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Bob’s easygoing personality was a good buffer for Helen’s intensity and a complement to the perpetual activity that surrounded Helen’s and Sybil’s lives.

Robert Bruce Morrison

MARCH 5, 1902 — JUNE 19, 1966

Bob Morrison was born March 5, 1902, in Belvidere, Illinois, the youngest of four sons of William O’Neil Morrison and Susie Fuller Pinkham Morrison. Bob’s grandparents had moved to Belvidere from Catskill, New York, before the last of their seven children – Bob’s father – was born. Helen Balfour and Robert Morrison were married on August 8, 1925, in Woodstock, Illinois — about half way between Evanston and Belvidere.

Bob was a Chicago newspaper reporter when Helen met him, and they made a good match. They lived in Evanston at first, then in Winnetka. Both loved to dance, and they would buy records and come home and stump each other at tap and other variations. Bob was a good dancer with an entertaining sense of humor.

By 1940, when the Morrisons built their home on Lee Road in Northbrook, Bob had been aviation liaison officer for Collier’s magazine for several years. This required travel during the week, but on weekends he enjoyed golf, his Irish setters, gardening, and an occasional fishing trip.

He also became interested in residential building. Architect ROBERT SEYFARTH found an historic log cabin which he reconfigured to fit on the Morrison lot, and Bob rebuilt it there. It housed Bob’s hobby, a small printing press on which he printed advertising notices as well as dance programs for Sybil Shearer. He owned several extra lots on Koehling Road (later renamed Morrison Lane) nearby and sold two of them to Sybil in 1950 for her studio. On another lot he built a rental house (now gone) similar to the Seyfarth-designed Morrison house. After Collier’s ceased publication in 1957, Bob became a publisher of TV Times and a vacation magazine.

Assembling the historic log cabin

Attractive and well-dressed, Bob had an easygoing personality – a good buffer for Helen’s intensity and a complement to the perpetual activity that surrounded Helen’s and Sybil’s lives. Liked by all, he sometimes hosted Hanya Holm and other friends of Sybil’s when he was in New York. He died at age 64, after several heart attacks. He and Helen are buried together in Rosewood Cemetery in Chicago.

In 2015 the Morrison-Shearer Foundation donated Bob Morrison’s printing equipment and lead type to Judson University in Elgin, Illinois. There the students and faculty in the School of Art and Design restored all and developed a new Print Lab which was dedicated in February 2016.