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William “Bill” Morrissey, 83, a Baker City resident since 1953, died Dec. 6, 2007, at St. Elizabeth Health Care Center.
His memorial service will be Friday at 2 p.m. at Gray’s West & Co. Pioneer Chapel, 1500 Dewey Ave. Friends are invited to join the family for a reception afterward.
Bill was born June 10, 1924, in Ireland to William and Catherine Morrissey. He was the fifth of 10 children. He married lifetime Baker County resident Clara Burke in Ireland in January of 1952.
He and Clara were ranchers in Baker Valley where they raised sheep, cattle, chickens and always raised a garden. Bill was also a handyman who could turn his hand at almost anything, but his passion was building everything from fences and corrals to houses. Many of them are still standing today. He worked for several ranches in the Keating Valley as well as in Baker and it was said many times that he could make water run uphill when he irrigated the fields.
In his later years he enjoyed gardening and refinishing furniture at their home in Baker City and he greatly enjoyed going fishing.
Bill is survived by his sons: James and his wife, Judith, of Baker City, and John and his wife, Wendee, of Keating; grandchildren, Jamie of Baker City and Brent of Keating; brothers, Mike and Dennis; a sister, Josie; and several nieces and nephews who still reside in Ireland.
He was preceded in death by his wife, Clara; infant daughter, Catherine; brothers: Jim, Thomas, John and Patrick; and sisters Catherine and Mary.
Memorial contributions may be made to the American Heart Association, Alzheimer’s Research or the charity of ones choice in care of Gray’s West & Co., 1500 Dewey Ave., Baker City, OR 97814.
Used with permission from: Baker City Herald, Baker City, Oregon, December 12, 2007
Transcribed by: Belva Ticknor