The Obit For Paul Brissette

Paul A. Brissette Jr.

Published in The News & Observer on September 25, 2010

Paul Alphonso Brissette, Jr. died peacefully at home under the loving care of his wife, Estelle, and surrounded by family on September 23, 2010.

Born June 25, 1931, in Springfield, Massachusetts to Paul Sr. and Mary Vivenzio Brissette, Paul was the second of five children. After graduating from Holy Cross College with a Business Degree. Paul attended Law School at Western New England College before being called to serve in the U.S. Army Special Services during the Korean War.

A gifted athlete, Paul was an All-American high school football, basketball and baseball player. His prowess led to his being offered a triple athletic scholarship at Holy Cross College where he was an All-American baseball player, received the Hall of Fame Award and played as second baseman on the 1952 NCAA Championship team, a team that played in the college World series and was voted the 7th best in college history. His years of high school and college stardom led to a brief career in professional baseball playing for the Chicago White Sox.

After the war Paul settled into what would prove to be a remarkable career as a television executive. He got his start as an advertising salesman at Springfield’s WWLP-Channel 22, moved into management, and then ownership more than 32 television stations, some radio stations, an outdoor advertising company, a weekly newspaper, and partial ownership of a Chicago magazine company.

Paul’s community involvement included service as the President and Trustee of the Wilmington, N.C. YMCA, and President of the Wilmington, N.C. Tennis Association. Paul was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award by the Wilmington YMCA, was voted the 46th Best Athlete of the Century in Massachusetts and was honored this year by the Juvenile Diabetes Foundation.

Paul is survived by his wife, Estelle “Tish” Cook, who he met while playing summer baseball in Nova Scotia; their three children, Gregory Paul (Simone), Stephen Cook (Beth), Pamela Kathleen; six grandsons, Matthew Brissette, Ryan Brissette, Kyle Heath, Paul Heath, Ethan Brissette and Nathaniel Brissette; his beloved sister, Esther Brissette O’Connor (Jack); brother, Larry Brissette; and sister, Barbara.

Paul was predeceased by his brother, Bobby Brissette.

He leaves behind countless friends, many friendships that he credits to what he referred to as the “brotherhood of athletes”.
The family would like to thank the doctors, nurses and hospice caregivers for their loving help and care.

A memorial service will be held at St. Andrews on the Sound Episcopal Church on Monday, September 27, 2010 at 2:30 p.m. A reception will follow at 705 Planters Row (Landfall) Wilmington, NC.

Those considering a contribution are asked to consider the St. Andrews on the Sound Episcopal Church Endowment Fund (910) 256-3034, Lower Cape Fear Hospice (910)796-7900, or Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, (910) 509-9793 for their kind memorials.
Condolences may be sent to the family at