Professor emeritus Morrell Heald passes away at age 91

Morrell “Bo” Heald, a professor for 35 years at Case Institute of Technology and Case Western Reserve University, died at age 91 on Jan. 3 in Mitchellville, Md. Heald served as the Samuel C. and Virginia B. Knight Professor of Humanities at CWRU from 1982 until his retirement in 1988.

Heald was born on July 16, 1922, in Oak Park, Ill. Following graduation from Oak Park and River Forest High School in 1940, he attended Yale University, where he graduated in 1946, after serving for two years with the U.S. Army during World War II.

From 1943-45 he served with the Army in the European theater, moving through Italy (where he participated in the battles of Monte Cassino and San Pietro) and France to Germany as the U.S. Army advanced. He was in Munich when the Dachau concentration camp was liberated in April 1945.

Following the war Heald returned to Yale, where he was elected to Phi Beta Kappa. He obtained a master’s degree (1947) and PhD (1951) from Yale, both in American history. He was an instructor in American history at Yale from 1951 to 1953, when he joined the Case Institute of Technology faculty.

Heald was a founding member of the Society for the History of Technology in 1958. In 1966-67, he was visiting professor of humanities at the Indian Institute of Technology in Kanpur, India, where he assisted in setting up a program in the humanities at the new engineering school.

He returned to Case Western Reserve in 1967, where he chaired the newly formed American studies program. Over the next two years, he instituted a women’s studies major and co-chaired a committee that instituted an African-American studies program. He served as chair of CWRU’s American studies department for 12 years and as chair of the Department of Interdisciplinary Studies for 10 years.

Heald was predeceased by six days by his wife of 64 years, Barbara Legg Heald. He is survived by his three children—David of Redding, Conn.; Seth of Alexandria, Va.; and Sarah of Frederick, Md.—and five grandchildren.

Contributions in his memory can be made to the Foundation Fighting Blindness or the Cleveland Museum of Art.

A joint memorial service for Morrell and Barbara Heald will be held at the Collington Lifecare Community in Mitchellville, Md., on Feb. 8 at 2 p.m.