The Obit For Bruce Morisse

Former Facts publisher dies at 79

By John Lowman

Published October 30, 2008

ANGLETON — Bruce Morisse will be remembered as a Brazosport community advocate, a good neighbor, a volunteer and an up-front person, friends and business associates said Wednesday.

The decorated Army veteran, baseball player and former Facts editor and publisher died Wednesday at age 79.

During his years with The Facts, Angleton Times, Alvin Sun and serving with several community organizations, Morisse was a positive promoter of the Brazosport area, said Jim Phillips, who is a former Brazoria County judge, Freeport mayor, school principal and Brazosport ISD official.

“I had the pleasure of dealing with him as an elected official and when I was involved at Brazosport High School during his tenure,” Phillips said. “We had a very good relationship. He was very up-front and direct. He was a very strong advocate of the Brazosport area. Not just one town, but as a group. I was always glad to see that.”

Morisse began a career in newspaper advertising for The Facts in 1953 and later became editor and publisher of the Angleton Times. In 1977, he also was named editor and publisher of the Alvin Sun.

He was an officer for Southern Newspapers — the parent company of The Facts — beginning in 1977 and eventually was that company’s general manager.

Morisse took over as Facts publisher in 1984 after longtime publisher Jim Nabors retired. Morisse retired in 1992 and was succeeded by current Facts Editor and Publisher Bill Cornwell.

Cornwell considers Morisse a mentor.

“He was a great fellow to work with, and he meant a lot to my career,” Cornwell said. “Bruce was somebody you looked up to as I came up through the ranks. It will be sad not having him in the community to bounce ideas off of. He was one of the nicest fellows I’ve ever met.”

Morisse was very active in the community, serving as member and president of the Angleton Rotary Club, president of the St. John Lutheran Church council, and as a director of the Angleton, Alvin and Brazosport chambers of commerce.

He served with the Keep Brazoria County Beautiful Association, Angleton Danbury Hospital District, Brazoria County Salvation Army Advisory Board and Brazoria County Fair Association, as president of the Brazoria County SPCA and as chairman of the Brazosport Economic Development Corp.

He also was secretary of the Southern American Lutheran publications committee, a member of the Gulf Coast Press Association and a founding member of the Texas A&M Lettermen’s Association.

“He did a very good job representing The Facts and the community,” Phillips said.

Former Angleton mayor and current Brazoria County Pct. 2 Commissioner Matt Sebesta knew Morisse and his wife, Barbara, professionally and personally. The couple had four children.

“They live around the corner from us,” Sebesta said of a central Angleton neighborhood. “He was a very well respected man in the newspaper business and they were really good neighbors. They’re good people, good neighbors. I’m very saddened by his passing.”

A native Texan, Morisse was born in Nordheim, where his mother was the editor of the Nordheim View. He’s a graduate of Texas A&M University, where he played baseball and made the All-Southwest Conference team. A southpaw pitcher, he signed with the then-New York Giants baseball club as a bonus player and compiled an 8-3 record in the farm league. He struck out Mickey Mantle and Stan Musial — and they both also hit home runs off him.

He was to report to spring training in Florida in March 1951 and returned to A&M to begin graduate study, but was called to active duty in Korea two days before his Giants reporting date. He served as a U.S. Army first lieutenant in the signal corps for two years, and received the Bronze Star with five battle stars.

Memorial services are pending with Palms Funeral Home in Angleton.