Daniel Eugene Morris passed away at his home in Ballard, WA on December 21, 2021 after a prolonged illness. A deeply spiritual and generous man, Dan will be missed by all who knew and loved him.
Dan was born on August 14, 1934 in Staten Island, NY, to parents Vera Burns Morris and Harold Arthur Morris. Dan was the oldest of three siblings (Jerry and Marilyn). After graduating from high school in Staten Island, he attended the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD), obtaining a degree in Mechanical Design. It was at RISD that Dan developed his love for sailing and jazz.
After graduating in 1957, Dan moved to Venice Beach, CA, with his first wife, Marj to work as an aerospace engineer at McDonnell Aircraft Corporation. He worked on missle systems and the manned space program. Dan and Marj raised three children, Kirstin, Nina, and Kim, in Malibu Canyon, CA where they had horses, gardens, and orchards. It was during this time that he developed a deep interest in Buddhism and Eastern religions. He left McDonnell Aircraft in 1969 and founded the Bodhi Tree Bookstore, in West Hollywood, with two former McDonnell Aircraft colleagues and wife Marj. Dan’s experiences at the Bodhi Tree were pivotal in exposing him to a much wider universe of spiritual books, visiting teachers and customers. Dan became a devout Buddhist, studying under Jiddhu Krisghnamurti and Chogyam Trungpa, and developed a deep interest in Shambhala Buddhism. The Bodhi Tree became an epicenter of Buddhist practice and meetings in Los Angeles.
When Dan met his second wife, Linda, he sold his share of the Bodhi Tree and moved to Whidbey Island, WA in the early 1970s. Dan and Linda raised two children – Carissa and Lyle – and settled down in a wooden pole-framed house that Dan, Linda and many others built in Clinton, WA. He founded “Sunergy,” with his friend John Goertzel, and designed and built residential sunrooms. Dan became an integral part of the South Whidbey progressive community, teaching meditation and meeting lifelong friends along the way.
Soon after the divorce from Linda, Dan sold his house on Whidbey and moved to Ballard, WA and married an old neighbor from Malibu Canyon, Margaret Cull. Dan founded Indoor Air Quality Consultants, and became an industry leader in indoor air quality and indoor ventilation systems in the Seattle area. Dan continued his Buddhist practice, co-facilitating the Seattle Koan Discussion Group, and studying under John Tarrant Roshi and Jon Joseph Roshi of the Pacific Zen Institute.
After his divorce from Margaret, Dan met Nan McMurry, and spent the last few decades of his life practicing Buddhism; pursuing his hobbies of photography, gardening, and sailing; and listening and going to live Jazz in the Seattle area. Dan will be remembered for his deep intellectual and spiritual practice in Buddhism, and his professional accomplishments in aerospace, architecture, and indoor air ventilation systems. Dan is survived by his partner, Nan, sister Marilyn (Curt) Grassman, brother Jerry (Ronnie) Morris, daughters Kirstin Morris, Nina (David) Monasevitch, Kimmer Morris, Carissa Morris (Angie Connell), son Lyle (Shanshan) Morris, Grandchildren Sophia, Rowan, Aveline, and numerous nieces and nephews.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests that memorials be made to the Pacific Zen Institute, Santa Rosa California; the Ocean Conservancy; or the National Wildlife Federation. A memorial will be held at a later date.