Frequent political candidate and youth advocate Morris dies

December 01, 2004|by MARLO BARNHART

Eugene E. "Buddie" Morris, a frequent political candidate and an advocate for youth in Hagerstown, has died. He was 81.

According to Hagerstown City Police reports, Morris was found in his Salem Avenue home Nov. 24 after a neighbor grew concerned because he had not seen him walking his dog.

Capt. John Moulton said Morris hadn't been seen since Sunday, Nov. 14. His body was taken to the Maryland State Anatomy Board, according to the police report. No information was available about a service.

"Buddie was genuine ... kind, gentle and just plain nice," said onetime political opponent Lewis Metzner, a local attorney and a member of the Hagerstown City Council.


In 1981, Metzner and Morris were candidates for Hagerstown mayor in the Democratic primary election. Metzner won the Democratic nomination and went on to run unsuccessfully against Republican Don Frush in the general election.

"His heart was in the right place," Metzner said. "After they made Buddie, they broke the mold."

In 2001, Morris faced current Hagerstown Mayor William M. Breichner in the Democratic mayoral primary but lost. That was his last attempt at public office.

"I know he'll be missed," Breichner said. "He probably had the forms ready to be filled out for this election" in the spring of 2005.

In addition to his runs for mayor, Morris ran several times for the Hagerstown City Council and the Washington County Board of Commissioners.

A Hagerstown native, Morris retired as a planner for the federal government.

Over the years, he became involved in Boy Scouts and West End Little League.

"I always enjoyed kidding around with Buddie," said Nelson Deal, who often encountered Morris during Deal's 40 years with Conococheague Little League. "I had a lot of respect for him."

It was Morris' work with youth that led to his first encounter with Breichner.

"He has been an advocate for a long time of youth and of the Boy Scouts of America. We'll miss his involvement," he said.

Scott Paddack, district executive of the Boy Scouts of America, Mason-Dixon Council, said he often had long talks with Morris about young people, sports and Scouting.

"He was a great volunteer at Sinoquipe," a Scout camp in Pennsylvania, Paddack said. "I didn't know he was so involved in Scouting until I became involved."

"I think, overall, Buddy was very sincere about what he felt needed to be accomplished in public office and in the city," Breichner said.

Staff writer Pepper Ballard contributed to this story.

The Herald-Mail Articles