Jake ‘Richard’ Morreale, of Caswell County, NC, was born in New Orleans, Louisiana to Angelina Bourgeois and Jake Vincent Morreale, Jr. on September 13, 1942. He passed away peacefully at the age of 78 at Duke Regional Hospital in Roxboro, North Carolina, April 11, 2021. It was a Sunday morning -- his favorite day of the week. Richard was a 1960 graduate of St. Stanislaus College, Bay Saint Louis, Mississippi.
Richard was raised in Bay Saint Louis along with his brother, Gregory Powell. Richard was larger than life in many ways. He was energetic, wasn't afraid of hard work, and had a magnetic personality; all of which afforded him a diverse and seemingly countless amount of career opportunities over the years. While discovering his passion and abilities, he sold encyclopedias, shoes, and pots and pans door-to-door. He worked on a shrimp boat to make ends meet (even though he got seasick every day on the job). He played guitar in a band and went on to manage numerous rock 'n' roll bands in New Orleans. He worked as a stock clerk in the local Winn-Dixie and as a butcher in another small-town grocery store in Bay Saint Louis. Richard got his big break when he was hired at the John C. Stennis Space Center in Hancock County, MS, specifically working on the Apollo Program. Within that realm, he quickly climbed the career ladder, working as a messenger, a mailman, a drawing clerk, a quality assurance inspector, a project planning assistant, a configuration management assistant, finally becoming Secretary of the Change Control Board. He was forever excited and humbled to have been able to help send man to the moon (and back again, he would often add). However, he would have said his greatest accomplishment during this time was raising six confident, creative, and independent children. Later in life, he added to his brood a seventh child (who loved and respected Richard as his own father) when he met and married his sweetheart Linda.
His experience at Stennis Space Center landed him a job with Computer Sciences Corporation in Tysons, Virginia. This position took Richard and his family from Mississippi to Virginia, to California (where he worked full time and simultaneously obtained his BBA from the University of La Verne in a record time of 18 months), and back to northern Virginia until opportunities led him and his family to the UK, where he worked for Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs department in Telford, Shropshire. Inspired by his time working on projects for CSC, Richard built Life Cycle Management Systems, Pulse8 and Inspiration Systems while living in London and Cressing, Essex. During this time, he published four books he marketed on Amazon. He loved his work, loved encouraging others to love their work, and although stage fright was real for him, he wanted to motivate others badly enough that he added ‘inspirational speaker’ to his list of accomplishments. He was a wealth of knowledge and many people garnered that from him.
He and Linda eventually moved with their labradors as he planned for his retirement in North Carolina. Retirement wasn’t his ‘idea of a good time’, though, so he continued with speaking engagements in the US while also becoming immersed in the local community. He served nine years on the Board of Directors at the Caswell Family Medical Center between the years of 2007 and 2016, three of those as Chairman of the Board. He also taught in the Business Development and Entrepreneurship Center at the local Piedmont Community College from 2009 to 2016.
Richard was preceded in death by his paternal grandfather Jake Morreale, Sr., his maternal grandparents, Randolph Bourgeois and Jenny Bourgeois LaRosa, his Uncle Randolph and Aunt Theresa Bourgeois, his parents and his brother. Richard leaves behind his wife of 17 years, his sweetheart, Linda. As well as his children, Julie Wallace, Steve (Una), David (Alison), Elisabeth Munford (Alex), Susie (Dale), Matthew (Ana), and Simon Hayes (Claire), grandchildren Jessica, Sophia, Calypso, Kristina, Seraphina, Harlan, Wyatt, Christian, Nathaniel, Joshua, Andrew, Anna, Charlie, Harrison and Joseph and 9 great-grandchildren. Richard also leaves behind his Aunt Bo Sager, many treasured cousins, and finally, the mother of his first six children, Susan Gabriel.
Richard found solace in being a member of Concord United Methodist Church of Roxboro, NC under Pastors Karl Neuschaefer and Tom Newman. He thirsted for more knowledge of the Bible so much so that after his recent cataract surgery went awry, he would ask Linda to read the Bible to him.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Concord’s Building program or, as the beloved owner of his Jakie-Boy-Baby, the Lab Rescue of NC, 4182 Clemmons Rd., PMB 319, Clemmons, NC 27012. Should you decide to contribute, please be sure to note your desire this is a memorial contribution in Richard Morreale’s name.
Memorial services will be held at Concord United Methodist Church, 70 Concord Church Road, Roxboro, North Carolina on Monday, May 10, at 7:00pm. Another memorial service will be held in his hometown of Bay Saint Louis, Mississippi at First Baptist Church, 141 Main Street, Bay Saint Louis, Mississippi, on Tuesday, May 25 at 5:00pm.
Richard loved his life. He loved his friends and he loved his dogs. But most of all he loved his family; his wife, children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. His children will fondly remember him as the master of dad jokes, magic tricks and doing a stellar job of mimicking Steve Martin’s SNL ‘happy feet.’ He will be thought of daily and missed by more than he could ever have imagined.