Thomas B. Morris, Jr., 83, a longtime resident of Chestnut Hill, Philadelphia, and former law partner and chairman of the Philadelphia firm Dechert LLP, died Thursday, May 14, 2020, after a valiant battle with Lewy body dementia.
Tom joined Dechert after graduating from Harvard Law School in 1962. In 1968, he opened Dechert’s first international office in Brussels, Belgium, and served as the consul of Belgium in Philadelphia from 1974 to 1989. His legal practice involved advice concerning a broad range of corporate matters, particularly related to international organizations. A graduate of Princeton University, Tom was awarded the Roper Trophy, the University’s highest athletic award, and won six letters in football and baseball. In 1957, he earned the Maxwell Award, given to the best college football player in the country for his winning performance against Colgate where he scored three touchdowns and threw for a fourth.
Tom served on a number of corporate boards, including The Berwind Group, Peirce-Phelps Inc., Asten Johnson, PNC Bank, Thomas Jefferson University and Thomas Jefferson University Hospital, The Philadelphia Contributionship, Keystone State Life Insurance, Harmac Medical Supplies, Yarway, Envirite Corp., Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce, Greater Philadelphia First, The Free Library of Philadelphia, the International House of Philadelphia, Princeton University, Lake Paupac Club and Springside Chestnut Hill Academy (formerly Chestnut Hill Academy). He also served as chairman of Peirce-Phelps and the International House of Philadelphia.
Tom was a member of Pine Valley Golf Club, Sunnybrook Golf Club, The New York Athletic Club, The Philadelphia Club, The Racquet Club and The Athenaeum of Philadelphia. An avid skier, Tom and his family spent their winters in Sun Valley, Idaho, where he was always in search of the perfect turn.
Born in Columbus, Ohio, to Margaret O’Shaughnessy Morris and Thomas Bateman Morris, Tom was the oldest of five siblings, with whom he remained deeply connected throughout his life: Jeremiah (Jerry) Morris, Ellen (Ellie) Roebuck, Joseph (Joe) Morris and Nancy Prior.
He graduated cum laude from Columbus Academy in 1954. His experience at the academy was profound and life-changing. In 2004, he created, and fully funded, an alumni scholarship in his name through the award program, which had provided him the opportunity to attend the school as a young man.
Tom is survived by his wife and best friend of 57 years, Ann Peirce Morris, and their three children, Lauren Ayres O’Connell (James O’Connell), Thomas Bateman Morris III and Richard Trevor Morris (Alice Tasman Morris); and four grandchildren, Julia, Jack, Clay and Louisa. Despite a lifetime of professional accomplishments, Tom considered his family his greatest success.
Due to the coronavirus, a memorial service will be held at a later time to be determined. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Tom Morris ‘54 Alumni Memorial Scholarship Fund at Columbus Academy, 4300 Cherry Bottom Road, Gahanna, OH 43230, or to the Free Library in Philadelphia, freelibrary.formstack.com/forms/donation.