Justin Morris Dies at 77

by Lee Hogan  on Monday, May. 19, 2014 3:44 pm  

Justin R. Morris

Justin Roy Morris, a former University of Arkansas professor, executive vice president of Ozark Food Processors Association and a giant in the grape and wine industry, died Monday at the age of 77, according to the UA Division of Agriculture.

Morris, a Springdale native, spent more than 30 years with the Ozark Food Processors Association, and was also a fellow of the American Society of Horticultural Sciences and the Institute of Food Technologists. He was also a lifetime member of the American Society of Enology and Viticulture.

His awards included the Joseph Harvey Gourley Award in Pomology in 1979, the ASEV Merit Award in 1996, the Food Industry's Forty-Niner's Service National Award in 1998, the Pioneer Award of Missouri Grape and Wine Industry in 1998 and the American Wine Society Award of Merit in 1999.

Morris retired in 2009 as a distinguished professor in the Food Science Department and director of the Institute of Food Science and Engineering at the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture where he spent more than 40 years.

"Dr. Morris was a dear friend of the Department of Food Service," Jean-Francois Meullenet, head of the department, said in a news release. "He was the most accomplished and celebrated scientist our department has ever had."

His teaching awards included the Spitze Land-Grant University Award for Excellence in 1997 and the John W. White Outstanding Research Award in 1983. Morris was inducted into the Arkansas Horticulture Hall of Fame in 2005, and the Arkansas Agriculture Hall of Fame in 2009.

He published more than 410 research and trade articles, 30 book chapters and two books. Many of Morris' former students work in the grape and wine and food processing industries.

"Dr. Morris and his close colleague, Distinguished Professor Emeritus James Moore, were truly inspirational to a generation of students that had the opportunity to study with them and join with them in their many years of collaboration," John Clark, university horticulture professor, said. "They truly showed many of us how to make a difference in Arkansas, the United States, and world."

Morris is survived by his wife, Ruby, to whom he was married for 58 years. The couple had two children, two grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.

He graduated from Nashville High School in 1954. He earned his bachelor's and master's degrees at the University of Arkansas and earned a Ph.D. from Rutgers University. 

A memorial service will be held at 2 p.m. June 6 at Trinity United Methodist Church in Fayetteville. In lieu of flowers, the family asked contributions be made to the Ozark Food Processors Association Justin R. Morris Scholarship at OFPA or to the Food Science Department Justin Morris Endowed Scholarship.



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