Kevin Morrissey, VQR Managing Editor, Dies

August 3, 2010 — Kevin Morrissey, 52, managing editor of the Virginia Quarterly Review, died Friday in Charlottesville.

Morrissey joined the staff of VQR, the University of Virginia's award-winning literary magazine, in August 2004. He spent his career in publishing; prior to joining the University, he had been the marketing and sales manager for the Minnesota Historical Society Press.

Morrissey came by books naturally, his sister Maria Morrissey said. "As children, Kevin and I were the ones in the family who went to the library every week and would drag home huge stacks of books," she said. "Kevin would read and read and read."
 
As managing editor for the past six years, Morrissey was a highly valued member of the magazine's small, tightly knit team. According to those he supervised – Sheila McMillen, Molly Minturn and Waldo Jaquith – he was a caring, thoughtful boss and a brilliant, creative editor. But more than that, they agreed, he was family.

"VQR was Kevin's life," McMillen, associate editor and circulation manager, said. 

Jaquith, the magazine's web developer and editor, remembers Morrissey as a dogged worker committed to publishing excellence. "He was meticulous in his detail," Jaquith said. "He was also one of the finest human beings I've had the privilege to know."

Maria Morrissey remembers how smart her brother – the youngest of the Morrissey clan – was, and how well he did in school. "Kevin was extremely intelligent, scoring 1,600 on his SATs," she said.

Despite his extraordinary smarts, Maria Morrissey said, her brother remained humble and low key, a "sweet soul."
 
In the days since his death, many have described Morrissey as thoughtful and considerate; brilliant; a man who loved good food, great literature and eclectic music; a quiet presence who will be greatly missed.

Morrissey was born in Greensboro, N.C., on Dec.19, 1957. He is survived by his father, John Morrissey, of Phoenix; three brothers, Mike of Wauwatosa, Wis., Doug of Oconomowoc, Wis., and Terry of Portland, Ore.; and his sister Maria of Austin, Texas.

A reception to celebrate Kevin Morrissey's life and honor his memory will be held Friday from 3 to 5 p.m. in the room adjacent to the ballroom on the third floor of Newcomb Hall.