A fond farewell is wished to J. Paul (Rodker) Morrison, who passed away on June 16, 2022 at the age of 84.
Paul was born in 1937, in London, UK, to John Rodker, writer, translator, and publisher, and artist Barbara Stanger McKenzie-Smith. After his mother’s subsequent remarriage to Edward A. Morrison III, Paul’s last name was changed to Morrison. He attended Eton College and King’s College at the University of Cambridge, and earned an MA in Archaeology and Anthropology in 1958. After graduation, he joined IBM, became a pioneer in the field of digital computing, and programmed computers for over six decades. In 1963 he married Brenda Marilyn Smith, and they raised two children, Joseph and Sandra.
Paul was a true renaissance man. He could quote Latin, Greek, and a dozen other languages including Sumerian. He loved world music. He played the bongos, and could name a precise style of African or Caribbean music after listening for only a few seconds. Paul read widely and voraciously. He was an idealist and placed a high value on social justice. His favorites were science fiction and fantasy authors like Ursula Le Guin, Lois McMaster Bujold, and Terry Pratchett. He carried them around, together with hundreds of other books, on an electronic book reader that rarely left his side.
One of Paul’s most important contributions to the world was his invention of Flow-Based Programming (FBP), a revolutionary new paradigm for software development that continues to be influential to this day. Paul liked to call FBP a “discovery”, like the law of gravity or the value of pi. But that does not do justice to his decades of obsessive work that made FBP a reality. Interested software developers are encouraged to buy his book (entitled “Flow-Based Programming”).
Paul had a vast circle of friends that loved him. They will greatly miss his humble charm, wit, wide-ranging knowledge, spoonerisms, and (alas, nobody is perfect) puns. He is survived by his wife Brenda, children Joseph and Sandra (Farnsworth), grandchild Luke Farnsworth, son- and daughter-in-law Craig Farnsworth and Kim Morrison, brother Tom Morrison and his partner Carole Roberts, and a great many cousins, nieces, and nephews.
A funeral service will be held on Saturday, June 25, 2022 at the Chapel Ridge Funeral Home at 8911 Woodbine Ave, Markham, with a closed casket viewing beginning at 10am and a Celebration of Life ceremony at 11am.
Donations may be sent to King’s College at Cambridge University, Markham Stouffville Hospital, or Sunnybrook Hospital in Toronto.
Our most sincere sympathies to the family and friends of John ‘Paul’ Morrison Thursday June 16th 2022..
Death notice for the town of: Markham, Province: Ontario