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Robert Lee Morgan was born on March 6, 1934 in Yazoo City, MS to Casey Lee Morgan and Lizzie Mae O’Neal.
In 1943, the family moved to Kansas City, MO. Robert attended WW Yates, Booker T. Washington, and Benjamin Banneker Elementary Schools. He attended R.T. Coles Jr. High and R.T. Coles Vocational High School. He played quarterback on the school’s football team, was selected to attend Boys’ State in Jefferson City and was elected Senior Class President. Robert was active in other extracurricular activities as well. He attended St. Stephen Baptist Church, during this period under the leadership of Dr. John Williams, where he sang in the choir.
At the urging of Robert Wheeler and other teachers, he applied for and was awarded a scholarship by the Kansas City, MO Urban League. He attended Lincoln University of Jefferson City, MO his freshman year and learning that Lincoln did not have a school of architecture, he transferred to Kansas State University in Manhattan, KS. Robert was a walk-on candidate for the football team in 1955, where he played quarterback on the scout team. Robert dropped out of K-State in 1957 due to a lack of funds and took employment as a draftsman with Kenneth Larkin and Associates and later with the Kansas City, MO Public Works Engineering Division.
It was during this period that Robert, while attending a party with a friend at Lawrence, KS met Janet Rogers, then a KU student. It was love at first sight for both of them and after a two year courtship, they were married on June 12, 1960. Janet joined Robert in membership at St. Stephen, where Robert sang in the choir. After Janet graduated from KU, the family, Robert, Janet and one month old Allyson moved to Manhattan, KS where Robert re-enrolled at K-State to complete his pursuit of a degree in architecture, graduating in January, 1964. While living in Manhattan, the family attended Pilgrim Baptist Church.
After graduation, the family moved to the Twin Cities of Minneapolis/St. Paul, MN where Robert was employed by Cavin and Page Architects as a project architect. He later joined HGA Architects and Engineering in 1970. Robert left HGA to join the Adkins Associates as a partner and spent the next fourteen years there before resigning to join Opus Architects and Engineering as the Senior Design Architect. In the meantime, the family had grown to five, with the birth of sons Robert Whitney and Peter Coleman Morgan.
While at Opus, Robert was appointed to the Minnesota Board of Regulation for Architects, Engineers, Land Surveyors and Landscape Architects by Governor Rudy Perpich. During his eight year service on the Registration Board, Robert became active in the National Council of Registration Boards (NCARB), Robert served on several NCARB committees and was elected Regional Chairperson of the Central Region 4. He was elected to the NCARB National Board of Directors. In 1993, Robert was elected national secretary of NCARB.
Always an active member of the American Institute of Architects, Robert was elected to the Institute’s College of Fellows in 1955, an honor he cherished. In the Twin Cities, Robert was also active in the church the family attended, Pilgrim Baptist under Dr. Floyd Massey. He was ordained a deacon and sang in the male chorus. In his immediate neighborhood, he coached little league football, winning 3 city championships. He was active in many civic, professional, and social activities. He served on the Board of Directors of the St. Paul Urban League for terms and served a term as chair of the Hennepin County Designer Selection Committee.
Robert retired from Opus in January 1999 and moved to Port Townsend, WA where he was joined by Janet in January 2000. They met and made many new friends, both being elected to the Board of Directors of their home owners’ association. While in Port Townsend, Robert and Janet motored 2 hours each way every Sunday to Mt. Zion Baptist Church in Seattle, WA where they were active members. After a five year stay there, Robert and Janet returned to Kansas City to be near family. They united with Oak Ridge Missionary Baptist Church under the leadership of Dr. Ricky Turner, where Robert became a deacon and sang in the male chorus, and Janet became a Sunday School teacher.
Robert was long noted and cherished by his friends for his joke-telling abilities. Robert could tell jokes, always changing them a bit to fit the current situation. He also had an uncanny ability to remember sports statistics. It was not uncommon for a friend to call and start off “Morgan, who won the game between so and so,” in order to clear up a heated discussion between 2 friends.
In 2015, Lincoln High School of Kansas City, MO celebrated 175 years of continuous existence, the oldest and highest ranking school in the state of Missouri, with the honor of being also ranked number 65 academically in the United States. The Lincoln/Coles National Alumni Board decided, for the first time, to honor ten graduates who exemplified the excellence of the school. Robert was one of the ten so honored.
During the time after Robert returned to Kansas City, he was privileged to serve several years on the Kansas State University Advisory Board for the School of Architecture. He also taught two semesters in the School of Architecture at K-State.
Robert enjoyed fishing, building and re-building his H.O. railroad layout, reading, traveling and being around friends, especially the Lincoln/RT Coles Class of 1953.
Robert was preceded in death by his parents, two sisters, and his son Peter Coleman Morgan.
Robert is survived by his beloved and devoted wife Janet of 63 years. He is also survived by his daughter, Allyson Morgan Roldan (Edward) of Harlem NY, son Robert Whitney Morgan of Overland Park KS, grandchildren Whitney Lee Morgan (Antionette) of Kansas City MO, Khiry Javan Morgan (Henn Marie Quinones) of Rosemount MN, Felicia Leona Morgan of Chicago IL, Michal Clark of Seattle, WA and Kace Robert Morgan of Atlanta GA, great-grandchildren are Anyla Morgan, Aria Morgan, Zyarie Morgan, Rory Javan Morgan, and Elizabeth Morgan. He leaves to cherish his memory many friends and relatives.
Services rendered by Thatcher’s Funeral Home. The Memorial Service for Robert Lee Morgan will be held on Saturday, September 30, 2023 at the Oak Ridge Missionary Baptist Church, located at 9301 Parallel Pkwy in Kansas City, KS with Rev. Dr. Ricky Turner officiating. Visitation will be held from 10:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. The service will begin at 11:00 a.m.
In lieu of flowers, the family would like to have donations made to the Oak Ridge Youth Development School.