Fighter pilot displayed generosity of spirit
A fighter pilot in World War II, William “Pap” Morrison was a quiet man who never lost his temper and loved others, his family said.
“He gave more than he ever could have gotten back,” said his granddaughter, Linda Gaydos of Monroeville. “He always had a hand to hold when you needed. He loved animals. He loved us kids and our kids.”
“None of us ever saw him mad,” said Michael Gaydos, her husband.
William “Pap” Morrison of Monroeville died Saturday, Nov. 8, 2014, his birthday. He was 95.
Born in the North Side, he joined the Army Air Corps in 1944, flying missions in a P-51 Mustang in the Philipines, New Guinea and Luzon. He performed test flights of experimental aircraft before his honorable discharge as a first lieutenant in 1946.
After the war, Mr. Morrison returned to Pittsburgh where he worked as a streetcar conductor for several years before becoming an air traffic controller at Pittsburgh International Airport.
He married Hazel “Nana” Morrison in 1955.
He later transferred to Cleveland Hopkins International Airport, moving back to Western Pennsylvania in retirement.
The family always had several dogs and cats, Michael Gaydos said.
“They both loved animals,” he said. “She was always going around the neighborhood feeding the neighborhood dogs, and he was the one taking her around.”
An avid golfer, Mr. Morrison played golf every Friday with his son and belonged to a couple of bowling leagues.
“He was doing all that up until the last year,” Michael Gaydos said. “He was always active, always on the go.”
In addition to his granddaughter, Linda, Mr. Morrison is survived by his son, Michael “Mick” Kelly, and his granddaughter, Kimberly Sutton, both of Monroeville; seven great-grandchildren; and five great-great-grandchildren.
He was preceded in death by his wife, Hazel, and a grandson, Michael J. Kelly Jr.
Funeral arrangements are being handled by Gene H. Corl Inc. Funeral Chapel and Cremation Services of Monroeville. Visitation was Tuesday.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 10:30 a.m. Wednesday in St. Bernadette Church in Monroeville. Interment will follow in Plum Creek Cemetery.
Brian Bowling is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Contact him at 412-325-4301 at [email protected].