CORVALLIS - Richard John Morrisey, III (Rich) passed in his sleep at home on June 9 after a courageous battle against metastatic colon cancer. He was surrounded by his wife, Judy, his sons, Evan and Graham, and in spirit by his sister, Susan, and many, many friends and family. He is now in the great trout stream in the sky but lives on in our hearts.
Born and raised in a military family that moved frequently, Rich was a larger-than-life personality who embraced many roles. He was both a football star and state backstroke champion in high school, graduate of Dartmouth College, naval intelligence officer, lawyer (law review), worked for the Securities and Exchange Commission, tireless entrepreneur, chef extraordinaire, master gardener, passionate humanitarian, and more. He found joy in generously giving to his community and was the best trout fisherman anyone knew (except his own father, Richard John Morrisey, II, who no doubt greeted him with a bear hug in that great trout stream in the sky). When not chasing the next river monster that got away, he was happiest on his back porch, cigar in mouth, rum in hand, loyal dogs at his feet, admiring the birds – which he called “little dinosaurs” – at his feeder and the Bitterroot range beyond. He loved Montana and was passionate about its conservation for future generations.
Rich was a dedicated and loving son and brother; husband to Judy and previously Missy; “Dad” to two incredible sons and their equally incredible wives; and a proud and patient “Cowpa” to grandchildren from blended families: Madison (12), Bennett (10), Will (9), Austin (9), Eli (7), Drake (5), and Mia (5). He was a dear friend to many and an enemy to none. He loved the house full of family, friends, and laughter sharing good food, drink, and cigars. Family reunions and holidays were legendary. The kindness in his heart encompassed all.
Possessed of a deep intelligence and boundless curiosity apparent to any who spent time with him, Rich was also a relentless searcher for truth and meaning. He consumed books (who reads the dictionary for fun in high school?) and the news and traveled and experienced many cultures. A consummate story-teller, he reveled in the written word and scribed many stories and poems. Being tone deaf never stopped him from “singing” along to his many favorite musical artists. An accomplished self-trained chef, he expressed his love especially through food, a gesture many of us carry on our hips today. Though gregarious, he equally cherished his private time playing Spider Solitaire and tending to his magnificent gardens. It was in nature that he happily pondered the universe’s mysteries.
Those left behind include his wife, Judy Patton Morrisey; sons Evan (Nisha) and Graham (Jennifer) Morrisey; sister Susan Livingstone Morrisey; Judy’s son Nicholas (Tara) and daughter Jennifer (David). He was predeceased by his parents, Richard John Morrisey, II and Catherine Carmean Morrisey.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Bitterroot Land Trust. Condolences may be left for the family at www.dalyleachchapel.com
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