WASHINGTON (February 1, 2021) – Former NAR president (1998) R. Layne Morrill, of Kimberling City, Missouri, passed away on Saturday, January 30th, from complications of Parkinson's Disease, which he had been battling for at least 15 years, the National Association of Realtors® announced today.
Morrill, a Realtor® since 1960, dedicated nearly four decades of contributions to the association, serving on NAR's Board of Directors, its Executive Committee, as a NAR regional vice president, chairman of the Independent Expenditures Committee, and on the REALTORS® Political Action Committee, among a host of other prestigious boards and committees.
"Layne had a host of achievements as NAR president and bestowed innumerable gifts through action upon the real estate industry," said current NAR President Charlie Oppler, a Realtor® from Franklin Lakes, N.J., and broker/owner of Prominent Properties Sotheby's International Realty. "He set a great example for me and all other NAR leaders who followed in his footsteps."
As NAR president, Morrill worked tirelessly to move the association forward, fighting to ensure that the American dream of homeownership was attainable to everyone. He was a regular visitor on Capitol Hill and at the White House during his NAR tenure, advocating for countless housing legislation and real estate protections.
One of Morrill's most notable experiences was his testimony on behalf of NAR before the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs, calling for modifications toward the private mortgage insurance process. In addition, he worked for private property rights, expansion of the availability of the Federal Housing Administration and tax reform.
"Layne was a dedicated Realtor®, eager to help families find their dream home, and as NAR president, he was enthusiastic to protect homebuyers, homeownership and housing affordability," said NAR CEO Bob Goldberg.
Among other honorable achievements, NAR leadership fondly recalls Morrill meeting with then HUD Secretary Andrew Cuomo to discuss housing, including the association's goal of helping the country reach a record-high homeownership rate of 67.5% by the year 2000, under President Clinton's National Partners in Homeownership plan.
Morrill and Cuomo also conferred about NAR's efforts to create a certification program aimed to broaden the skills of real estate professionals who work with minority buyers and sellers, under the "One America" program developed by NAR and HUD. The program's ambition was to encourage multicultural and minority outreach in all aspects of housing.
Additionally, in 1997, Morrill accepted, on behalf of NAR, the U.S. Agency for International Development's Domestic Partnership award, in recognition of the association's advocacy for private property rights and shelter needs in Eastern Europe.
Morrill's late wife Brenda, who was also a Realtor®, passed away in 2014. He has two children, Bob and Gina, from an earlier marriage, as well as a daughter, Rochelle Dawn, from his union with Brenda.
The National Association of Realtors® is America's largest trade association, representing more than 1.4 million members involved in all aspects of the residential and commercial real estate industries.
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