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Murray W. Morrow, Jr.

By T.J. Woodward


Murray W. Morrow Jr., an award winning professional photographer for more than half a century and past president of the Professional Photographers Society of New York, died on July 28, 2010 after a prolonged illness. Mr. Morrow was born in Batavia on March 23, 1925, was a lifelong resident of Batavia. In 1943, before completing high school, he joined the United States Navy in World War II where he served aboard the USS Chester, which supported eight major Pacific battles including the invasions of the Gilbert and Marshall Islands, Tarawa, and Iwo Jima. Returning to Batavia in 1946, he married Donna Francis O’Brien, and in 1947 became the first father to graduate from Batavia High. Mr. Morrow drove across country with his new family to California where he studied photography and graduated from the Fred Archer School of Photography in Los Angeles. Upon his return he worked for Eastman Kodak, as well as starting his own studio. He also joined his brother in law, John O’Brien to establish Kleen All Company. Forced to give up this activity after breaking his back, they purchased a coffee business, which Mr. Morrow operated in the mornings while attending to his growing studio in the afternoons. The studio operated in Batavia for over 49 years and has photographed countless portraits & weddings for this community starting as Murray’s House of Photography then Murray-Lawing. Over the years his sons joined him and ultimately he and his son Tim became TwoMorrow’s Photography. Mr. Morrow became active in local chapters of the PPSNY, becoming an officer and subsequently moving up to President of the state society. He was a member of the board for many years & was instrumental in setting up the photographer’s professional school. His photographs & portraits won many awards for excellence and were chosen for exhibition in major salons. Late in life, Mr. Morrow plunged into digital photography and became a marvel with this new technology. He took considerable pride his community and worked for the betterment of his hometown and served in several community service organizations. He served as Kiwanis Club President and was instrumental in establishing Kiwanis Park. He was Kiwanian of the year in 1973 and became a lifetime member in 1988. For over thirty years he served with Ducks Unlimited. He served as chairman of the annual dinner held by the local chapter several times, and received numerous awards for his dedicated service. Mr. Morrow served as an honorary member of Zonta for over twenty years. When Zonta began to accept male members, he joined and thus became the first male member in Batavia. He served the club for twenty-six years by being the master of ceremonies for entertainment at local nursing homes. As president of the St. Joseph’s Home School Association, Mr. Morrow served his church where he was a devout member. He helped to initiate the first Popcorn Ball as a fundraiser for the school. During the final chapter of his live, he became the Vice-Chairman of the resident’s committee of the Veterans Nursing Home in Batavia. He led a campaign to raise money for planting flowers on the grounds. He also served as the “unofficial” official photographer recording events and producing portraits for his fellow residents. Murray Morrow was a fun loving guy, “a last man on the dance floor” kind of guy, a man who knew everybody and was known by everybody. A man who found joy in all aspects of his life – but most of all , the family that he leaves behind: his wife of 63 years Donna, his daughters Madonna (Thomas) Smyth and Vicky (George) Hodges; his sons Daniel (Gina), Murray “Mickey” (Colleen), Brian (Carolyn), Mark (Lee), Dennis (Natasha), Timothy (Brenda) Morrow. Twenty two grandchildren, twenty- four great grandchildren as well as sisters Eva Stern and Gloria Bodane, his brother in law John (Betty) O’Brien, sisters in law Kathleen (Robert) Maher and Natalie Morrow. Many nieces and nephews also survive along with a special friend Mike Chapman. He went through life with exuberant optimism believing obstacles can always be overcome, problems can be solved, goals can be achieved and life can always be made better. Life was made better by Murray Morrow. Calling hours will be held on Sunday August 1, 2010 from 3 to 7 PM at the Gilmartin Funeral Home & Cremation Company, Inc., 329-333 West Main Street, Batavia, New York 14020. A Memorial Mass with military honors will be held on Monday August 2, 2010 in Resurrection Parish (St. Joseph’s Church), 303 East Main Street, Batavia at 9:30 AM. Burial will take place in St. Joseph’s Cemetery. In lieu of flowers Memorials may be made to the Family to distribute to various charities. For more information or to sign the online guest registry please visit or phone (585) 343-8260. Arrangements completed by Gilmartin Funeral Home & Cremation Company, Inc. 329-333 W. Main St. Batavia, NY 14020.

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