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Gerald P. Morrissey

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BENNINGTON -- Mr. Gerald P. (Phillip) Morrissey, 58, a lifelong resident of Bennington, died Thursday, Jan. 6, 2005, at Southwestern Vermont Medical Center following an extended illness.

Gerry was born in Bennington on Dec. 21, 1946, the son of Gerald Edward Morrissey and Phyllis Lukasiak Morrissey. His early education was at St. Francis de Sales Academy. He graduated from Bennington Catholic High School in 1964. Gerry attended Blair Academy, the University of Vermont, and graduated from Castleton State College with a degree in secondary English in 1969, when he taught and coached at the high school level in Middletown, Connecticut. In 1970, he returned to Bennington to join the family construction and surveying business of Gerald E. Morrissey, Inc. He later became the president of the corporation.

Mr. Morrissey was well known as a very involved member of the Bennington community. His first elected position was as a member of the Bennington selectmen in March of 1974 and he was re-elected for an additional term in 1976. He served as chairman of the board for two years. In 1981, he was elected to the Bennington School District School Board where he served as Chairman of the Finance Committee. He was a longtime member of the Bennington County Industrial Corporation and served as its president for two years. He was also a former member of the board of directors of 204 Depot Street in Bennington.

Gerry expanded his involvement on behalf of Bennington when he was elected to the Vermont Legislature in November of 1994. He was elected as a Vermont State Senator in 1998 and re-elected to the Senate in 2000. He will be remembered as a member who asked penetrating questions, had a keen sense of intellect, and had a disarming charm and sense of humor.

Mr. Morrissey was a member of the Eagle Hose Fire Department for 12 years. He belonged to the Bennington Elks Lodge No. 567, the Fraternal Order of the Eagles, and the Knights of Columbus Council 307. He was an avid hunter and fisherman who once owned a camp in Sandgate fondly known as the “Sandgate Hilton”.

Gerry was also an avid golfer and long-time member of Taconic Golf Club in Williamstown, Mass. and Mount Anthony Country Club in Bennington. He enjoyed thoroughbred racing and going to Saratoga in August. Additionally, Gerry also enjoyed following the football teams of the University of Notre Dame and the University of Colorado.

Survivors include two sons, Jason P. Morrissey and his wife Christine A. Morrissey of North Bennington, Vermont and Mark F. Morrissey and his wife Kerry E. Morrissey of Denver, Colo.; one granddaughter, Emily “Millie” Morrissey of Denver: his mother, Phyllis L. Morrissey of Bennington; three brothers, Walter E. Morrissey, and his wife Terry W. Morrissey of Bethlehem, Pa., Brian J. Morrissey, of Bennington, and Timothy J. Morrissey, and his wife, Bonnie C. Morrissey of Bolton, Mass.; as well as two sisters, Diane M. Daley and Rep. Mary A. Morrissey of Bennington; special friend, Susan Connor, of Bennington; former wife and mother to his two children, Diane Paul Morrissey of Bennington; and several nieces, nephews and cousins.

He is predeceased by his father, Gerald E. Morrissey, his sister, Jane M. Maloney and his wife, JoAnne C. Morrissey.

The funeral will be held from the Mahar & Son Funeral Home Monday, Jan. 10, 2005, at 9:30 a.m. with a prayer and from Sacred Heart St. Francis Church at 10 a.m. where the Liturgy of Christian death and burial will be offered.

Friends may call at the Mahar & Son Funeral Home Sunday from 3 to 7 p.m. when the family will be in attendance.

Burial will take place in the family lot in Park Lawn Cemetery.

Should friends desire, contributions in memory of Gerald P. Morrissey may be made to Hospice of Bennington County Inc. through the office of the Mahar & Son Funeral Home, 628 Main St., Bennington, VT 05201.

All members of the following organizations are asked to meet at the Mahar & Son Funeral Home on Sunday afternoon to conduct services for Gerald P. Morrissey: Knights of Columbus Council 307 at 4 p.m., Bennington Fire Department at 5 p.m., Bennington Elks Lodge 567 at 6 p.m. and Bennington Eagles Aerie 1861, at 6:30 p.m.
Published in Bennington Banner from Jan. 7 to Jan. 8, 2005
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