Morrow, Ralph

Morrow, Ralph Allison

Prize-winning journalist Ralph Allison Morrow died July 31, 2023, of natural causes in his home in Key West, Florida. He was 87 years old.

Mr. Morrow, most recently the sports columnist for the Key West Weekly, worked more than 64 years for newspapers including nearly 30 years at the Dayton Daily News in Dayton, Ohio, where his report on the death of player Maurice "Mo" Stokes was selected as the nation's best basketball column of the year, and at the Key West Citizen where he served eight different times, primarily as Sports Editor. He won numerous other national and state writing awards at those and other newspapers.

In Florida, Mr. Morrow was Editor of Island News and Managing Editor of Konk Life, both in Key West; Government Writer at the Marco Island Eagle; Editorial Page Editor at the Charlotte Sun and Assistant Lifestyle Editor at the Fort Myers News-Press. In New York, he was a Sportswriter at the Rochester Times-Union and in Ohio, a General Assignment Writer at the Cambridge Jeffersonian (summers) besides his time at the Dayton Daily News.

Mr. Morrow also was an adjunct professor at the University of Dayton and Wright State University and was manager in Key West of Harbour Place Condominiums and the Key West Golf Club Homeowners Association and was a seasonal tax preparer at H&R Block. He served six years in the New York Army National Guard. Mr. Morrow was a co-founder and president of Center City Schools in Dayton.

He was married three times, the first to the former Lynne Thurlby, who survives and is the mother of their daughter, Lisa Dunn (Bruce). Lisa is the mother of his grandsons Christopher and Sky Dunn and grandmother to his great-grandsons Isaac and Oliver Dunn, all of Rochester, N.Y.

Mr. Morrow and his second wife, the late Patricia Powderly, were parents to Molly (J.D.) McMahon of San Diego, California, and the late Joshua Morrow (Julie Newhall) of Columbus, Ohio.

His third wife, Patsy O'Neal to whom he was married for 36 happy years before her death in 2014, added the late Christopher Winfield, his daughter Sharon; Scott Winfield (Sheila) and their children Ryan (Shannan), Amanda, Savannah and Noah Winfield. Ryan and Shannon are parents to Mr. Morrow's great-grandchildren Lyndsi, Zoey, Tessa and Gavin. Patsy's sons, whom he helped raise and considered to be his sons, are Rob O'Neal (Stacey Mitchell), Peter O'Neal and his children Philip and Ashley, and John O'Neal (Jessi) and their children Cassi and Jack. John O'Neal and his former wife Alisia Collins and their children Chelsea and Trent Collins (Katie), and great-grandsons are Cam and Teddy Collins of Dayton. Another grandson is John's son Austin Porter of Kentucky.

Besides his parents, Ralph S. and Helen F. Morrow, Mr. Morrow was predeceased by his cousin Howard William 'Bill' Davis of Cambridge, Ohio, and his sister-in-law Phyllis Risner (Tim) of Germantown, Ohio.

Mr. Morrow was born March 13, 1936, in Cambridge, Ohio. He was a member of the National Honor Society at Cambridge High School and co-editor with his friend, Jeri Lou Wastaff Rodibough, of both the Cambridge High School Newspaper, The Reporter, and yearbook, Cantab. He lettered on the varsity basketball and freshman football teams.

He went on to Ohio Wesleyan University, where he earned a Bachelor of Arts degree, majoring in journalism and history and minoring in English. Mr. Morrow was president of his fraternity, Alpha Sigma Phi, editor of the university yearbook, LeBijou, assistant editor of the OWU newspaper, The Transcript, and helped with several other publications.

He also leaves his brother-in-law Tim Risner, his cousin Jean Morrow Black (DIck); other cousins; and friends Brad Tillson of North Carolina (with whom he watched countless sporting events 'together' virtually via text), Jeri Lou Rodibaugh, Dominika Lensasova, Lisa Sacco, Evan Corns, Jim Hogan, Ben and Becky Ianotta and their daughters, Elsa and Bella, Wendy Tucker, Mandy Miles, David Livingston Sloan IV, Idania Rodriguez-Subrenat (Cedric), Ken Fradley, Terry Schmida, Alisia Collins, Robin Chafin-Sisk, Julie Newhall, John Hackworth, Jeff Brammer, J.W. Cooke, Ron Cooke, Willis Jacobson, Mary Martin, Darlene Zuwala, Dolores Hileman, Kate Lawson, Peggy Hoogsteden, Tamara Patzer, Charissa Feldborg, Diane Beruldsen, Bill Ellis, Daymi Guitterez, Lisa Angel, Marc Katz, Chick Ludwig, Hal McCoy, Kelly Davis, Betty Davis, Joe Cunningham, March Cox, Sandy Boggs, Carrie and Doug Helliesen and Shirley Freeman .

Mr. Morrow also leaves his childrens' Ohio friends including, Jimmy Bird, Jaren Neff, Jeff May, Aron Jacobs, Mikey Serotkin, Matt Erickson, Billy G.D. Hall, Bill Brackman, Arash Khatibloo and Matt and Teresa Beasley all of whom he and Patsy attended several rock concerts including Paul McCartney, Jimmy Buffett and the mighty Rolling Stones, multiple times.

Mr. Morrow also loved and appreciated his many doctors on the island and the staff at Poinciana Gardens namely Connie Inocencio and Mimi Vila, as well as health care providers, Sarah Squire and Virtue Fernandez of Island Home Health Care.

A service will be held at St. Paul's Episcopal Church at 401 Duval Street in Key West on Friday, August 4, 2023, at 2 p.m. Mr. Morrow's preferences for those who wish to contribute to his memory are the American Cancer Society Relay for Life and Key West High School sports program.

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