State Rep. Richard Morrissette, left, during the celebration of the 93rd birthday of his father, Robert Joseph Morrissette, right.
OKLAHOMA CITY (April 19, 2016) – Robert Joseph Morrissette, the father of state Rep. Richard Morrissette of Oklahoma City, died peacefully in his sleep today at his home in Somersworth, N.H., after a lengthy illness.
“I was with him on March 13 when he celebrated his 93rd birthday,” Representative Morrissette said. “I knew no other home while growing up, other than our small wood-frame house where my family of six lived,” he added.
“Dad was a child of the Great Depression, and was an FDR Democrat his entire adult life,” Representative Morrissette said.
The elder Morrissette fought with Gen. George Patton’s Third Army during World War II. Corporal Morrissette earned several campaign ribbons, including the European Theater of Operations ribbon. “Twenty years ago my family and I attempted to have Dad revisit France, including the D-day landing areas, but he emphatically refused to go back,” Representative Morrissette said.
Mr. Morrissette worked at the naval shipyard in Portsmouth, N.H., for 40 years. There, along with his co-workers, he helped build nuclear attack submarines during the Cold War between the U.S. and the U.S.S.R. “He almost became a Catholic priest – but didn’t,” Representative Morrissette recalled.
The elder Morrissette was an avid drummer who taught himself how to play the drums at an early age. “During my childhood Dad earned a second living playing in several bands, working in places such as VFW halls, Eagle Foundations and other events to earn extra income for his family,” Representative Morrissette said.
Mr. Morrissette was married to the same woman, Teresa Marie Morrissette, for 49 years, until her death in 2001. “Dad lived by himself for the last 15 years since the passing of my mother,” Representative Morrissette said.
The couple had four children: sons David, Richard, and James Morrissette, and daughter Denise Marie (Morrissette) Daigle. Mr. Morrissette also is survived by four grandchildren and two great-grandchildren, one most recently born on March 6, 2013.
Mr. Morrissette was bilingual, fluent in French as well as English. “He tried to teach me French, but it just didn’t take,” Representative Morrissette said with a chuckle.
Funeral mass arrangements are pending.