Herman Cleveland Morgan
September 25, 1931 – July 17, 2020
Herman Cleveland Morgan was born September 25, 1931 to Cleveland Morgan and Lula Williams. The third of eight children, Herman followed in his father’s footsteps as a loving husband and father, as well as being an accomplished professional like his other siblings
Herman was an outstanding athlete and enjoyed football, track, golf and swimming. A large presence in football, he and his brother Carl anchored the line for athletic powerhouse Gary Roosevelt. As an all-black high school, they were denied the opportunity to compete against white schools and journeyed over to Chicago and as far south as St. Louis, Missouri to play other competitive black high schools. An all-state performer at the tackle position with his brother playing end, their prowess attracted the attention of recruiters and Herman was offered a football scholarship to the University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill; until the coach discovered he was black. Embarrassed, the coach offered to help Herman find a scholarship to another major college program and he later enrolled at the University of Illinois - Champagne/Urbana. In addition to football, he participated in track and between working and caring for younger siblings found time for golf and swimming.
Like many men in his generation, Herman served in the military doing a four-year stint (1951-55) in the Air Force. In addition to the cold of Lake Geneva, New York he was also stationed at Lake Charles, Louisiana. There he would meet cousin and future poker buddy Carol Tatum, when they both discovered they were going to the same relative’s funeral in Arkansas.
An inquisitive, industrious person, Herman had an analytical mind and was an avid reader. If he could read about it, he could do it. It was this ability that helped launch him into a series of careers tied together by his ability to transfer his skills from one set of circumstances to another. Befriended, then hired by a professor in the Psychology department at Indiana University, Dr. Russell De Valois, Herman quickly became a crucial part of De Valois’ research team, designing and building research equipment, performing non-lethal experiments on lab animals and teaching these methods to their PhD students.
Dr. De Valois was offered an endowed chair at UC Berkeley and asked Herman to come with him. He did, displaying such tremendous acumen that he co-published research for the National Science Foundation and the UC Regents waived the PhD requirement for his job. Along with analysing data, Herman used his drawing skills to chart and map data, then create slides (not PowerPoint) for researchers to use at conferences. This provided an alternate stream of income with which he put his children through Dartmouth, Stanford and UC San Diego. During his final years professionally, he used his drawing talent as a medical illustrator for the Veteran’s Administration, retiring in 2003.
A natural prankster, there was no joking when it came to the love of his life, his girlfriend of 68 years, Marcella Chandler. Word has it that he slowly, but deliberately made his way to her side during a break when she was singing, deftly but firmly took her hand and never let go. They were married January 4, 1956. He adored her - and she him. They built a house together in Bloomington and then made a home in El Cerrito, California (1970) where they spent some of the best years of their lives, raising 3 children, David, Daryle and Debi, fulfilling mom’s love for cars (19 at last count), and traveling from San Diego to Sea Ranch to Lake Tahoe building life long memories.
A devoted father in the mold of his own, Herman always found time for his children, teasing them and their friends, offering guidance but allowing independence. He gave to each of them according to their need and personality. But his heart belonged to his baby girl, Debi, whom he spoiled (gently), driving her the 2 blocks to school, picking her and her friends up from every social event, making sure she had transportation (Ford Bronco) to navigate San Diego, before entrusting her to her husband now of 25 years, Bill Kammerer.
Herman had a way of making everyone feel at ease and in his world. He constantly heckled his grandchildren, saying “I’m the boss of you” and proclaiming himself “king.” Later he transitioned his schtick to collecting a debt of $5 from family and friends alike - occasionally fielding more than he bargained for - Monopoly money and priority mail boxes filled with coins! It was what made him endearing. After encountering some health issues in his early 50’s he disciplined himself to a strict regimen of exercise and relatively low fat/low sodium diet with tremendous success. He built quite a following and leaves a host of friends that he exercised with at Albany pool for over 15 years.
Whether it was Herman, Herm, Big H, Fish or Mr. H, he was a man who was very much loved by people from all walks of life. Shortly after Christmas 2019 he encountered a series of health episodes - low blood pressure, cancer and a stroke. After several weeks of rigorous rehabilitation therapy, he came home to his sweetheart the day before Valentine’s Day 2020. He remained at home until he quietly transitioned to heaven in the late afternoon of July 17, having spent much of the afternoon holding hands with his “girlfriend” Marcella.
