Cherished educator gave hope to students in three countries
Brother Richard Morrill, 1952-2007
Divine Word Missionary Brother Richard Albert Morrill died of cancer at Glenbrook Hospital on Ash Wednesday evening, Feb. 21, 2007, at the age of 54.
He was born in Chicago on July 9, 1952, the youngest of five children. He was raised in Brookfield and attended St. Louise de Marillac Grammar School in west suburban LaGrange Park. After completing the eighth grade, he entered the Divine Word High School seminary program studying first at Techny, Ill., and then at East Troy, Wis.
He continued his education and preparation for ministry at Divine Word College in Epworth, Iowa, graduating in 1974. He professed his religious vows on Aug. 17, 1975, and was assigned to the Divine Word Seminary at Bordentown, N.J., where he taught history, civics and social studies and then served as vice principal in 1980 and 1981. During those years, he completed a master’s degree in education at Trenton State College.
He was transferred to the province of Québec, Canada, for three years, and then to the island of Saint Kitts, West Indies, in the Caribbean for six years. In both locations he continued his missionary activity as a teacher and academic administrator.
In 1990, he joined the staff of Verbum Dei High School in Los Angeles, Calif., as an academic counselor and subsequently was named the dean of students. He also served in various administrative capacities for the U.S. Western Province of the Society of the Divine Word.
Despite having been diagnosed with a malignant brain tumor, he continued to teach and remained active while undergoing treatments until just a few months ago. He came to the Divine Word Residence at Techny, Ill., in December 2006 for medical care and to be closer to his family. He entered Glenbrook Hospital and began hospice care in the final days before his death.
He is survived by his brothers Thomas and Raymond, his sister Donna Mechlenburg, and numerous nieces, nephews, cousins and other relatives. He was preceded in death by his parents, Evelyn and Raymond, and his brother Charles.
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