Occupancy Limits will be enforced. 7:30 PM time of sharing.
At the family's request memorial contributions are to be made to those listed below. Please forward payment directly to the memorial of your choice.
University of Notre Dame
1100 Grace Hall
Notre Dame, IN 46556
Make check payable to the University of Notre Dame and write ND GR Scholarship Fund in the memo line.
Below is the contact information for a florist recommended by the funeral home.
Life Story / Obituary
Timothy Kevin McMorrow was born on November 5, 1949 in Kalamazoo, Michigan, and died peacefully at home on Monday November 9th, 2020 in Grand Rapids. During his rich and accomplished 71 years, Tim’s contributions and influence on those surrounding him remain significant and varied. An accomplished jurist and attorney, Tim served as Kent County’s Chief Appellate Attorney for over 30 years, frequently arguing before Michigan’s highest court, and so skilled at his craft that he appeared before the U.S. Supreme Court. He bore witness to his faith in his actions – actions both overt and subtle. To his friends and family, he was a devoted husband, the brother his siblings aspired to be, and the uncle and cousin who always shared in the wonderment of the youngest’s newest discovery.
In an effort to capture some of his nature, the following reflections are adopted from memories shared by his family and friends.
While professionally an attorney and jurist, Tim’s intellectual gifts were such that he would have been successful in any of life’s paths. Graduating from Hackett Catholic Central as a National Merit Scholar, Tim chose to attend the University of Notre Dame. Graduating with honors in 1971, he subsequently graduated from the University of Michigan Law School in 1975, setting him on a path of public service as a prosecutor, jurist, and educator. Tim influenced the contours of law in the State of Michigan. This simple sentence reflects no simple task. As Kent County’s Chief Appellate prosecutor, Tim was charged with leading complex legal actions whose outcomes would span not only the state and its citizens, but also span time as his arguments influenced and became law. As an educator, he influenced scores of aspiring police officers and criminal justice professionals through the Grand Rapids Community College criminal justice program. Tim chose the law, he loved the law, and he influenced the law. While some may call his 1994 run for Appellate Judge a failure, it stands out as a public servant putting his best foot forward and demonstrating a willingness to show humility and leadership in shaping the law. He never failed to impress his friends and family with his deep knowledge, inspired by a sustained interest in history and literature. He loved T.S. Eliot, and found solace in family reading his favorite selections in his final days.
There was never any doubt where Tim’s sporting loyalties lay. The son of a Notre Dame graduate, he proudly followed that path, and retained a fervid devotion to this most mercurial of teams. An annual highlight for his nieces and nephews was attending Notre Dame football games in South Bend. Most infamously, this included 1993’s disastrous loss to Boston College. His loving wife Ann was a Michigan fan, and it must be acknowledged – in the spirit of neutrality – that there are instances of partitioned viewing rooms during some of the ND-Michigan matches of the late 1990s. It is a testimony to their love that they overcame this widest of gulfs. Many who read this likely share Tim’s fandom for Detroit sports teams; and thus, can share in the general malaise associated with being a Detroit sports fan. However, in one area Tim remains without peer: While there may be equally passionate Tigers fans, and equally disappointed Tigers fans, Tim stands as the most informed Tigers fan! Tim’s knowledge of baseball was prodigious, and appropriately legendary. In his waning years, he could still recount the play-by-play of his sister Mary’s first Tigers game in the mid-1960s. Tim was sabermetrics before “Moneyball” coined the term. His love of baseball was deep, and the Tigers community mourns a true fan this week.
His faith underpinned Tim’s life, and he in turn contributed significantly to the Catholic Diocese of Grand Rapids. Most prominently, he was a leader and singer with the Choirs of the Cathedral of St. Andrew and St. Alphonsus parish. In this capacity, he traveled internationally multiple on occasions with the Choir, with the mission of bringing that particular brand of Midwestern Catholic Gregorian Chant to fellow Catholics worldwide. His siblings, cousins, nieces and nephews fondly remember Tim and Ann regaling them with stories of Rome and Italy, which he visited during these overseas excursions. In his care for his ailing mother Elizabeth in her final years, his deep and abiding interest and passion for whatever new hobby or interests his youngest niece or nephew had discovered, Tim testified to his faith in more subtle ways – always present, and always engaged. It was a source of great comfort to both Tim and Ann that their dear friend, Father Steve, was able to administer last rites in Tim’s waning days.
If there is not an Irish proverb “blessed be those who accept in-laws as blood relatives,” then it is most certainly Tim who demonstrated that there should be such a saying. Consistent across the family’s memories were fond reflections of those who joined the McMorrows (and Cagneys, Sheridans, Byrnes, Northams, and beyond) not by birth, but by choice. With his sister Mary’s husband Jerry, Tim shared a deep and sustained love of baseball. These collective memories began in the 1970s – when his siblings were first married – to the most recent additions across his nieces and nephews. His nieces and nephews uniformly remembered his kindness and engagement with their spouses. This ranged from an immediate, well-delivered, joke or limerick upon being introduced, to more intellectually challenging pursuits such as Trivial Pursuit and Scrabble….albeit the welcoming of the in-laws did not preclude Tim from rapidly defeating them in full view of the youngest generation (Kate Richards, to name one!). Underpinning this engagement was Tim’s inherent welcoming and engaging nature. Each new acquaintance was merely friend or family not yet defined as such.
Tim passed during some of this nation’s most turbulent and trying times. It was a source of comfort that Notre Dame excised past demons (reference 1993 loss to BC) by defeating top-ranked Clemson the weekend prior to Tim’s passing, a weekend further sweetened by Joe Biden’s presidential triumph. In one of his last acts of communication, Tim acknowledged both these events by squeezing his wife’s and brother’s hands, respectively.
May the road rise to meet him, and the wind be always at his back; may the sun shine warm upon his face; may God continue to hold Tim in the palm of His hand.
While many may be constrained in their physical attendance at Tim’s service, he knows you are as present and engaged in spirit as he was throughout the time that we all had the good fortune to know him.