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John Morgan Obituary


It is with heavy hearts that we share the news of the passing of long time OCO supporter and collaborator, John Morgan at the age of 91. A memorial service for John was held October 13th at 1:00pm at Mills and Mills Funeral home, 5725 Littlerock Road SW, Tumwater, WA. We invite any and all supporters of the Olympia Chamber orchestra to join us in honoring the life of John Morgan. Obituary posted below:


John Patrick Morgan (Sean), world traveler, Irish Rugby (IRFU) fan, contributor to the arts, and loving patriarch of a multigenerational family, passed away peacefully in Olympia, Washington, on August 13, 2022, at the age of 91. 

A proud Irishman to his last breath, he devoted his life to music, his family, and his beloved country of birth. John Morgan was born on March 6th, 1931 in Dublin, Ireland, the son of John Morgan, known as Jack and Bridget (Roe) Morgan. He was the eldest of seven, Rita, Marie, Vera, Anthony, Michael, and James. In his youth he could be found galavanting with his cousins or riding one of his brothers on the crossbars of his bike to see one of his Gaelic football or Rugby matches. Shortly after he finished school, he took an apprenticeship at a Stone Mason firm where he earned enough to buy his younger siblings a weekly "one on one" (fish and chips) and spending money for Christmas presents.

In 1955, John met Pamela Jane Smith at a local "hop" (dance) and they were married later that year in St. Mary's church in Sandyford. He then took a job as a draftsman for an engineering firm while simultaneously working towards his engineering degree. His career took him to London, New York, Texas, and finally to Olympia, Washington with the State's Department of Transportation as a civil engineer. In each of these locations, John was heavily involved with the opera as a basso. 

He had many celebrated performances that spanned from local shows in Olympia to guest performances at the Metropolitan Opera in New York City. He was once offered a recurring role with the MET that he turned down as the pay was $25 less per week than his salary of an engineer and he had five children, Jane, John, Hugh, Sarah and Shane, to support. John and Pamela were married for 41 years until Pamela's untimely death in 1996 from cancer. John retired at the age of 70. In his retirement he continued to sing, act, and charm most everyone he met. He enjoyed travel, taking yearly trips to Ireland and New York as well as places far and wide with his favorite brother Anthony in tow. It was on one of these trips through New York that he reconnected with a singer from his former New York Opera company, the Amato. He had the luck of the Irish to find love again with Alison G. Rivers. Together they continued their involvement in the local art and music scene. After the Tipsy Whale opened on Steamboat Island, they could often be found enjoying the company and making new friends.

John P. Morgan is survived and deeply missed by his wife, Alison G Morgan; his five children: Jane Morgan (Gene) of Haines City, Florida, John Morgan (Jessie) of Olympia, Washington, Hugh Morgan (Cheryl) of Melbourne, Florida, Sarah Morgan (Mike) of Olympia, and Shane Morgan (Kelly) of Olympia; his ten grandchildren: Sean, Kiera, Chris, Conor, Jamie, Elisabeth, Miranda, Isla, and Nora; his five great-grandchildren: Avery, Jack, James, Kai, Niko, and Oliver; his sister-in-law Rosemary Smith of Dublin, Ireland; and his brother Anthony Morgan of Dublin.


In lieu of flowers, a charitable donation to your local community arts programs is appreciated. Condolences and inquiries regarding details of a future memorial service can be provided at

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