Reprinted Obituary: Herald-Leader
MORRIS Leslie W. II, 72, died on Sun, Aug. 27, 2006, together with his wife, Kaye Craig Morris. Leslie was the son of the late Chester Deering Morris and Alamae Steger Morris. A native of Louisville, Leslie grew up in Lexington, attending University High School. In 1946, at the age of 12, he wrote and published the great American novel, The Municipal Murders. He then finished high school and graduated from the University of Kentucky in 1955 where he was a member of Phi Delta Theta and ODK. He received UK’s prestigious Sullivan Medallion for the outstanding graduating male student. Leslie graduated from the University of Kentucky Law School in 1958 and, following a tour of duty with the Air National Guard, he began his 49 year practice of law. He joined the firm of Stoll Keenon & Park (later Stoll Keenon Ogden) in 1962, where he remained for the duration of his career. He was one of the firm’s most senior counsel and had devoted himself to the practice of litigation for his entire legal career. He developed two areas of primary focus: condemnation work, which he undertook for clients such as Kentucky Utilities and Louisville Gas & Electric, and products liability defense. He was responsible for a number of landmark decisions in the area of eminent domain and products liability, resulting in several published decisions. Although he never personally sought public office, Leslie was involved in the political process as an advisor and consultant to elected officials, including former mayor James Amato. He served as trial commissioner in the Lexington Police Court, a predecessor of the current Fayette District Court. Leslie was a former president of the Fayette County Bar Association. He was a member of the American College of Trial Lawyers, an elite national organization of attorneys selected for membership based on extraordinary legal ability and integrity. He was a Master of the Bench in the American Inns of Court, an invitation-only organization promoting excellence in professionalism, ethics and legal skills. In 2005, Leslie received the Henry T. Duncan lifetime achievement award, the highest honor awarded by the Fayette County Bar Association. He was a life fellow of the Kentucky Bar Association and a member of the Fayette County and Kentucky Bar Associations. Leslie is survived by his daughter, Marion M. Queen and husband, Rick Queen, his son, Wyn Morris and his wife, Vicki Sword, seven grandchildren: Cassie, Whitney, and Sam Rogers, Max and Owen Morris, Mary Elizabeth and Meredith Queen, his first wife, Patricia Gilson Morris, Lexington. and cousin, Philip “Buddy” Wright. He is also survived by his loyal assistant of nearly 37 years, Kimberly A. Ewen. Funeral services will be held at 11 a.m., Wed, Sept. 6, 2006 at Central Christian Church with Dr. Michael Mooty officiating. Burial Lexington Cemetery. Friends may call from 4 to 8 p.m., Tue at the W. R. Milward Mortuary-Broadway. Pallbearers will be Bobbye Gayle Amato, James G. Amato, C. Timothy Cone, Paul D. Gudgel, Mary Lou Hamilton, Edward T. Houlihan, Robert F. Houlihan, Jr., Harvey Johnson, Kenny Kay, Eileen O’Brien, James G. Reid, Donna Reinhardt, David Royse, Robert J. Turley, Robert M. Watt, Linda Wells and Frank F. Wilson, II. Published in the Lexington Herald-Leader on 9/3/2006.
A conference room in the law firm space in the Lexington office has been named in Mr. Morris’ honor.