Brian L. Morrow of Northville Township passed away on August 31, 2019 at the age of 62. Beloved husband of Mary DuFour Morrow. Dear father of Mark and Charlotte. Loving brother of Marilyn Bishop. Brother-in-law and uncle to the many members of the extended DuFour and Morrow families.
Funeral services are scheduled for Friday, September 6, 2019 at noon at St. Paul on the Lake. Visitation will be held from 5:00 to 8:00pm on Thursday, September 5, 2019 at Verheyden Funeral Home in Grosse Pointe Park.
Brian was born in Royal Oak, Michigan on July 6, 1957, the son of Leamon and Aileen Morrow. A true Spartan, he graduated from Michigan State University, where he was a member of the varsity fencing team, and Wayne State University Law School. He was married to Mary DuFour on November 7, 1987.
He got his start as a sole practitioner practicing criminal defense in capital cases and juvenile delinquency cases. In 2004, he was appointed Deputy Chief of the Juvenile Division for the Wayne County Prosecutor’s Office, where he mentored and supervised nineteen assistant prosecuting attorneys and litigated the most serious offenses, such as homicides, armed robberies, and car-jackings. In 2016, he secured a conviction in the case of 23-year old French street artist Bilal Berreni, who was found fatally shot on the grounds of the former Brewster Projects in Detroit.
A gifted attorney, he found his passion helping, mentoring, and caring for at-risk youth. He created and implemented the nationally recognized “Teen Court” program that gives teens who commit minor offenses a second chance to avoid criminal charges and turn their lives around. Unlike similar programs around the country the Wayne County program is unique in that offenders face a jury of their peers. Other teens hear the facts of the case, question the offender, and determine the appropriate punishment.
The State Bar of Michigan named Brian a “Champion of Justice” for his work on the program and stated that he “has done more over the last decade to keep Michigan teens from lives of crime that anyone else in the state.” This prestigious award is given to “practicing attorneys and judges of integrity and adherence to the highest principles and traditions of the legal profession, superior professional competence, and [in recognition of] an extraordinary professional accomplishment that benefits the nation, the state or the local community in which the lawyer or judge lives.” His work also earned him Wayne County’s highest honor, the Anthony C. Wayne Award, presented to an employee who has demonstrated exceptional leadership.
He was a long-time volunteer for Habitat for Humanity. He also founded and funded the “Brian and Mary Morrow Community Service Scholarship” for high-school graduates who demonstrate a commitment to community service. A dedicated educator, he taught criminal law at Eastern Michigan University and, in 2018, traveled to Russia to teach juvenile justice at the Kazan Federal University.
He loved to spend time with his family traveling, biking, and horse-back riding. A favorite vacation was a two-week cattle drive from Wyoming to Montana. He loved heights and went skydiving, hand-gliding, and barnstorming in World War I biplanes. He could be seen driving in his favorite convertible with the top down on sunny winter days.
In keeping with his service to youth, memorial contributions may be made to “Boys & Girls Clubs of Southeastern Michigan, 26777 Halsted Road, Suite 100, Farmington Hills, Michigan, 48331.