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Shelter Island Reporter obituary: Nicholas G. Morehead

After a long and courageous battle with cancer, Nicholas G. Morehead, 46, died peacefully at home surrounded by love on May 10, 2021. 

Nick was born in New York City on January 17, 1975, to Gould Morehead and Bliss Morehead-Zisser, both of whom predeceased him. He attended Friends Seminary in New York City, and went on to receive his high school diploma from The Hotchkiss School in Lakeville, Conn. in 1993. He earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Philosophy from Trinity College in Hartford, Conn., where he was a member of their nationally-ranked squash team. 

Nick spent one undergraduate year abroad at the University of St. Andrew’s in Scotland. While there, he enjoyed many rounds of golf on the Old St. Andrews Course, the oldest golf course in the world, affectionately known as the “Grand Old Lady.” He went on to complete a Master’s in Journalism from American University in Washington, D.C. in 2000, and then a Master’s in Business Administration from Stony Brook University in 2015.

Having spent many summers on Shelter Island as a teen, Nick made the decision to move to the Island full-time in the early 2000s. After memorable stints as a staff reporter at both the Southampton Press and Shelter Island Reporter, he made a major career shift in 2007 when he was recruited to work at South Ferry.

He attained a United States Coast Guard Merchant Mariner’s License and ultimately became the company’s Chief Operating Officer. With virtually no background in anything like ferryboat operations, Nick earned the love and respect of the ferry crews even to the very last days.

Nick is survived by his loving wife, Paige (Clark) Morehead; children, Cayman, 11, and Larkin, 7; sister, Joanna Morehead; stepfather, Mike Zisser; in-laws, Cliff and Tish Clark; sister-in-law and brother-in-law, Shelli and Constantin Nicolet; nephews, Landon and Jackson Nicolet; step-siblings Robin Bennett, Laura Morehead-Martino, Paul Zisser and Jason Zisser, their families and countless others who loved him like family.

A celebration of Nick’s life was held at Our Lady of the Isle Church on Saturday, May 15. Lots of laughter accompanied the deep sadness, as a life well-lived was remembered. It was exactly what Nick would have wanted. 

His close friend, Brett Surerus, addressed the standing-room-only crowd, reflecting how, “Nicholas is what you hope to achieve in living life as the example for others to follow. His calm, even-keel demeanor shines like a beacon and is infectious. I’ll be working hard every day, for the rest of my life, to live up to Nicholas.”

Shelli Nicolet said, “Nick is one of those rare people who touched everyone he came in contact with in a positive way. He was kind, generous, compassionate, loyal and funny. He loved Shelter Island and he loved being a part of anything he felt he could help make better in a way. That was an example to all of us — he is the best of us.” She then challenged the audience to pick one area they could give back to the community, an act of service in honor of Nick. “Keep alive the spirit of goodness he brought into the world.”

In lieu of flowers, the family asks that a donation be made to a GoFundMe page set up for his children’s 529 college fund: www.gofundme.com/morehead-children-education-fund