Arthur H. Morrissey, age 88, of Quincy, Mass., died peacefully on July 30, 2018 after living life to the fullest.
“Artie” was born at the onset of the great depression and came of age during the Second World War – eventful periods that would shape the rest of his life. He was the youngest of four children born to Patrick and Alice (Collins) Morrissey. His father was an Irish immigrant who obtained his U.S. citizenship by joining the U.S. Army in 1916. His parents instilled in him and siblings Richard, Paul, and Helen Tobin, the importance of always being strongly engaged in family, community and civic work.
Arthur attended the Quincy Public Schools, graduating as the Treasurer of the Class of 1947. After graduation, he, like his father, brothers and Helen’s husband, joined the armed forces of the United States. After his service in the Army, Artie married Marion (Myers) Morrissey, his high school sweetheart. He held a variety of jobs until an employer recommended him to a Wollaston plumbing and heating company as an apprentice pipefitter. He loved the trade and eventually became the President of the South Shore Combined Pipefitters, Gasfitters and Plumbers Local. In the early 1960s, as one of the youngest building trade union presidents in the state, he merged the South Shore Local into what are now the Boston Pipefitters Local 537 and Boston Plumbers Local 12.
His parents were great supporters of education, particularly the Quincy Public Schools, and Artie took advantage of the GI Bill to earn an engineering degree from Northeastern University – the first in the family to earn a college diploma. He rose through the piping trades over many years, eventually running major heating projects in Boston and in Quincy including the 1000 Southern Artery Senior Housing facility, the Broadmeadows and Atlantic Middle Schools and the Quincy Vocational School. While working on the Vocational School in 1967, he decided that he wanted to teach young people about the piping trades. He joined the QPS staff the day the vocational school opened and taught there for almost thirty years, recognizing that combining hands-on and book learning was the path to success for many students.
He taught tolerance, self-respect, civic engagement, and school spirit to his students while teaching pipefitting – including stoking the Quincy High-North Quincy High rivalry: “We always support Quincy High – except when they play North.” He took special pride in his many students who went on to serve in the U.S. Armed Services or excel in business and the piping trades.
Artie and his wife Marion raised their four children Michael, Patrick, Kathleen (Reardon) and Stephen in Quincy, and were always involved in the Sacred Heart Church, local sports, education, and community groups. He loved politics, often engaging his children in helping his childhood friend, and later Quincy Mayor, Walter Hannon on campaigns for local and state office. He loved the water and joined the Squantum Yacht Club in the 1940s, becoming Commodore in 1970. He taught his children to sail and encouraged them to compete in sail boat racing.
Arthur’s wife Marion died in 1979 and was later remarried to Dorothy Sweetser Morrissey for many years. He leaves his children, District Attorney Michael Morrissey and his wife Joanne, Patrick Morrissey and his wife Deborah, Kathleen Morrissey Reardon (Paul), and Stephen Morrissey and his wife Joanne. He is survived by his older brother Richard and his wife Margie, of Quincy, and his sister-in-law Shirley, of Holbrook. He is survived by 9 grandchildren, 7 step-grandchildren, 3 great-grandchildren, and the children and members of the Sweetser and Anderson families. He pre-deceased by his brother Paul of Holbrook and his sister Helen Tobin and her husband Richard.
Artie often said he loved his life and “wouldn’t change a thing.” His children invite friends and family to join them at a celebration of his life, “A Party-for-Artie,” on Thursday, Aug. 2, from 5 to 9 p.m. at the Tirrell Room, Quincy Elks Lodge, 254 Quarry St. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 9 a.m. Friday at Quincy’s Sacred Heart Church, 386 Hancock Street in North Quincy. Burial will be private.
Donations in memory of Arthur Morrissey can be made to the Quincy Retired Teachers Scholarship Fund, C/O Quincy Credit Union, 100 Quincy Ave, Quincy, MA 02169