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“His Energy And Passion Were Infectious”

Judy Tacyn
Judy Tacyn's picture
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June 8, 2018

It was a chance meeting. A once in a lifetime, serendipitous encounter. Alice Brueckman was in Annapolis for a girls night out with friends in November 2003. Some, like Alice, had traveled as far as western Virginia for an evening getaway with “just the girls.” Then it happened. Sitting at a table at McGarvey’s Saloon and Oyster Bar, the ladies watched as a handsome man and his Harley Davidson-riding friend walked into the popular watering hole, ordered drinks and sat next to them. That man was Arthur Newth Morris III.

Though Newth and Alice were separated by distance, that chance meeting led to friendship, meetings every few weeks, and eventually, thoughts of their long-term future together. At first, Alice was unsure where to put down roots, but Newth always knew he’d be staying in Severna Park, firmly planted in the family home the Morrises had owned since his grandfather built the structure in the 1940s. Alice and Newth’s 2007 wedding took place in the groom’s favorite place - his cherished, lush and expansive Olde Severna Park estate, where he was surrounded by his beloved family and dazzling azaleas.

Alice Morris didn’t always understand her late husband’s passion for his family home and Olde Severna Park. Now, just weeks after his unexpected death on April 28, as she looked out over Sullivan’s Cove and south down the Severn River from the living room she shared with Newth, Alice cannot imagine herself anywhere else.

The energy of her passionate husband lingers, though his larger-than-life personality and ambitious civic endeavors have left a quiet disbelief within the home’s walls and within the Severna Park community.

According to Jeff Johnson, current president of the Olde Severna Park Improvement Association, the neighborhood thrived under Newth’s leadership. Newth had been president of OSPIA on three separate occasions and at the time of his death.

“During his tenure, Newth was instrumental in the planning and implementation of so many upgrades for our community,” said Johnson. “Everywhere you look, Newth had his fingerprints on the improvements of the beach and the community. He headed up the planning and building of a beautiful beach pavilion.”

During a memorial for Newth on the Olde Severna Park beach, Alice said of the more than 400 people who came to pay their respects to Severna Park stalwart, “It was simply amazing. I saw people he went to high school with, people he worked with, people he met through his involvement in his many organizations and causes.”

Following the service, friends, family and guests joined Alice for an open house at the Morris home.

“I think he knew he was able to make a difference in the lives of many, many people,” said Alice. “He had a ripple effect. His energy and passion were infectious. Newth had a way of connecting with people that made them want to try harder even when they initially didn’t really want to. His energy drove motivation.”

While Alice and Newth were just getting acquainted, Newth was certainly no stranger in Severna Park and the greater Baltimore area.

He was a third-generation Morris working in the family business, Dixie Paper and Packaging Corporation in Glen Burnie. After acquiring the business from his father in 1988, Newth was the president and CEO until he sold the business in 2011. His passion for model trains made his home a holiday destination for railroad aficionados wanting a look of his priceless collection and intricate layouts during the Christmas season.

“He was very civic- and community-minded,” said Alice. “He was always moving forward. Always trying to make something better. Always proactive.”

Newth “retired” in 2016 after a lifetime of community service (see sidebar). Alice and Newth loved to hit the open road on his motorcycle, and to travel. During their final year together, they took an extended boat trip down the Rhine River in Germany. They visited Switzerland and Madrid to visit Newth’s sister, and ventured back to Munich for Oktoberfest. In the states, they purchased a condo in Daytona Beach, Florida, traveled to Maine and New York City.

The couple had planned a cross-country excursion by train this May. Without her adventurous companion, however, Alice simply couldn’t bear to take the trip alone.

“Newth also led the charge to build the new piers, a new boat ramp, a playground for the kids, a fire pit, kayak racks, to name just a few. And his most recent passion was the planning of a club house at the community beach,” said Johnson.

“Most importantly, Newth was a friend and a neighbor. He always had a smile on his face, a twinkle in his eye and a bounce in his step,” he added. “We will all miss Newth and his infectious enthusiasm and energy.”

Newth Morris’ Community Involvement
• Randolph Macon Academy Board (1974-1996)
• Anne Arundel County Chair of the Baltimore and Annapolis Committee (1974-1977)
• Severna Park Jaycees President (1977-1978)
• Maryland Jaycees President (1981-1982)
• Anne Arundel Community College Foundation President (1992-1994)
• Anne Arundel County Chair of the Solid Waste Committee (1993-1995)
• Anne Arundel County Chair of the Ethics Commission (1996-1998)
• Member of Young Presidents´ Organization (1993-2001)
• World Presidents’ Organization (2001-2013)
• Director of the Severna Park Community Center (2013-2016)

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