Answer Last Updated: Aug 11, 2016 Views: 500
The roadway, which is maintained by the Metropolitan District Commission (MDC), is named for William T. Morrissey, a native of Charlestown, MA, who was chairman of the Metropolitan District Commission (MDC) from 1944 until his death in 1951 at age 54.
Born in Charlestown, Morrissey studied engineering at Franklin Union. He joined Boston's Public Works Department in 1915, left a couple of years later to serve with the Navy during World War I, and rejoined the department after the war. In 1931 he was named engineer in charge of construction of the city's highway department, and three years later was promoted to chief engineer in charge of preliminary studies and surveys. Morrissey was advanced to division engineer in 1937 and and by 1944 had worked his way up to the position of commissioner. The following year, in 1945, the late Maurice J. Tobin, then governor, named Morrissey to head the MDC. All told, Morrissey worked for the city of Boston for 30 years.
Morrissey died of a heart attack in his Cohasset home on November 6, 1951. Captain Albert Swanson, MDC historian, notes that a legislative act of 1952 renamed what were then called Old Colony Parkway in Boston and Quincy Shore Boulevard in Quincy in Morrissey's honor. The name of the Quincy section of the highway was restored in 1968.
(Note: This answer was adapted from "Ask the Globe" columns from the Boston Globe, dated February 19, 1988 and July 1, 1990.)