Justin Morris, a 1999 graduate of Mound Westonka High School who was an honor student and class leader, died Thursday as a result of a work-related accident. He was 19.
Morris was involved in many activities at Mound Westonka. He was a member of the National Honor Society and also was president of the student senate as a junior and senior, one of only two students to hold the position for two consecutive years. He's listed in his senior yearbook as best class politician.
Morris also found time for sports, lettering in baseball and basketball. In addition, he was voted to his school's homecoming court.
He planned to attend the University of Minnesota.
"Justin led by example. He did a lot in such a short period of time," said Gene Zulk, principal at Mound Westonka. "He was a great young man with a very warm, caring and gentle personality."
Morris wanted to be a lawyer and worked with his school's conflict management program, in which students help classmates resolve problems without help from administrators.
"Justin was a very outgoing person. He was well-liked and respected by his peers," said his mother, Terri Morris. "He was always a people-oriented person, a real good listener."
Last summer, Morris traveled to Australia and New Zealand as an ambassador for People to People, a student leadership group.
"Justin always left a positive impression on people," said his father, Joe Morris. "He had such a bright future in front of him."
While working Thursday with a road paving crew in Maplewood, Morris was hit by a truck, his family said. He was working to save money for college.
Morris' mother said an annual scholarship fund has been established to award a Mound Westonka senior who is involved in the school's student senate. "We felt it's something he would've wanted," she said.
Contributions can be sent to the Justin David Morris Scholarship Fund in care of Mound Westonka High School, 5905 Sunnyfield Rd. E., Mound, MN 55364.
In addition to his parents, Morris is survived by brothers Joe Morris Jr. and Matthew Morris, both of Orono; a sister, Tina Morris of Mound, and grandparents David and Joan Morris of White Bear Lake, and Charles and Beverly Peterson of Pequot Lakes, Minn.
Services will be held at 11 a.m. today at St. John's Lutheran Church, 2451 Fairview Lane, Mound.