Dr. Joan S. Morrison dies at age 63

She taught math at Goucher College and sang for many years in the choir of St. Mary of the Assumption

August 22, 2010|By Frederick N. Rasmussen, The Baltimore Sun

Dr. Joan S. Morrison, a former longtime Goucher College mathematics instructor who also had a deep love of music and sang with the Archdiocesan Choir of Baltimore, died Wednesday of cancer at the Brightwood Center in Lutherville.

The Govans resident was 63.

Joan Scott, the daughter of printers, was born and raised in Eddystone, Pa. After graduating from Eddystone High School, she earned a bachelor's degree in 1969 from what is now West Chester University.

She joined the Peace Corps in 1969 and worked as a teacher in Manila for a year.

Dr. Scott earned both a master's degree in mathematics and a Ph.D. in mathematics education from the University of Maryland, College Park.

From 1980 until retiring because of failing health earlier this year, Dr. Scott had taught for 30 years at Goucher College.

"Her teaching covered a wide spectrum," said Dr. Bernadette R. Tutinas, a Goucher colleague. "She taught math education for elementary and secondary students and supervised student teachers on site in county high schools," Dr. Tutinas said. "She also taught statistics, and, several years ago, she developed a statistics course with an environmental application which included data sets."

She said that Dr. Morrison enjoyed wide campus popularity.

"She was extremely popular and loved by the students, faculty, administration and the board," Dr. Tutinas said. "She could and did get along with everyone, but that didn't mean that she was a pushover. She was not easy but very highly principled in all aspects of her life."

Dr. Robert E. Lewand has been a professor of math and computer science at Goucher for 33 years and is another longtime friend and colleague.

"She had sort of an uncommon condition or trait. She could be demanding and yet gracious and kind to students," Dr. Lewand said. "She was always an advocate for them. If they had a personal condition in their lives or were in dire straits, she was attuned to that," he said. "She was there for them but not those students who were simply slacking off."

During her tenure at Goucher, Dr. Morrison was the first faculty member to be invited to join the President's Council, family members said.

Dr. Morrison also worked in county schools helping to develop math programs.

In recognition of her years at Goucher, the college established the Joan Scott Morrison Scholarship Fund.

An ardent music lover throughout her life, Dr. Morrison, an alto, sang with the Archdiocesan Choir of Baltimore and the choir at St. Mary of the Assumption Roman Catholic Church in Govans, where she was a longtime communicant.

"When we sang with the Archdiocesan Choir of Baltimore, we traveled to Italy and France," said Terry H. Wieczorek, a former member who lives in Towson.

"We had another friend, and we called ourselves 'The Three Altos.' She used to say the best thing about being in a choir was that you 'could sing out,'" Ms. Wieczorek said with a laugh. "Joan played piano and enjoyed all kinds of music, including jazz and classical music. She also attended a lot of concerts."

Ms. Wieczorek recalled Dr. Morrison as a caring and attentive friend. "When I was sick, she was the first person through the door with flowers," she said.

Dr. Morrison enjoyed traveling, knitting and gardening.

A Mass of Christian burial was to be offered at 9:30 a.m. Saturday at her church, 5500 York Road.

Surviving are a son, Daniel Scott Morrison of Baltimore; a daughter, Maire Sharon Morrison of Reston, Va.; and a sister, Judith Scott Hunter of Washington. Her marriage to John F. Morrison ended in divorce.

fred.rasmussen@baltsun.com

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