Elliston Perot (“Pete”) Bissell III passed away peacefully on the evening of November 19, 2013 in Chatham, New Jersey. Pete was well known and loved by many and lived a rich and rewarding life.
The son of Elliston Perot Bissell, Jr. and Ann Packard Bissell, Pete was born In Jamaica Queens New York on May 26th, 1935. He spent his early years in Morristown, New Jersey and Haverford, Pennsylvania. He attended the Episcopal School in Philadelphia and graduated from St. Paul’s School in Concord, New Hampshire in 1953. Pete attended Harvard College, where he majored in Biochemical Sciences. While at Harvard he was a member of the Hasty Pudding, Lampoon, and President of the Phoenix-S.K.
After graduating from Harvard in 1957, Pete joined the US Navy as a junior lieutenant. He was married to Edith (“Edie”) Mabelle Roach of Newtown Square, Pennsylvania in March 1958. Pete and Edie spent the early years of their marriage in Japan while he was stationed at the Yokosuka Naval base attached to a naval intelligence unit. After his discharge from active duty in 1961, Pete continued to serve in the Naval Reserves for 30 years and retired with the rank of Commander. Following his return to Philadelphia in 1961, Pete went to work for Pennsylvania Bell. Pete had a long and distinguished career at AT&T and its predecessor companies including vice president of Diamond State Telephone Company, working in AT&T’s international division, and finally serving in AT&T’s global strategy group. His career took him to many interesting places including living in Egypt from 1982 to 1984. He also gained recognition through obtaining two patents for proprietary telecommunication devices. Pete retired in from AT&T in 1997.
In addition to his work, Pete played a very active role in numerous community organizations including the Kiwanis in Norristown, Pennsylvania, the Rotary Club of Wilmington, Delaware (serving as President in 1981), the Opportunity Center, Inc (a group that seek to educate and help the disabled), and the Urban League of Wilmington. Pete will be remembered fondly by the many lives he touched. He was always willing to lend a helping hand or provide sage advice.
Pete had many hobbies gardening, HO Gauge trains, model building, furniture making, bridge, military history, fine wine collecting, and painting lead soldiers. An avid golfer, he was a member of the Merion Golf Club, Pine Valley Golf Club, and the Morris County Golf Club. He was also a member of the Morristown Club. Pete was well known as a bon-vivant and a humorous raconteur!
After nearly 40 years of happy marriage, Edie passed away. Pete was very lucky and fortunate to fall in love with and in 1999 marry Elizabeth (“Betty”) Cutler. Pete and Betty had a wonderful time together and spending time with their 13 grandchildren. For many years they spent their winters in Albufeira, Portugal and summers at Fossil Hill Farm in Morristown, New Jersey. In these years Pete and Betty continued to explore the four corners of the earth and hone their prodigious bridge skills.
Pete is survived by Betty, his three children Elliston Perot Bissell IV, Rolin Plumb Bissell, and Ann Packard Bissell, and five grandchildren Elliston Perot Bissell V, Ulysses Duncan Lighthill Bissell, Samuel Randolph Bissell, Tilden Avery Bissell, and Helen Packard Bissell.