Remembering Larry Morrish, community activist extraordinaire

February 8, 2016 Anna Spivak
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Community activist and lifelong Ridgeite Larry Morrish has died.

A dedicated, long-time columnist for this paper, Morrish was devoted to the community and writing about the people who positively impacted his beloved Bay Ridge.

Named a Pioneer of the community by the Third Avenue Merchants in 2013, Morrish was deservingly honored and celebrated for his over 40 years of dedication and devotion to the neighborhood.

“I and the entire Bay Ridge community begin this week with heavy hearts as civic leader, community organizer, patriot, husband and friend of many, Larry Morrish, has passed,” said Councilmember Vincent Gentile. “The unofficial Mayor of Bay Ridge, Larry cared about two things: Bay Ridge and helping his fellow neighbors of Bay Ridge. His jovial personality and positive attitude were infectious. His presence never went unnoticed, whether we were at a festival, community event, community board meeting or simply having a cup of coffee.”

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Along with providing readers of this paper with local news, Morrish was also an early supporter of the Ragamuffin Parade, serving as the event’s chair for 16 years. The community leader was also one of the original founders of BRAVO — Bay Ridge’s volunteer ambulance service — in 1974, started the Bay Ridge Saint Patrick’s Day Parade and was actively involved in community clean-ups.

“It will be impossible to replace Larry’s depth of community love, his desire to help all those around him, his embrace of all people, regardless of their culture, and his true passion for his neighborhood,” said Carlo Scissura, president and CEO of the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce. “Bay Ridge lost a visionary, a true Brooklyn character, who would charm you and always tell it like it is. He will be missed.”

It is clear that Morrish left his mark on Bay Ridge and the people of it. Many of them took to social media to express their condolences and memories of Morrish.

“Today we lost a good man, Larry Morrish. He was an icon in the bay ridge community. Had a memory that we all wished we had. He knew everyone and never, never forgot their name. He was a friend, and an all around great person,” said Colleen Golden, Ragamuffin’s president.

“Today earth has lost a great man and heaven gained an angel,” said Reverend Khader El-Yateem. “Rest in peace my friend and brother Larry Morrish. May his memory be eternal. You will be dearly missed.”

“Larry was a unique, inimitable force for good in Bay Ridge,” said Merchants of Third Avenue Executive Secretary Chuck Otey. “Over almost 50 years, I watched — and wrote — as he helped in the monumental task to help BRAVO get underway with Hank Vogt. Through the years, Larry — remarkably — spread that same ‘Bay Ridge can do it’ spirit to hundreds of good causes and thousands of volunteers.”

Morrish is survived by his wife Phillipa Morrish.

BROOKLYN MEDIA GROUP/file photo
BROOKLYN MEDIA GROUP/file photo

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