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Glenn R. Morris, Bethlehem Steel retiree, WWII veteran

March 19, 1924 – Oct. 14, 2014

Glenn R. Morris, a Bethlehem Steel Corp. retiree, a talented singer and a World War II aircraft engine mechanic, died unexpectedly Oct. 14 in his West Seneca home. He was 90.

Born in Buffalo, Mr. Morris was a graduate of Brocton High School. He was in his first semester of studying mechanical engineering at the University of Buffalo when he was drafted into the Army.

The Army sent him to Buick Civil Mechanics School in Flint, Mich., where he learned to repair the Pratt & Whitney engine that powered the B-24 bomber and C-47 transport plane.

He was stationed at air bases in Darwin, Australia, and on Biak Island during the liberation of the Philippines. After the war ended, he was promoted to crew chief and assigned to Clark Field in the Philippines.

Returning from service, he went to Spartan School of Aeronautics in Tulsa, Okla.

“But when I came back to Buffalo, I was told I was overqualified,” he told The Buffalo News in 2012, “so for 34 years, I worked at Bethlehem Steel on instrumentation for temperature measurements and controls.”

An accomplished tenor singer and musician, Mr. Morris played bugle and trumpet. While in the Army, he was called upon to play taps at military funerals. He also sang on troop ships and in several choirs that entertained Australian troops.

He placed second in the “Voices of Tomorrow” singing contest in Buffalo in 1946 and sang on the “King’s Morning Hour” on WKBW radio Sunday mornings.

He performed with the Buffalo Light Opera in 1950 and for 15 years was a member of the Friends of Harmony barbershop chorus. He also sang in many church choirs.

Mr. Morris was a volunteer at Ronald McDonald House in Buffalo for 17 years and volunteered with Meals on Wheels.

He was a member of Wesleyan Church of Orchard Park.

Survivors include his wife of 67 years, Annette Klavoon Morris; two sons, David and Dale; a daughter, Debra Bennett; and six grandchildren.

A memorial service will be held at noon Saturday in Wesleyan Church of Orchard Park, 7295 Ellicott Road.

– Lou Michel