John Hopkins Morison (1913 - 2013)

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PETERBOROUGH - John Hopkins Morison, 100, of 405 Rivermead Road, Peterborough, died on Sunday, September 15, 2013 at RiverMead Retirement Community.

He was born in Milwaukee, WI, on June 29, 1913, the son of Amelia Elmore Morison and George Abbott Morison. After living in Amherst and Lyndeborough for 50 years, in 1998, he moved to Peterborough.

He was married at Upland Farm in Peterborough on July 29, 1944, to Olga de Souza Dantas of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. After the Second World War they returned to Brazil and in 1949 moved back to New Hampshire.

His family was among the original settlers and founders of Peterborough, where in 1750, they established the Morison Homestead at Terrace Hill and the Upland Farm Homestead. Throughout generations the family has actively contributed to the affairs of the Town of Peterborough.

John Hopkins Morison spent his childhood and formative years in Milwaukee and summered in Peterborough. He moved east from Milwaukee in 1931 to attend Harvard University. In 1939 he went to Brazil and remained there for 10 years, interrupted only by a short two-year tour of duty in the Navy during World War II.

Upon his return to New Hampshire in 1949, he worked tirelessly to re-establish manufacturing in Southern New Hampshire by acquiring a bankrupt company that he transformed into a very successful investment casting business that is now led by his son, John Hopkins Morison III.

John was instrumental in the planning and early development and maintenance of a wide array of public and private institutions that have enhanced life in Southern New Hampshire. Among these are the Currier Museum of Art, New Hampshire Public Television, Canterbury Shaker Village, New Hampshire Charitable Foundation, and Mathew Thornton Health Plan, the first HMO in the state in 1968. More recently, John was a pivotal force behind the RiverMead Community, a continuing-care retirement community built on 89 acres of land that was once part of Upland Farm.

He was predeceased by his wife Olga de Souza Dantas and his brothers Robert Swain Morison and Elting Elmore Morison.

He is survived by his son, John H. Morison III, of Mont Vernon, Chairman of Hitchiner Manufacturing Co. Inc. of Milford and President of Upland Farm LLC. of Peterborough; his daughter-in-law Françoise Odette Heylebroeck Morison of Mont Vernon, a research assistant at the University of Rhode Island Graduate School of Oceanography; a daughter, Maria Morison Aguiar, Bradenton, FL, an international rural development consultant; three grandchildren, Marcos Morison Aguiar, John H. Morison IV, Nathalie Maria Morison; granddaughter-in-law Stacey Morison; granddaughter-in-law Melissa Marie Aguiar and three great-grandchildren Nicholas, Samuel and Gabriella, as well as nieces and nephews in the United States and Brazil.

A memorial service will be held at some time in the near future in Peterborough.

In lieu of flowers, contributions in John's name may be made to the New Hampshire Charitable Foundation for the John and Olga Morison Fund.

Jellison Funeral Home and Cremation Services in Peterborough is handling arrangements.
Funeral Home
Jellison Funeral Home
25 Concord Street
Peterborough, NH 03458
(603) 924-3511
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Published in The Monadnock Ledger-Transcript on Sept. 19, 2013
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