lynn’s children
James O’Connell Varney   
Philip Varney
(James is married to Susan and they have two children Colleen and Lane)

Wes’ children
Lindsey Morgan Dewey
John Benjamin Morgan
(Wes is married to Lynn)

Greg’s children
Wesley Morgan
Matthew Morgan

(Greg is married to Ellen and he has two stepchildren, Lauren and Michael)

Rob’s children
Megan Morgan
Tara Morgan
Kevin Morgan
(Rob is married to Joy)

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