Steven Morrison

June 17, 1964 - November 23, 2023

Memorial Gifts & Donations

Steven Morrison

Steve was born on the 17th June 1964 in Edinburgh Scotland.

He was the youngest of 3 children to William and Irene Morrison, and joined his older brother Philip and sister Lesley, in the family.

In 1967, the Morrison family emigrated to New Zealand and settled in Mosgiel near Dunedin.  Steve attended Reid Park Primary and was a founding pupil of the new intermediate school in Mosgiel, before attending the Taieri High School.

He then went to Otago University in 1982, where he graduated with a Bachelor of Physical Education and a Bachelor or Arts.  Steve then went on to complete a Masters of Physical Education and developed and implemented the pre-clinical science papers in Occupational Therapy at Otago Polytechnical Institute in Dunedin.

In 1993, Steve was working at Otago when Denise arrived at Otago, to do research for her Fulbright Scholarship. It just so happened that Steve popped in to Denise’s office to say hello and Denise looked into his big blue eyes and thought to herself, “I want to marry this man!”

Unbeknownst to Denise at that time, Steve actually fancied her and offered to show her around Dunedin and enjoy student life at Otago.  Steve also was one of the only faculty who could help her with her research project and using the Motion Analysis System to collect data.

To make a year long story short, Steve and Denise fell in love and when it was time for Denise to return to the USA,  he said that he’d do whatever he could to keep the relationship going. His great plan was to apply and complete a PhD over in the USA, at Penn State where he studied under Karl Newell.

Steve and Denise lived in State College for 3 years and they got engaged in May 1996. After he completed and received his PhD, he accepted a position at Simmons College in Boston. They had a blast living in Boston and met so many amazing people. Steve fell in love with the Red Sox baseball team and enjoyed going to Fenway Park to root for his favorite team.

Steve and Denise always believed in living life to the fullest and took every chance to travel, party and make memories.

So they decided to fly to Maui and have their very intimate wedding on July 17, 1998.

It was shortly after their time in Maui that Steve and Denise decided that they wanted to go on an even bigger adventure! Steve decided to take a position at Griffith University on the Gold Coast of Australia!! They loved the beaches, the beers, the coffee and all of the fun they had travelling and meeting amazing friends there too. The best gift that they received while living there was the birth of their son, Liam Finn, who arrived on September 4, 2001.

Then, Steve and Denise got the travel bug again and decided to move back to the USA in August 2007 to start another adventure of living in Virginia. Steve accepted an Endowed Professor position at Old Dominion University in Norfolk. While at ODU, Steve did tons of research, teaching and mentoring and the impact in his academic community was extraordinary. Take a peek:

Steve will always remain in our hearts and souls as the compassionate, caring, loving, kind, big-hearted, extraordinary man that he was throughout his life.

We are grateful to have known him as a father, husband, brother, brother-in-law, son, friend, professor, colleague, mentor and artist.

He made a significant memorable impression on everyone he met.

All who knew him, knew that he loved Pearl Jam, Simple Minds, Crowded House, George Michael and Duran Duran. He enjoyed drinking Nespresso. He loved painting his impressions of life, especially of the many Pearl Jam shows and locations as well as all of the places we’ve travelled.

He taught himself to play the guitar and enjoyed singing to us as he learned each new song. He loved to crack jokes with us all. He loved to drink Stag’s Leap wine and dance with us in the kitchen.

Steve was an avid soccer player (and coach), top swimmer and tried many other sporting activities throughout his life.

He sure was one uniquely clever fella.

We are grateful to have been a part of his outstanding life. We will miss him tremendously but will always remain a bright shining light in our hearts and souls.

“And wherever you’ve gone And wherever we might go, It don’t seem fair. Today just disappeared, your lights reflected now, reflected from afar. We were but stones, your light made us stars.”

Light Years by Pearl Jam

*** Donations may be made at

  • For those who wish to offer your support to his family at this time please contact Steve’s sister-in-law, Karen Udvarhely: (732) 433-5982. She can give you more details.

Cremation & Funeral Services of Tidewater is assisting his family. Please express condolences at


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Terry Barr
2 months ago

I’m so sorry to hear of Steve’s passing. My condolences to Denise and the family. He sure was a great guy. And perfect for Dense. He’ll be greatly missed.

Nick Zaharias
2 months ago

I am heartbroken for your loss of Steven. We only met him once, ever so briefly, at the Space Needle in Seattle (yes, Pearl Jam related.) He was one of those people who lit up the room with a smile and infectious personality and wit. The world needs more people like Steven, and we’ll miss him.

Stephanie Penn-Virot
2 months ago

I was a friend of Denise’s back in middle school and was thrilled to find her again via social media. Such a generous spirit. It was a blessing to find that she and this incredible man had found one another, each spectacularly vibrant and warm and giving! I loved witnessing them LOVE each other and the world! My condolences to Denise and Liam and everyone who was touched by this incredible soul!

Amy Lokken
2 months ago

My dearest Denise– My heart hurts for your loss. There are no words to ease your pain. May the memories of a life well lived and the love the two of you shared bring you peace. All my love, thoughts and prayers are with you and your family. Love, Hugs and Prayers

Lori Hernandez
2 months ago

So sorry for your loss Denise 😢😢😢🙏🙏🙏

Virginia “Ginny” Linnell
2 months ago

My condolences to Denise and her family on Steve’s passing. I learned of him not being well through Karen , Denise’s sister.
Steve’s Obituary is one of the nicest I’ve ever read; truly shows what a a very special person he was. May he rest in peace. 🙏

Robert Clark
2 months ago

My wife Fran and I are very sad to learn of Steve’s passing Denise is my niece! The first time we met Steve was when my son David and I took a trip to Australia to see Denise ! We met Steve during our visit and both David and I will always remember the Delicious Shepherds Pie he made for us! He was a wonderful husband , father and very intelligent and caring man! We will miss him dearly

Brett Smith
2 months ago

My heart felt condolences to Steves family, friends and colleagues
Steve and I did our undergraduate degrees together, worked together and shared an office for a time during our Masters degrees at Otago University. Steve was a great man who moved onwards and upwards and achieved much over a life cut way to short.
Kua hinga te tōtara i Te Waonui-a-Tāne

Andy Stewart
2 months ago

I’m devastated for Denise, Liam, Phil, Lesley and everyone who know ‘buddha’ (his nickname from Otago days). We were best men at each other’s weddings…… blessed to have been in each other’s lives.

Mark Taylor
2 months ago

So sorry to hear about your loss. May Steve’s spirit and memories be ever present with you and your family.

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