Former president of Morley Candy Makers dies

Jennifer Chambers
The Detroit News

Thomas R. Morley, former Morley Candy Makers president and chairman of the board, died on Monday. He was 86.

Mr. Morley was the youngest son of Ervin and Julia Morley who began Morley Candy Makers in 1919.

He led the Clinton Township-based company as it grew in new areas, particularly in providing fundraising candies, familiar to Michigan schoolchildren and community members for generations.

His former colleagues said Morley’s vision helped strengthen the confectioner’s private label business, which ultimately led to Morley Candy Makers’ purchase of the Sanders brand in 2002.

“For over 40 years, I have had the opportunity to not only work with Mr. Morley, but to have him become part of my family,” said Mike Koch Sr., Sanders and Morley Candy Makers vice president of manufacturing.

“He was a mentor that taught me about quality products and taking care of customers. His dedication to family, friends, and employees was unmatched. He was a compassionate man that would do anything to help someone out. He will be missed by all of us at the Morley Candy Makers and the Confectionery Industry.”

In addition to his love for work and family, Morley had a passion for hunting and was a founding member of the Pioneer Hunting Club. He also served in the U. S. Navy during the Korean Conflict.

Morley is survived by his wife, Helen and four children: Thomas Jr., Michael Sr., Daniel and Mary Lynn Watts.

Visitation will be held at Kaul Funeral Home in Saint Clair Shores from 4-9 p.m. on Thursday with a 7 p.m. scripture service.

A funeral mass will be held at 10 a.m. Friday at St. Joan of Arc Catholic Church in Saint Clair Shores.

The community is also invited to share memories with the family online at