TRAPPE — Richard Andre Morel died on January, 30, 2021 at the University of Maryland Laurel Medical Center. He was 79.
Born on May 29, 1941 in Washington, DC, he was the son of Stanley Morel and Ruth Beck and raised by grandparents, Ruth and Henry Gray. He attended Anacostia High School where he participated in track and football and George Washington University, School of Purchasing.
Richard married Julie Michele Hayes, of Suitland, Maryland in 1959 and raised 4 children. His jobs included a morning paper route for six years while in school, Bartlett Tree Experts; Purchasing Agent for Mechanical Enterprises; Navy Defense Contractor Chesapeake Instrument Corporation; Senior Buyer for Martin, Marietta and Gould; Sales Representative and builder for Brookfield Builders and Brookfield Homes. He started his own Fiberglass Company doing boat repairs and building sport car bodies. Building was his passion so he started his own building company, R. A. Morel Builders. For 25 years he built custom and spec homes in Anne Arundel, Queen Anne's and Talbot Counties and gained the reputation of being an honest and exceptional builder.
In the sixties, Richard started racing sports cars at Marlboro Speedway receiving a Novice, Regional and National Competition License and a FIA International Competition License. He raced SCCA at Marlboro, Summit Point, Bridgehampton, Cumberland, Watkins Glen and Mont-Tremblant, Canada. He was National Champion in two solo events setting several lap records. He raced in the Sport Racing Class in the car he built and designed.
He remodeled and built many of his own homes including remodeling a hunting lodge on the Chesapeake Bay in Edgewater where they raised their children; he built a replica of "Gunston Hall", a Virginia colonial home in Queenstown, he converted a dairy barn into living quarters on his farm in Bruceville and in 2008, he built a beautiful custom home on Porpoise Creek near Trappe where he lived until his death. He loved this home and enjoyed watching the wildlife and waterfowl. His favorite car show was Lead East in Parsippany, New Jersey. They played Doo Wop music 24 hours a day and he enjoyed seeing his friends, especially Angelo, the oldies bands, dancing and seeing hundreds of classic cars.
He spent many hours in his 4,000 sq. ft. shop restoring race cars, classic cars and trucks and mini hot rods and was always fixing or building something. His last hot rod was a 1931 Chevy Pickup which won many trophies and was featured on the TV show, My Classic Car. He was still driving the truck to shows and around the county.
He was a member of the American Legion Dorchester Post 91.
Richard is survived by his daughter, Lisa Lyons (Kevin) of Trappe, his sons, Kirk Morel (Mary Jane) of Florida; Dennis Morel (Terri) of Federalsburg; his grandchildren Dennis, Devin, Ben, Bailey and Samantha-Brooke; his brother, Stanley Morel of Virginia; his sister, Suzanne Mohler, of Alabama, and best friends and previous Edgewater neighbors, Steve Flynn and John Battista; and Robert Condon of Cambridge.
He is also survived by his very special friend, Suzanne Foster, of Easton. They spent the last five years traveling, dancing, spending time with family and friends, and just enjoying their lives being together.
He is predeceased by his beloved wife, Julie Michele Morel, who passed away in 2010 after 51 years of marriage, and his son, Scott Morel who passed away in 1995.
Richard loved life and loved his family and many friends. Everyone he met was a lifelong friend which included friends from high school, car shows, neighbors, building customers, and recently The Bannings Group in Easton just to name a few. He was always helping people and he always had a big smile on his face. He was a loving, caring and generous man and he will be missed.
One of his friends, John Horner, wrote a special tribute to Richard: "I will miss my friend dearly. Richard Morel welcomed me into his life with open arms, a twinkle in his eye, and a mischievous smile. He did life right, and it was a joy to be around him as he lived. Richard knew how to give a hug and share his incredible energy with you. And most importantly, he knew how to love. Heaven now has some incredible custom homes, a few more fast racecars, and some really corny jokes ever since Richard made his appearance".
A Celebration of Life will be held at a later date.