BOWLING GREEN — Morris J. Weinberger, an education professor who engaged his audience — school administrators taking graduate courses or corporate employees at workshops — as he taughBt them about school finance or managing stress, died Saturday in Wood County Hospital. He was 85.
He had pneumonia most recently and for several years had heart problems, his wife, Helene, said.
He retired from Bowling Green State University in 1985 as a professor of educational administration and supervision, but continued with a part-time course load until 1993.
He taught classes in personnel administration, school law and finance, supervision, and school plant planning. He was chairman of many doctoral committees over the years. His research interests included a wide range of topics in human relations — values, trust levels, communications, stress management. He led workshops in schools in the United States and Latin America, and at hospitals and in corporate settings. For a time, he was a management training consultant at Marathon Oil.
Standing in front of a class or workshop, in his signature bolo tie, he deflated seemingly serious topics with humor.
“He was well liked,” said Chuck Hayden, who retired from BGSU as a professor of guidance and counseling. “He knew his subject matter and could present it well, and he came across as a real guy.
“He was a good listener and could explain himself, and not only himself, but the subject, very well,” Mr. Hayden said.
Mr. Weinberger worked to keep himself and his lessons current.
“He liked to feel he appealed to the young people in his classes,” his daughter Ann said. “He didn't want to be seen as a fuddy duddy old professor.”
He also was shaped by Roman Catholic social justice teachings and by his experience of racial unrest in Wichita, Kan., where he began his university teaching career. In the 1960s, he advised anti-poverty educational programs and conducted in-service training for teachers on race relations. He was part of a committee that in 1970 organized a 22-day environmental teach-in at BGSU, with Ralph Nader as the keynote speaker. He led workshops on cultural diversity and working in teams.
“I really think he wanted to change the world,” said his daughter Margaret, who teaches at BGSU. “And by teaching teachers, he was touching the future.”
His BGSU office left a lasting impression, and not just because fire officials once declared it a hazard. It had paper-filled boxes nearly floor to ceiling, from which he could, at will, retrieve documents others couldn't find in their conventional files.
“It truly was a mess, but it was an organized mess,” Mr. Hayden said.
Mr. Weinberger was born June 2, 1927, in Duluth, Minn., to Catherine and Maurice Weinberger. He went to high school in Melrose, Minn., and was in the Navy Reserve at the end of World War II. He was a 1947 graduate of the University of Minnesota and in 1952 received a master's degree in educational administration from the University of Colorado.
He taught math and science at a rural high school in Colorado and then was principal of an elementary school in a disadvantaged area of Pueblo, Colo. He later was an elementary principal in a wealthy Long Island district. He received a doctor of education degree from Columbia University in 1965. He also was a former associate professor at Wichita State University.
He was a devotee of New Orleans-style jazz and went to see Toledo’s Cake Walkin Jass Band when he could.
His marriage to Kathleen Grams Natalino ended in divorce.
Surviving are his wife, Helene Weinberger, whom he married Nov. 26, 1976; daughters, Elizabeth Phillips, Mary Kay Bishop, Ann Weinberger, Margaret Weinberger, Barbara Weinberger, Rosemary Weinberger, Teresa Weinberger, and Dr. Janet Weinberger; sons, Stephen and Michael Weinberger; stepdaughters, Sandy Kern and Sherry Spears; stepson, Rick Chaney; sister, Mary Wagner; brothers, Joseph and Richard Weinberger; 12 grandchildren; seven stepgranchildren, and six great-grandchildren.
Visitation will be from 1-3 p.m. and 5-7 p.m. Thursday in the Dunn Funeral Home, Bowling Green, with a scripture service at 6:45 p.m. Thursday. Funeral services will be at 11 a.m. Friday in Blessed John XXIII Church, Perrysburg.
The family suggests tributes to the Morris J. Weinberger scholarship fund at BGSU.
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