Joe R. Morgan, born March 22, 1934 in Leicester, North Carolina, passed away in the Deerfield Episcopal Retirement Community, Asheville on December 29, 2021. Mr. Morgan is survived by his wife Milli, his three children Andrea Church, Sarah (Randy) Alles, and Jonathan (Mary) Morgan, seven grandchildren, Courtney Anderson, Jordan Church, Jack Church, Ellen Alles, Joseph Alles, Clark Morgan, and Addison Morgan, and three great grandchildren, Colton, Dylan, and Hunter Anderson. He is also survived by his sister, Freida Terrell of Clyde, North Carolina.
Mr. Morgan grew up in the mountains of Western North Carolina. He served 4 years in the USMC at Parris Island and in ceremonial troops at Headquarters Marine Barracks and in the Pentagon. He received his BA degree from Wheaton College, Wheaton Illinois and his MA degree from Illinois State University. He pursued further graduate studies at the University of Illinois, NYU, and the University of Chicago. In addition, he received many grants for the study of writing and literature.
The focus of Mr. Morgan’s life was his 35 years of teaching English, Journalism, writing, and Humanities at a large high school in the suburbs of Chicago. He loved his students, and they loved him, voting him “Teacher of the Year” three years in a row. After retirement from public school teaching, he continued to mentor and teach. He was a member of the Chicago Area Writing Project for five years, coaching budding writers, and taught memoir writing in the Olli program at USCB in Beaufort, SC for ten years. Mr. Morgan was himself a writer, having many stories and articles published in various literacy journals. He is the author of two published books, Potato Branch and Into the Chilling Water, memoirs about his growing up in the mountains of Western North Carolina.
Joe was a loving husband, father, grandfather, and teacher. He will be sorely missed by his family, his former students, and his many friends. We are grateful for the joy he received in his work and the impact he made on thousands of lives.
A memorial service will be scheduled and announced later.
Memorials can be made to Four Seasons Compassion for Life at 571 S. Allen Rd., Flat Rock, NC 28731.
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