Robert J. Morrow
He did it his way. Robert J. Morrow, 88, passed away November 16, 2016, just the way he would have wanted -- peacefully, in his own bed, surrounded by his wife of nearly 65 years, his children and grandchildren, and his daughter's loyal little dog who never left his side.
Bob was born June 29, 1928, in Boston, MA, the son of Jeremiah and Mabel Morrow. He and his sister Jerry moved with the family to Long Beach, CA, soon after the big earthquake of March 1933.
Though they wouldn't meet until years later when they were college freshmen, his future wife Harlene was born that October in Long Beach and they later discovered they had lived just blocks apart. They were married in April 1952 and had three children -- Christine and Michael born in Long Beach, and Karen born in Saudi Arabia.
Bob's father, a career Naval officer, moved the family from Long Beach to Vallejo then back to Long Beach, finally settling in Pleasanton, CA for Bob's last two years in high school. A member of the junior/ senior football and track teams and class officer, he graduated from Amador Valley Joint Union High School in 1946, and followed his father's footsteps into the navy.
Bob served four years, then extended a year during the Korean War. Most of his service was spent on the aircraft carrier, USS Badoeng Strait, operating catapults.
Bob left the navy in 1951 to start college on the GI Bill. He spent two years at Long Beach City College and two years at USC where he received a BS in accounting in 1955.
He was recruited out of college by the auditing firm of Price Waterhouse in Los Angeles, but after two years he applied to the Arabian American Oil Company (Aramco) as Harlene's parents Harlan and Edith Wilson were still living in Dhahran. Bob joined the Ras Tanura Accounting Department in 1957 and retired nearly 30 years later in 1986.
Most of Bob's Aramco career was spent in finance in Ras Tanura and Dhahran except for a six-year period starting in 1976 when he transferred to engineering services as the company's budget director. At the time of his retirement, he was relief manager, finance, in Dhahran.
Bob was retired nearly as long as he was employed, and during the ensuing 30 years, he and Harlene lived in Austin, TX, where their two daughters Chris and Karen reside. His favorite pastimes were getting together with family, golfing, reading, gardening and traveling.
Bob and Harlene logged many miles driving from Texas to Oregon, California, and Colorado to see family and friends. Mike, Lenna, and children Mandy and Taylor lived in Ras Tanura and Dubai for some years, so they made two trips back to Saudi Arabia after retirement to see them and two to Dubai, stopping at various cities in the Middle East and Europe along the way. They also loved cruises and river trips, and went to Canada several times, Asia, Alaska, and Mexico with old Aramco and college friends.
Mandy posted a 1993 picture on Instagram the day after her Opa died showing the two walking the beach in RT, and noted he was "...a quiet but secretly dryly hilarious man ... who taught me how to be fly from day 1." Bob, who rarely left the house without wearing one of his lightly starched Ralph Lauren shirts, would have loved it.
A small family service was held at home; his ashes will be interred in Austin at Remembrance Gardens in a beautiful little rose garden near the waterfall.
Harlene may be contacted at the following address:
3600 Flamevine Cove
Austin, TX 78735-1544