Rowland A. Morrow, counterintelligence official, dies

Lawyer and civic activist had worked for Defense Department

May 20, 2011|By Frederick N. Rasmussen, The Baltimore Sun

Rowland Ashmead Morrow, a lawyer and retired U.S. Defense Department counterintelligence official, died May 11 of complications from a neurological condition at his Mercy Ridge retirement community home.

The former longtime Guilford resident was 87.

Mr. Morrow, the son of a physician and a librarian, was born in Salisbury, Pa., and was raised there and in State College, Pa., and Philadelphia.

After graduating in 1941 from Central High School in Philadelphia, Mr. Morrow enlisted in the Army. He participated in the 1943 landings at Salerno and Anzio, Italy, and the 1944 landing in Southern France.

Mr. Morrow, who held the rank of private, was decorated with the Bronze Star for meritorious service.

After the war, he earned a bachelor's degree in 1949 from the University of Chicago and a degree in 1956 from the University of Maryland School of Law.

For three decades, Mr. Morrow held both legal and senior policymaking positions in the Department of Defense. He was director of the agency's counterintelligence programs from the Office of the Secretary of Defense in 1981.

At his retirement, he was presented the highest civilian award for distinguished civilian service by then-Secretary of Defense Caspar Weinberger.

Mr. Morrow remained a consultant to the secretary of defense, Central Intelligence Agency and National Intelligence Agency.

Active in community affairs, he had been president for 15 years of the Oakenshawe Improvement Association. He was a member of the board of managers of the Guilford Association and for a decade was chairman of the Sherwood Gardens Committee of the Guilford Association.

He had been president of the Homestead Foundation at Union Mills in Carroll County, and a member of its board of governors for many years.

Mr. Morrow was a longtime active communicant of the Roman Catholic Cathedral of Mary Our Queen, where he was a Eucharistic minister, parish council member and a founding member of the Cathedral Housing Committee that renovated abandoned houses for resale to low-income families.

He was named a Knight of Malta in 1990. He served two terms on the board of directors and as a member of the executive committee of the Order of Malta Federal Association, whose headquarters are in Washington.

Mr. Morrow was the recipient in 2009 of the Pro Merito Melitensi cross from the Order of Malta.

Mr. Morrow served as team leader on 15 pilgrimages to Lourdes, France, where the sick visited the Marian Shrine.

A Mass of Christian burial was offered May 13 at the Cathedral of Mary Our Queen.

Surviving are his wife of 58 years, the former Mary Carbery McSherry Boyle; a son, Rowland A. "John" Morrow Jr. of Belfast, Maine; two daughters, Mary Carbery Morrow of Baltimore and A. Leslie Morrow of Chapel Hill, N.C.; two brothers, William Morrow and Hilton Morrow, both of Baltimore; three sisters, Virginia Aumann of Baltimore, Sally Cornish of Washington and Marjorie Salley of Melbourne, Fla.; and seven grandchildren. Another son, N. Bruce Morrow, died in 1976.

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