Morrow began his law enforcement career as a military police officer in Germany from 1945 to 1948. It was there he met his wife of 65 years, Elizabeth. After his military service, Morrow worked as an Anniston police officer for 20 years, then as a Jacksonville State University police officer for one year. He retired in 1988 after 17 years as Weaver’s police chief.
While he was an Anniston police sergeant, Morrow’s face was grazed by a bullet after two brothers, who were angry about a parking ticket, stole the police chief’s gun and open fired.
Ohatchee police Chief Wayne Chandler still remembers details of that chaotic Jan. 17, 1968 day.
“They pulled out guns and started shooting,” Chandler said. “Bill Morrow helped subdue the two of them and got them in jail.”
Morrow, the chief and another officer were wounded by the shooters, but all recovered.
Chandler said he worked as a patrol officer at the Anniston Police Department under Morrow from 1967 until Morrow retired from that department in 1970.
“Bill Morrow was somebody that I respected very much. He was very honest and truthful. One of the best people I ever worked for,” Chandler said.
Chandler said Morrow was always available to guide young officers. He described Morrow as a man he learned a “great deal from over the years.”
The two men later traded tricks of the trade when they both became police chiefs; Morrow at Weaver and Chandler at Anniston.
“We would talk about problems we had and how we needed to help each other,” he said.
Gary Carroll, former chief investigator for the Calhoun County District Attorney’s Office who also served as an Anniston police officer and as Weaver’s police chief, said Morrow was well respected by the people he worked with.
“I respected his opinion on anything. He called me on occasion just to give me some advice or give me a heads-up on certain situations,” Carroll said.
Carroll said he and Steve Robertson, a former Anniston police officer and current investigator for the Calhoun Cleburne Children’s Center, would visit Morrow at his home whenever they had the chance. The three would talk about life while eating donuts and drinking coffee. Carroll said the last time he saw Morrow he was in the backyard repairing a fence.
“He was always real active and he stayed active even in his later years” Carroll said. “I guess that added to his longevity.”
Robertson said Morrow was “by the book” when it came to policing.
“He wanted you to act the part and look the part,” Robertson said. “He was a stickler for the uniform and how you conducted yourself.”
Robertson worked with Morrow for two years at the Anniston Police Department and then reconnected with him as a friend in the late ’90’s.
“He was the type of guy that if you needed good advice you went to him. He never steered me wrong,” Robertson said.
Fred Morrow, William’s oldest son, said his dad had a knack for keeping tabs on him and his brother, Wayne.
“Back then kids got into mischief. He knew if we got in trouble before we got home,” Fred said.
Fred said his father never shied away from hard work and did whatever he could to make his family happy.
“His biggest love of his life was Mom. He spoiled her rotten. If she wanted something that’s exactly what she got,” he said.
While his father didn’t have an outgoing personality, Fred said, he appreciated the way Morrow kept things simple.
“I mean it as a compliment when I say he was just a plain vanilla good guy. He always shaved every day and always shined his shoes,” Fred said.
Morrow is survived by his wife, two sons, three grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.
Funeral services for Morrow will be held Friday at 3 p.m. at the Gray Brown Service Chapel in Anniston with Chaplain George Gray and Minister Jim Harrington officiating. Visitors will be received by the family at 1 p.m. The Anniston Police Department Honor Guard will be in attendance to recognize Morrow’s many years of police service.
Staff Writer Rachael Brown: 256-235-3562. On Twitter @RBrown_Star.