Dr. Morris W. Firebaugh passed away peacefully New Year's Day, 2021.
Born in 1937 to Morris J and Florence (Hauger) Firebaugh, Morris was raised in Freeport, IL, on his family's farm. Morris went on to study at Manchester College (B.A.) and the University of Illinois-Champagne (M.S, Ph.D, Physics). He did post-doc research at the University of Wisconsin-Madison physics department. He married his best friend, Joyce Maier of Lombard, IL, in 1960, moved to Racine in 1969 where they raised two children: Steven (Kaela Warren) Firebaugh of Viroqua and Susan (Jeffrey) Falk of Bayside.
Morris was a professor of physics and computer science at the University of Wisconsin-Parkside for 32 years, retiring in 2001. During his academic career, Firebaugh served as associate editor of the American Journal of Physics; published five books in energy, nuclear power, artificial intelligence and computer graphics; and served as co-chair of the Engineering, Applied Science and Mathematics Post-doctoral Program Review Panel of the National Academy of Sciences.
Morris was an active member of the Racine community, having been a 50-year member of the Olympia Brown Unitarian Universalist Church serving several terms on the Board of Trustees, the Racine Sail & Power Squadron, a book club for 47 years, and the MAC Users Group.
He will be remembered for the love and pride he had for his family, the mountains, sailing, travel, book club discussions, the family cabin near Trego, pancakes over an outdoor fire, hiking at Devil's Lake, art, classical music and birds - especially mocking birds. In recent years, he treasured time with his grandchildren, Madeleine Falk (22), Ray Firebaugh (21), Lance Falk (21) and Maxwell Firebaugh (19). Morris will be missed by Joyce, his wife of 60 years, his children, grandchildren, brother Douglas (Audrey) Firebaugh of Freeport, and other beloved family members.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Olympia Brown Unitarian Universalist Church Endowment Fund or the Firebaugh Physics Scholarship at UW-Parkside.