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Rev. Kermit B. Morrison, who served the United Methodist Church for more than half a century, died on January 2, 2015, at The Mary Wade Home in New Haven, CT. He was 86.Kermit Blancher Morrison was born on Jan 17, 1928, in St. Johnsbury, Vermont. He was raised in Springfield, Vermont, in a large and loving family that included three sisters, a brother, his parents and grandparents. He was a fine student and a star athlete.He attended DePauw University in Greencastle, Indiana, where he majored in philosophy, lettered in football and was a member of Beta Theta Pi fraternity. He graduated in 1951 with a Bachelor of Arts degree, and was also the recipient of the Walker Cup, presented annually to the member of the Senior Class who has contributed the most to the University community during his or her four years on campus. He then attended Yale University Divinity School, earning his Bachelor of Divinity in 1955; he returned to Yale and earned his Master of Sacred Theology in 1970.During his career as a pastor, Kerm served churches in New England and beyond, including the American Protestant Church in Brussels, Belgium; the North Thetford and Post Mills Churches in Vermont; Hicksville United Methodist Church; Great Hill United Methodist Church in Seymour, CT; First-St. Paul’s United Methodist Church of Hartford; Faith United Methodist Church in North Haven; and St. Andrews United Methodist Church in New Haven.
Kerm was an active leader. He built and renovated churches and community halls, and increased the congregations in nearly every parish he served. Kerm’s ministry extended beyond the church. He led groups of every age on bicycle and skiing trips, cruises, and excursions to places such as the Passion Play in Oberammergau, Germany. He directed plays, coached sports teams and led choirs, Sunday Schools and summer church camps. He also taught philosophy as an Assistant Professor at Post Jr. College in Waterbury, CT., from 1974 to 1980.Kerm was a longtime supporter of The Mary Wade Home in New Haven, CT, acting as chaplain and serving as a member of the Board of Managers. In 2007, as Alzheimers’ disease began to affect him, he and his wife, Mary Ellen (Susi), moved into an apartment owned by Mary Wade; following Susi’s death in 2011, Kerm moved to Mary Wade’s skilled nursing unit, where he died, peacefully, supported by the love of family, friends and caring staff.During Kerm’s first marriage, to Marilyn Payne, they adopted two children, Michael (who died in 2005) and Marci. Kerm married Susi in 1964, and helped to raise her four children, Thomas, Robert, Ellen and James. Kerm is survived by five children and six grandchildren, a sister, Barbara Ann Streator, a brother-in-law, Sheldon Stokes, and many nieces and nephews. His faith, kindness and energy live on in the memories of his extended family and thousands of parishioners whose lives he touched over the more than five decades of his ministry.
To honor Kerm’s memory, in lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to The Mary Wade Home, 118 Clinton Avenue, New Haven, CT 06513.To sign the online guestbook please visit hawleylincolnmemorial.com.