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Peter Morrissey

Obituary
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Peter A. Morrissey, 59, a longtime Wellesley resident, most recently of Weston, died from complications of brain cancer on August 3. He was diagnosed with the disease in August 2011. He is survived by his wife of 28 years, Carey, and their two children, Halley of New York City and Jack of Boston. He also is survived by his daughter, Cara Morrissey of New York City. He took great pride in, and enjoyed watching, his childrens many activities in the Wellesley community. Both children are graduates of Wellesley High School. His daughter Halley was both a varsity team tennis player and varsity indoor track team member. His son Jack was a co-captain and member of the varsity football team, and a varsity lacrosse player. During his senior year, the Wellesley High School lacrosse team won its first ever lacrosse state championship title. A former hockey player for Boston University, Peter was an instructor in the Wellesley Youth Hockey Learn to Skate program when his children were young. He was also involved in fundraising for the former Wellesley High Schools state of the art fitness Center, built when his children were students there. While his career focused on counseling others on their reputations, Morrisseys personal reputation throughout Boston and the Wellesley community was one of warmth, humor, graciousness and intelligence. A mentor and inspiration to many, Morrissey believed in giving back, in helping those less fortunate, in actively listening and seeking to do good, and he encouraged others to do the same. Born, raised and educated in Boston, Peter had a successful public relations career that spanned more than 32 years. He joined a Boston-based public relations firm in 1979 and became the firms CEO at the age 31. He was instrumental in building one of the most well-regarded public relations communications and crisis communications firms in New England. Over the years, Morrissey counseled iconic brands including IBM, Coors Brewing Co, Tiffany & Co. and Coca-Cola. Among the clients that Morrissey provided crisis counsel to were W.R. Grace on environmental issues, the Bank of New England and the Bank of Boston on banking regulatory issues, and Johnson & Johnson's McNeil Pharmaceuticals on the Tylenol product tampering case in Chicago, which has come to be recognized as the model for successful crisis communications. PRWeek named Peter as one of the top crisis communications counselors in the nation, describing him as one of the 22 professionals "who should be on the speed dial in a crisis." In 1999, Peter founded Morrissey & Company in Boston. In addition to serving as President and CEO of the company, Peter also held the position of associate professor at Boston Universitys College of Communication, teaching crisis, corporate and negotiation and conflict resolution courses in the undergraduate and graduate programs. An avid athlete, Morrissey played hockey for Boston University, his alma mater. He enjoyed biking, golf and tennis, but above all running, completing five Boston Marathons and serving on the Boston Athletic Associations (BAA) Board of Governors for decades. He was also an adventurer, summiting Washingtons Mount Rainier at age 17 with famed mountain climber Marty Hoey, who perished just before her ascent to summit Everest where she would have been the first American woman to do so. Morrissey was a member of the Appalachian Mountain Club (AMC) throughout his young adult years, frequently hiking the White Mountains in New Hampshire. In addition to the BAA, Morrissey served on numerous Boards of Directors in the Boston Community including Morgan Memorial Goodwill Industries, the Boston Chamber of Commerce, the Associated Industries of Massachusetts International Business Council, the Multiple Sclerosis Society, Regis College, and St. Elizabeths Hospital. A native of Boston, Peter was the son of the late Edward and Margaret Morrissey (LHeureux) of Brighton and the brother of seven siblings, Kristine Simpson of Danville, CA, Michael of Los Angeles, Joanne Sheppard of Wellesley, Louise Cocuzzo and Mary Dynan, both of Arlington, Robert of Brookline and Meg Prodromou of Winchester. A Memorial Mass will be held for him on Monday, September 10, at 10:00 am at St. Ignatius of Loyola Church, 28 Commonwealth Ave., Newton. Arrangements by Duckett-Waterman of Sudbury. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations should be directed to Morgan Memorial/Goodwill Industries, 1010 Harrison Ave., Boston, MA 02119; www.goodwillmass.org.

Published in The Wellesley Townsman from Aug. 11 to Aug. 18, 2012
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