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Class of 1952 (Restorative)



Dr. Morrison

Dr. Kenneth N. Morrison, one of the early members of the School of Dentistry faculty, passed away on Feb. 9 at his home in Seattle. He was 101.

Dr. Morrison became the first Chair of Restorative Dentistry at the UW School of Dentistry in 1970 when the new department was created by the merger of the school’s Department of Fixed Partial Dentures and Department of Operative Dentistry. He was also an alumnus, having received an MSD and Restorative Dentistry certification at the UW in 1952 after obtaining his DDS at the University of Toronto in 1943.

“He was the consummate clinical operator,” said Dr. Marty Anderson of the school’s Restorative faculty.  “Moreover, I came to admire his administrative and intellectual skills as a teacher and leader in our dental school.”

Calling Dr. Morrison trustworthy, honest, open, and sincere, Dr. Anderson added: “Ken was a consensus builder who was open and truthful with his faculty and staff. We all worked together and could exchange differing or opposing points of view in sometimes heated debate, with mutual respect and without fear of retribution. … He was admired by his faculty, staff and his students.  It is an honor to have known him as a teacher, colleague and good friend.”

“Dr. Morrison played an instrumental role in building a great department, and will be missed by all those who knew and worked with him,” said Interim Dean Gary Chiodo.

A native of Canada, Dr. Morrison joined the UW dental faculty in 1948, two years after the school opened, and became Professor and Chair of the Department of Fixed Partial Dentures in 1965. He also practiced privately in Seattle. He was a member of numerous dental societies, mentored study clubs, and authored more than 20 abstracts and research publications.

Unwilling to entertain mediocrity in himself or his students, he earned a reputation for being stern along with the nickname “Blackie.” He was highly respected in the dental community and often reflected that he was privileged to have worked with some of the brightest minds in dentistry.

He was born on Nov. 14, 1917, in Guelph, Ontario. His parents John and Elisa Morrison, together with his siblings Jiggs and Helen, created the family that molded him into a disciplined, learned, athletic, welcoming man of integrity and honesty.

After earning his DDS, he served as a dentist in the Royal Canadian Army attached to the Air Force in World War II. He started his civilian dental career in Vancouver, B.C., after the war.

In 1948, Dr. Morrison married Marion Campbell McLachlan in New Westminster, Canada. Shortly thereafter they moved to Seattle, where they raised their family. Marion passed away in 2002 after 54 years as Dr. Morrison’s beautiful, soft-spoken, devoted, loving companion. In 2006 he married one of Marion’s close friends, Dorothy Humber. In 2016, after 10 years of mutual support and affection, “Dot” passed away.

Dr. Morrison taught his children to be fair and open-minded to all people, beliefs, and persuasions, and that a well-thought-out, respectful debate was more powerful than a sharp, hastily conjured and delivered rebuke.

His two outdoor passions were downhill skiing, which he enjoyed through his middle 80s, and swimming laps, a daily warm-weather activity he enjoyed through his mid-90s. He and his family enjoyed not only these pastimes but also camping on the coast and across the country. He was an avid jogger and, in his later years, an avid walker.

Dr. Morrison is survived by his sons Scott and Blake, with their wives Julie and Mary; his daughters Stephanie and Marney and their husbands Paul and Greg; grandchildren Schuyler, Chandler, and Chelsea; and great-grandchildren Ava and Lachlan.