He was preceded in death by his father, Cleveland, mother, Lula, brothers William, Carl, John and sister Doris. Still carrying on the legacy are sisters Mildred Ball, Judy (Bertha) Phillips and brother Jerome Morgan (spouse Lela), brother-in-law’s Marvin Chandler (wife Portia), Pete Hicks and sister-in-law’s Gladys Morgan, Lavelle Morgan, Rosemary Chandler and Kaye Chandler. In his immediate family, the love of his life, Marcella Chandler Morgan, sons David (spouse Youlonda) and Daryle (partner Dean Williams), daughter Debi Kammerer (husband Bill) and 5 grandchildren who loved him dearly - Arthur, Jonathan, Aaron, Morgan and Taylor Marcella, and a host of other nieces, nephews, cousins, neighbors and friends.
There will be a gathering of family and friends on Monday, July 27, 2020 from 10:00 AM to 12:00 PM in Day & Deremiah-Frye Funeral Home, 4150 E Third St, Bloomington, IN. Funeral Services are scheduled for 12:00 PM on Monday with Rev. Dr. Bruce Rose and Rev. Marvin Chandler officiating. Burial will follow in White Oak Cemetery.
Monday, July 27, 2020
Monday, July 27, 2020
Herman Cleveland Morgan
August 8, 2020
Uncle Herman always had a kind word and a smile and his love for his family. He taught me about my family when share the family tree he researched.
July 28, 2020
Herman was always a joy to be around and he loved to joke with everyone. I got kidded a lot when I use to baby sit for the his sons. I got to see him a few years ago at a family reunion after not seeing him for many many years and he still had that sense of humor I remembered from years back. God bless the family. ..Love,M yla
July 27, 2020
Grandpa... I remember every moment we spent together growing up. From the rides to the beach in the classic truck, to the numerous trips to the “Lady Bug” park where I tortured you into to spinning me on the merry go round. To the trips to the basketball court where you would watch, and after every made shot say, “Workout Hoser”. To every trip where somewhere along the way I would utter, “I have to go to the bathroom”. I remember you always reminding me that everyone on Balra Drive knew you were the “King”. I remember every call you made to me during half time of every warriors game to give me an earful, reminding me of how good they were. I will never forget any of those moments and will cherish them forever. I could not be more proud to be your grandson and one of your best buddies. You are the reason I wanted to drive stick shift and made my Uncle teach me in his Jeep. The same reason I still drive stick today. You are the reason I love Rice Krispies, the reason I tend to be such a jokester, and call myself the king of my block. Thank you for being the smoothest, coolest cat on the planet, and teaching us all a thing or two. Your love and kindness is unmatched and your face and shared laughter will be missed by many. I can’t say enough how much I love you and know you are looking down on us all smiling. Thank you for life , love, and family. I love you and will miss you always, your grandson
JD (Aka Hoser)
July 27, 2020
Sending my condolences to my brother-in-law, David Morgan, sister Youlonda and the entire Morgan family.
I remember meeting Mr. Morgan and my first thought was "he is such a cool man". Will keep you all in my prayers as you weather through chapter of your lives. Big hug for Mrs. Marcie Morgan.
July 26, 2020
I have very fond and loving memories of Herman and his family. Will miss his infectious laugh and the warmth he showed towards me. I am proud to be mom to Jonathan and have many memories of our times together as a family. You are loved and will be missed
July 25, 2020
Worked with Marcella in the School of Education at IU. Of course,
met Herman and he was an instant friend. Herman and Marcie's
love is/was one of kind. Will always hold them in my heart.
July 25, 2020
It was a privilege meeting Herman through my sister Dianne Lenenberg. I found him to be a very kind man, and talking with him a short time I felt I had known him all my life! He and Marcie welcomed us into their home while vacationing in California! Herman wanted us to see the beautiful wine country in Napa Valley! I still remember how much fun we had, and he was a great tour guide! Your contagious smile will live in our hearts forever! Bj Walls
July 25, 2020
Herman was a gentle giant! So kind and loving. Marcella and I were co-workers at Indiana University and it didn’t take long to be good friends with her and Herman! They were the perfect couple and had so much respect for each other. Laughter and pranks were definitely a part of their marriage. I will always treasure their friendship. The world has lost a great man , but his spirit will live on forever. Love you Herman. Dianne Levenberg