Jesuit Father Alfred L. Morisette passed away on Jan. 19, 2014, at the Jesuit infirmary in Spokane, Wash.
The eldest of four siblings, Fr. Morisette was born in Tacoma, on Aug. 22, 1930, to Alfred and Helen (Berilla) Morisette. After graduating from Bellarmine Prep, he entered the Jesuit Novitiate at Sheridan, Ore., on Aug. 13, 1948. Following the regular course of studies, Fr. Morisette was ordained a priest on June 17, 1961, in Spokane. He took final vows on Feb. 2, 1966.
Attracted to higher education, Fr. Morisette spent his entire priestly career at Gonzaga University doing a variety of works. His love of the French language led him to complete a master’s at the University of Laval, Quebec City, and then teach it in the classroom for several years.
He was a dedicated teacher, directing his attention and focus to those who needed it most. Each spring Fr. Morisette would review the undergraduate applications looking for possible participants in his experimental “New Start” program. Over time, hundreds of students successfully accomplished their goal of a college degree by entering Gonzaga through this conditional admission program.
Fr. Morisette was also called to administrative duties: he was foreign student advisor; chair of modern languages; superior of Jesuit scholastics working on graduate degrees; director of freshman counseling; admissions counselor; director of Studies Abroad; associate director of the Student Academic Center; and associate dean of the College of Arts and Sciences.
Fr. Morisette’s integrity, spirituality and warmth of personality plus his depth of knowledge of many subjects allowed him to assist numerous people in their hopes, dreams, fears and burdens. Fr. Morisette was preceded in death by his sister, JoAnn Spencer. He is survived by two younger sisters, Mary Lou Lachowsky and Carolyn Jenkins.