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William Knight Morrow PE (1931 - 1984)

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William Knight (Bill) Morrow PE
Born in Shaker Heights, Ohiomap
Ancestors ancestors
Husband of — married about in Shaker Heights, Ohiomap [uncertain]
Father of
Died in Kenmore, New Yorkmap
Profile last modified | Created 29 Jul 2016
This page has been accessed 507 times.


WKM grew up a Roman Catholic, first in Shaker Heights, Ohio. The youngest sibling of the family, his father died when he was 6 years old. His mother soon moved back to near her home town of Buffalo. [1][2]

His father died in 1938 when WKM was six, and his mother went on to start a career as a real estate agent and never re-married. He attended Shaker Heights High School.[3] His best friend in high school was Wesley Ray, who went on to become a dentist in San Francisco. William graduated from the Catholic University of America in 1952 with a degree in architectural engineering.[4][5] He then was commissioned as an officer of the U.S. Navy in the SeeBees; he never saw action.[6]

In 1953, he was commissioned as an officer in the Navy. He was assigned to the Naval Station Argentia in Newfoundland, where he met his wife.[7] They were introduced at an officer's party by her father, who worked as a contractor at the station.

Around 1956, he moved his growing family to at or near 243 Sheppard Avenue, Kenmore, NY 14217. He attended Mass at St. John the Baptist Church and sang in the men's choir. He later advised the church on some building matters. He enjoined jogged and attending professional sports events such as football and hockey games.

Around 1959 he started a partnership, R. P. Morrow Associates, with his brother, Robert. After two years, he left that partnership.[8][9]

In December 1961 he moved the family to 315 Crosby Avenue, Kenmore NY 14217.

After the partnership breakup, he initially went to work in sales selling refractory brick.

He then worked for some other companies, including Cannon Design.[10] Around 1971, he earned his NYS professional engineering license and stamp.[11]

In 1972, he moved his family to the house at 210 Beechview Avenue, Jamestown, NY 14701 and worked at Netzger Thorsel and Dove P.C., hoping to move into a management position.[12] His family attended SS Peter & Paul RC Church on 508 Cherry Street.

While in Jamestown, he rented the Crosby house to the assistant conductor of the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra and his family. Their son, Tony Collura, would later attend SJCI.

When no promotion came after two years, he moved his family back to the Crosby Avenue, Kenmore house.

WKM started his own practice back around Kenmore, NY. It was called something like William K. Morrow PC. He would end up occasionally bidding for contracts in competition with his brother Robert's firm, sometimes winning and sometimes losing to his brother. After moving his office around, he purchased the office building at 802 Kenmore Ave, Buffalo, NY 14216 . He primarily worked as a subcontractor to architectural firms. As of 2016, many of the buildings that he did the engineering designs on are still standing.

WKM sang with the Buffalo Choral Arts Society with his wife. He was a bass and she was an alto.[13]

WKM had leadership qualities, as first demonstrated while he was an officer in the Navy. When one of his employees made a mistake and designed a sink faucet for a set of sinks in a hospital that overhung the edge of the sink, it cost the business about $5000 to buy replacement shorter faucets. Rather than single out the draftsman who had made the error by docking his pay or firing him, WKM simply hung one of the long-necked faucets from the ceiling of drafting area as a permanent reminder to all his draftsmen to triple-check their work before having WKM stamp their drawings.

His business thrived and he bought the cottage in Canada at 12869 Old Lakeshore Road, Wainfleet, Ontario Canada L0S 1V0 . The family often went there on weekend in the summer. He purchased a 14 foot sailboat that he and his children enjoyed on Lake Erie. He enjoyed drinking Molsen Canadian beer while at the cottage and having friends and relatives over.

Bill had a heart attack in the summer of 1984. He was hospitalized, but he suffered a second fatal heart attack on the day he was supposed to come home. Since he died alone in the bathroom (without any hospital staff present), an autopsy was performed. It showed extensive atherosclerosis and, had he lived, he would have required perhaps a triple bypass surgery.

He is buried at Mount Olivet Cemetery in Tonawanda.[14]



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