By Sarah Howard Friends and family gathered at the Graford High School gym Saturday to pay their last respects to Dan Morrow. Morrow, 73, died Wednesday, April 24. "He was one of a kind, and leaves a good legacy," said Kay Lynn Bridges, who served with Morrow on the Graford Independent School District Board of Trustees. "He supported the school tirelessly, through his service on the board, employing students and giving through donations and time. He supported everything - sports, FFA 4-H, the fund-raisers. "The kids learned such good values in just the short time they would spend with him," Bridges remarked. "Although Dan never had kids of his own, it was like all the Graford kids were his." She even recalled her early years working at the Graford bank and seeing checks come through from the store. "They still had blank counter checks," she continued. "He knew what customers had an account and, if they needed to, he would just have them fill out a blank check. Those were the times when there was still honesty and trust. He still ran his business based on those principles." Morrow Grocery was purchased in 1946. The store was incorporated in 1947 and has stood at its current location ever since. Boxes of records and receipts from days long gone still occupy space in the storage room of the store. Those records detail the history of a Graford landmark and the changing of economy and business throughout the years.


Natalie Chaney, Morrow's store manager, recalled a man who made the store and his community his life's work. "For years, the store operated what Morrow referred to as the first food-stamp program," she said. "If there was something someone needed and they needed a little more time to pay for it, the store would carry the balance or use a hanging ticket. "He really kept the store open as a community service," she said. "It was more than just a business." Judy Morrow, Dan's sister-in-law, stepped in to help keep things going. "She gets paid in Tootsie Rolls," said Chaney, explaining Judy Morrow's desire to help Dan and the store continue operating as normal as possible. "Of course we are staying open," said Judy when asked about future plans. The store is currently for sale but will remain in business and, according to employees, that is a condition of the sale. "We want this store to stay right where it is," said Judy. Kirsti Adamson, who has worked at Morrow for the last two years, said Dan took an instant liking to her daughter. "She has these dimples, and Dan was just crazy about her, I started just helping at the store occasionally, then it just became like family." "Morrow ran the store with morals," said Chaney. "He never carried pregnancy tests or condoms. We never had beer or candy cigarettes. Even in the last few years he refused to stock energy drinks. It was his way of looking out for the kids." "Unfortunately, we are talking about a bygone era," Bridges said.