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Music Teacher


Joseph H. Morin, a retired teacher who was the music and orchestra director for Maumee Schools and played violin in the Toledo Symphony for nearly four decades, died of cancer Thursday in his home. He was 83.

Mr. Morin, of Maumee, learned a week ago he had liver cancer, his family said.

His oldest daughter, Therese Franks, said Mr. Morin joined Maumee Schools in 1959 at the urging of a Bowling Green State University professor who wanted to introduce a string program in Maumee Schools.

"Dad found out about it one way or another and interviewed for the job," she said.

Students taught by Mr. Morin ranged from 8 and 9-year-olds to teenagers in all the district's buildings. Elise Salazar, the youngest of his five children, said he began each day at one of the three elementary schools, continued at the middle school, and ended the day at the high school.

"He saw many of the kids in the third grade and watched them grow up. He still to this day kept in contact with many of his students," Mrs. Salazar said.

As a string instructor, he taught violin and viola and also was accomplished in cello and bass. He retired from Maumee Schools in 1986.

Mr. Morin, who received a master's degree from Bowling Green State University, joined the Toledo Symphony in 1959 when he and his family moved to Maumee. He played second violin with the orchestra, stepping down in 1998s.

He also was director of the Perrysburg Community Orchestra. He made his debut with the group in 1965. His daughters said the directorship was among the outlets for him to perform musical compositions that he had written.

In 1971, his composition "Three Moods" was premiered by the Columbus Symphony at the first Ohio Composers Symposium. He later added two more pieces to the work and renamed it "Five Moods."

"He was able to hear these tunes and orchestral arrangements in his head and put it down on paper," Mrs. Franks said.

Mr. Morin was born in Toronto and grew up in Pasadena, Calif., and Vancouver, where he went to high school.

He studied at the University of Washington, Seattle, and received a degree in music education. His first job out of college was teaching music at Hartford High School near Fort Wayne, Ind. He also performed with the Fort Wayne Philharmonic.

Mr. Morin met the former Marlene Laurent in Fort Wayne. They married May 18, 1957.

Surviving are his wife, Marlene; daughters, Therese Franks, Michelle Poole, and Elise Salazar; sons, Andy and Vince Morin; sister, Irene Fanning; 23 grandchildren, and one great-grandson.

Visitation is to be from 2 to 4 and 6 to 8 p.m. Sunday in the Dardenne-Walker Funeral Home, 501 Conant St., Maumee. A funeral Mass is to be celebrated at 1 p.m. Monday in St. Joseph Church, Maumee. The family requests tributes to the church's Commitment to Community Campaign, Toledo Symphony, or Odyssey Hospice.

-- Mark Reiter

Published in Toledo Blade on July 27, 2012

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