Andrew John Farrissey died peacefully on Sunday, April 7, surrounded by his family. He was 83.
Born in Fall River on March 9, 1930, Andy Farrissey was a gifted athlete, successful entrepreneur and deeply-loved husband, father and grandfather. In 1948 he led the Durfee Hilltoppers to win the New England Basketball Championship before a packed crowd of 14,000 in the Boston Garden, and later in life he was inducted into the Durfee High School Hall of Fame. He later played for the Washington Generals and in 2009 as the star center, number 22, he was inducted into the New England Basketball Hall of Fame.
Andy went on to start and run a number of successful businesses including Rodman Beef, Andy’s at Horseneck Beach, The Mill, Melville Marina Pub, and with his wife, Nancy, and daughter, JoAnne, Catering. Proud of his city, Andy gave back through charitable work for the Boys’ and Girls’ Club of Fall River, where he learned to play basketball. He served as president of the Fall River City Council from 1958 to 1959 and was at the time of his death the longest serving member of the Elks Club, holding a membership since 1956. In 1953, Andy married Nancy Jane McDonald, the love of his life and his constant cheerleader with whom he brought four children and nine grandchildren into the world. He was adored by all of them.
He is survived by three daughters, Colleen Farrissey McGowan and her husband Stephen of Providence, R.I., Nancy Jane Duncan and her husband Samuel H. Duncan of Arlington, JoAnne O’Neil and her husband John C. O’Neil of Fall River; one son, Andrew J. Farrissey and his wife Katherine (Anderson) Farrissey of the Vineyard; 11 grandchildren, Prof. Musa Gurnis and her husband Nathaniel Farrell of St. Louis, Mo., Leah Winship of Boston, Andrew W. Farrissey of the Vineyard, Rachael Winship of New York city, Leila Duncan of Arlington, Colleen Farrissey of the Vineyard, Samuel H. Duncan of Arlington, William Farrissey of the Vineyard, John A. O’Neil of Fall River and Cameron and Margot McGowan of California. He was also brother of the late John Farrissey.
A funeral and funeral mass were held on April 10 in Fall River. Interment will be private.
Memorial contributions can be made to the Thomas Chew Memorial Fall River Boys’ and Girls’ Club, 803 Bedford street, Fall River, MA 02723.