Howard Morrison, Jr.

Howard J. Morrison, Jr.

Howard Jackson Morrison Jr. of Savannah, Georgia passed away Thursday, January 24th due to complications resulting from a stroke suffered on March 14, 2017, his 47th wedding anniversary. He was 75. Howard is survived by his loving wife, Mary Reynolds Morrison, his children Howard Jackson Morrison, III of Savannah, and Mary Morrison Moore of Atlanta, daughter-in-law Camille Warnell Morrison, son-in-law Timothy Temple Moore, and six grandchildren, Emma Camille, Jim Reynolds and Grace Thiesen Morrison, Andrew Jackson, Jackson Thiesen, and Hamilton Egan Moore. He is also survived by his brother Mills Lane Morrison and six nieces and nephews. He was predeceased by his sister Mary Morrison Clarke.

The oldest son of the late Dr. Howard and Mary Lane Morrison, Howard was born in Savannah on May 14, 1943 and grew up playing in Forsyth Park and on his family’s farm, Lebanon Plantation. He attended Massie School, The Pape School, graduated from the Choate School in 1961 and from Yale University in 1965. He proudly served three years on active duty in the United States Navy, retiring in 1969 as a Lieutenant.

After marrying Atlanta native, Mary Thiesen Reynolds, Howard moved to Atlanta in 1970 to work with C & S Bank, which was founded by his grandfather, Mills B. Lane. Howard’s banking career spanned nearly 30 years including being the chief financial officer of the Citizens and Southern Realty Investors and helping to develop C & S Bank’s High Technology Group (now part of Bank of America.) Howard was the founding president of the Business & Technology Alliance (B&TA) in Atlanta, now the centerpiece of the Technology Association of Georgia (TAG). Howard also served on the boards of the Southeastern Software Association, the Georgia Biomedical Partnership, the Innovation and Technology Committee of the Georgia Department of Industry Trade and Tourism, and as a trustee of University of Georgia Research Foundation.

When he retired from banking in 1996, Howard returned to his hometown of Savannah where he was instrumental in establishing the Coastal Business, Education & Technology Alliance (now the Creative Coast) and initiating and developing the Georgia Tech Savannah campus where he was founding advisory board chairman and subsequently chairman emeritus.

Howard believed that giving back to his community was of utmost importance and served on, chaired, and was actively involved with many educational and charitable boards throughout his life, including: Planned Parenthood of Atlanta, the Atlanta Humane Society, the Georgia Historical Society, the Georgia Foundation for Independent Colleges, the Southeastern Savoyards Light Opera Company, the Ossabaw Island Foundation, the Georgia Humanities Council, Brandon Hall School, and The Georgia Conservancy, the Georgia Tech Research Corporation, the Georgia Tech Applied Research Corporation, the Skidaway Island Marine Sciences Foundation, Georgia Southern University’s Allen E. Paulsen College of Science and Technology, Georgia Tech Ireland, Goodwill Industries of the Coastal Empire, Armstrong Atlantic State University Foundation, Savannah State University’s College of Science and Technology, The Savannah Community Foundation, Inc., South University, the United Way of the Coastal Empire, Savannah Fund for Excellence in Public Education, the Community Advisory Board of the Junior League of Savannah, Friends of the Cockspur Island Lighthouse, GeorgiaForward, the Savannah Economic Development Authority, the Mercer University School of Medicine Savannah, the Professional Association of Georgia Educators Foundation Inc (PAGE), THA Group’s Island Hospice, Junior Achievement of Georgia, the Downtown Rotary Club, Savannah, and Dawn’s Daughter. He also supported from their inception the Savannah Children’s Choir and Loop it Up Savannah.

A man with boundless energy and passion, he loved people, his family, and his beloved family home, Lebanon Plantation, which he worked tirelessly to restore, preserve and share with the city of Savannah. Known for the various unique hats he wore, he often said he planned on spending his retirement sitting on the dock catching crabs, but he could hardly sit still long enough to do so. He loved entertaining and traveling with his wife, hunting, fishing, and jeep rides with his son, walking in the woods and stargazing with his daughter, and lively debates with friends new and old. He particularly valued the time spent with his grandchildren in the little house with a fire burning and an old war movie or classic film on the television.

Howard thrived on helping people turn great ideas into reality and as a result served on the boards of numerous technology companies in Atlanta and Savannah, and was instrumental in the founding of businesses and nonprofits throughout the state. The breadth and depth of his community involvement was tremendous. Howard co-founded Verdant Kitchen, which produces gourmet health and wellness products from plantation grown ginger and turmeric. He also co-founded the Savannah Ocean Exchange, designed to bring together individuals from around the world to identify sustainable solutions to help minimize the impact of human activity on the environment. In 2012 Howard launched a project at the Savannah International Trade and Convention Center to permanently display ship models of the 20th century as a way of preserving the history of maritime innovations. The idea expanded to include the model ships which now serve as the centerpiece of the Massie Heritage Center’s exhibition exploring the importance of the Savannah River to Savannah’s founding, history and growth.

Always content to give others credit, his dedication to the state of Georgia and others nevertheless earned him countless awards and recognitions. Among those awards were: Leader of the Decade by the Business & Technology Alliance, inducted into the Georgia High Technology Hall of Fame and the Savannah Business Hall of Fame, a Governor’s Award in the Humanities, the Small Business Assistance Resources in Savannah Pinnacle Award, an Honorary Alumnus of the Georgia Institute of Technology, and The Savannah Technical College Foundation Opportunity Award. In 2015 the Savannah Chatham County Public School System selected Howard along with his lifelong friend Stratton Leopold and Dawn Baker as speakers for the inaugural Passport to Excellence Lecture Series. CBETA established an Outstanding Leadership Award in Howard’s name.

Howard was a member of First Presbyterian Church, Savannah, the St. Andrew’s Society of Savannah, the Hibernian Society of Savannah, the Society of the Colonial Wars in the State of Georgia, the Society of the Cincinnati, the Piedmont Driving Club (Atlanta), The Century Club, the Cotillion Club, The Oglethorpe Club, and the Chatham Club. The family is grateful for the loving care he received at Azalealand, for the THA sitters who helped him the past two years, and the support of countless friends and family. A memorial service will be held Monday, January 28, 2019 at 3:00 p.m. at First Presbyterian Church, 520 Washington Avenue, Savannah, GA 31405. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in his memory to Massie Heritage Center, 207 East Gordon Street, Savannah, GA 31401, the Savannah Technical College Foundation for the Historic Preservation Program, 5717 White Bluff Road, Savannah, GA 31405 or to a charity of your choice. Please sign our online guestbook at Fox & Weeks Funeral Directors, Hodgson Chapel, Savannah, GA (912) 352-7200.

Published in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution on Jan. 26, 2019