Samuel Robertson Morley, a former Stanford University football great and All-American who went on to a career as a family law attorney, passed away at El Camino Hospital in Mountain View Jan. 25 from complications of congestive heart failure. He was 81.
Mr. Morley was born in Pasadena to Fred and Grace Morley and grew up in San Marino.
Mr. Morley lettered in football at Stanford from 1951 to 1953, and in basketball in 1953. He was well-known in national collegiate football circles as the team’s top receiver. He played in the Rose Bowl game against Illinois in 1952.
After graduating with a bachelor’s degree in history in 1954, the Washington Redskins drafted Mr. Morley in the 20th round of the NFL draft. Due to injury, he was unable to play.
Mr. Morley served in the U.S. Navy, achieving the rank of lieutenant. He returned to attend Stanford Law School and was editor of the Stanford Law Review. He earned his Juris Doctor degree in 1959.
Mr. Morley worked for Latham & Watkins before teaming up with Paul Myers Jr. and Melvin Hawley to form the law offices of Myers, Hawley and Morley in Los Altos. In addition to family law, Mr. Morley was involved in litigation and criminal law. He was a member of the California Bar Association. He retired in 2002.
A lifelong athlete, Mr. Morley was a competitive tennis player and a bridge player who achieved a bronze life master. He enjoyed the piano and opera – he could play the piano and fill every request for any song, and often did to entertain friends and family.
Mr. Morley is survived by his wife, Antoinette “Toni” Turner Morley; his three sons and their families: Peter (Kelli) Morley of Georgia, Eric Morley of San Carlos and Mike (Tressa Tingley) Morley of Martinez; three granddaughters; and his sister-in-law, Dona Morley. He was preceded in death, three months earlier, by his older brother, Jack R. Morley of Carmel.
A celebration of Mr. Morley’s life is scheduled noon May 3 at Jimmy V Sports Cafe at Stanford University.
Donations in Mr. Morley’s memory may be made to the Robert D. Garrett Football Scholarship, Stanford Athletics, 641 E. Campus Drive, Stanford 94306-6150.