Theodore Virgil Morrison, Jr.

June 15, 1935July 6, 2024
Obituary of Theodore Virgil Morrison, Jr.
Theodore Virgil Morrison, Jr. died July 6, 2024. He was born to the late Reverend Theodore V. and Helen Sisson Morrison in June of 1935. After graduating from Newport News High School in 1953, he attended Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia. While enrolled there, he was a member of Alpha Tau and Phi Delta, social and legal fraternities, respectively. As an apt student he finished first in his law class and was admitted to the Georgia bar prior to graduation. After passing the Virginia bar in 1959 he became employed by the law firm Bivins, Jacobs, and Bivins in Newport News. Later, "Ted" and Elmo Stephenson formed their own firm, Morrison, Stephenson, Saunders, and Spratley. Over the next thirty years he was engaged in an active trial law practice, litigating civil and criminal cases in various Virginia jurisdictions. During this period he served in the Army National Guard and Army Reserve, which included basic infantry training and six months active duty at Fort Knox. He was a sports reporter for the Fort Knox Turret, the post newspaper. "Ted" was president of the Newport News Bar Association and a member of the board of the Hampton Roads Boys Club. He also participated in the Newport News Rotary Club, the James River Country Club, and the Peninsula Jaycees. The Jaycees honored him as the Virginia Jaycees Young Man of the Year in 1968. In 1967 he was elected to the House of Delegates, representing the city of Newport News. Service in the General Assembly from 1968 until 1988 included the standing committees of Interstate Cooperation, Chesapeake and Its Tributaries, and Finance. During his tenure in the legislature he was also on the Militia and Police, Rules, Privileges and Elections, and Corporations, Insurance and banking committees. He was vice-chairman of the Courts of Justice committee and chairman of the Finance committee. As a founding member of the Joint Legislative Audit and Review Commission in 1973 "Ted" also acted as vice-chairman. Inclusive of other memberships regarding legislative activities were the Committee of District Courts, the Virginia State Crime Commission and The Virginia Code Commission. While serving as a Code Commission member he was responsible for floor debates on bills relating to finance, crimes and offenses, civil procedure, stock and non-stock corporations, insurance and many others. Among his achievements for which he was most proud was being the chief patron of the bills creating the Court of Appeals and authorizing tax relief for elderly home owners. He considered it just as important to defeat bad legislation as to promote laws for the common good. "Ted" was inclined toward the philosophy that government governs best that governs least. In 1989 he was elected by the General Assembly to be a member of the State Corporation Commission. On five occasions, he served as its chairman until his retirement in January of 2008. Aside from his deep involvement in government and the law, "Ted" enjoyed golfing, boating, scuba diving, and winning card games. Predeceased by his step-son Robert Downes, "Ted" is survived by his wife of forty years, Sharon Bundy Morrison. His remaining three sons are Matthew, married to Jenn van Gelder, of Ocoee, Florida, Charles whose wife is Sarah Shott, of Richmond, and Thomas of Brooklyn, New York. His grandchildren are Charlotte, Charles, Jr. and Shepard Morrison. A sister, Mary Hopkins, resides in Missouri, as does her son Michael Atkinson. The family members are grateful for the care "Ted" received from his various doctors and the staff at Davita and hospice staff at Johnston-Willis Hospital. Waiting at the pearly gates for his master to come home will be "Ted's" furry friend, Maximillian Domino Houdini. Please consider a donation to your local SPCA in honor of "Ted". Woody Huguenot Chapel is in charge of final arrangements. Plans for a memorial service will be published at a later date.

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