For more information: Linda Mansfield, 75534.2635@CompuServe.com Bill Morrissey, 83 MORRISTOWN, N.J., March 29 - The American Racing Drivers Club (ARDC) has learned of the death early Friday morning, March 28 of former driver and car owner...
For more information: Linda Mansfield, 75534.2635@CompuServe.com
Bill Morrissey, 83
MORRISTOWN, N.J., March 29 - The American Racing Drivers Club (ARDC) has learned of the death early Friday morning, March 28 of former driver and car owner Bill Morrissey in Morristown Hospital here. He died from complications after an operation for a heart aneurysm.
He was 83 years old. At the time of his death he resided in Canadensis, Pa.
He was born in New York City and he lived in the New Jersey towns of Hillside, Belleville and Kearny before moving to the Poconos several years ago.
The viewing will be held Monday from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. and 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. at Condons Funeral Home, 684 Kearny Ave., Kearny, N.J.
The funeral will be held Tuesday at 10 a.m. from the funeral home, with a mass following in Queen of Peace Church, North Arlington, N.J., at 11 a.m.
Morrissey drove midgets in the thirties. Most of his driving was done under AAA sanction rather than ARDC, which wasn't formed until 1939.
He drove big cars in 1933, and returned to midgets in 1935. He held the 1938 South American midget championship title, and he won the AAA-sanctioned national championship midget race at Castle Hill Speedway in the Bronx. He was also the track champion at Bridgeport, Conn., in 1938.
Morrissey drove Sam Alperti's big car in the thirties. He ran AAA and ARDC midgets owned by Tommy Arcelo and Slim Schloeder before he retired from competition in 1941. He drove "The Popsicle," the Schloeder Carlheim midget No. 43 which was built by Sid Haughdahl in 1934. He competed in the first midget race ever held in Pennsylvania, which occurred at Beahler Stadium in Hazleton. He is a member of the Race Drivers Hall of Fame in Flemington, N.J.
He was also a car owner; one of his drivers was Nick Fornoro Sr.
He owned and operated an automotive parts store, Smith Boring and Parts Co., in Montclair for 35 years, retiring in 1991. He was a specialist in magentos, and he worked on the very first B51 planes when they experienced magnetos problems during their development.
He was a big supporter of ARDC midget racing, and he spoke one year ago at the organization's roast of Nick Fornoro Sr.
He is survived by his wife, Josephine; a daughter, June Morrissey; a son, William J. III; three sisters, a brother and four grandchildren.
Instead of flowers, the family has asked for donations to be made to the American Kidney Fund, 6110 Executive Blvd., Rockville, Md. 20852.