Sunday, June 3, 2012

Omer Joseph Brisson, Jr.

Omer Joseph Brisson, Jr.

Born 30 March 1918 in Providence, RI to Omer Joseph Brisson, Sr. and Julia Anne Plante. He was the first male child to this large family of 16 children.

Omer was known as "Red" for his hair color. After finishing his senior year in high school, he started bodybuilding to improve his overall appearance and for entertainment around January, 1937. This was commonplace for this time period as it was during what was known as the 'Great Depression' which began with the stock market crash in 1929 and continued throughout most of the 1930s. With money short and jobs difficult to find, individuals found other ways to get by; body building required a lot of structure and discipline but no money and he became very good over time.

Together with friends, he developed moves, positions and routines and they eventually formed an 'Acrobat Troupe.' In February, 1939 he competed in Mr. America and received an honorable mention and in the spring of 1940 he competed in Mr. Rhode Island and was the runner-up with the following pose:

In April, 1939, he injured his right ankle at Hugh B. Bain Jr. High, Cranston, RI and landed in the hospital. Over a long period of time, he had 10 operations, a bone spur removed and eventually had tuberculosis set it to make matters worse. To aid his walk, his right shoe heel was much thicker than normal. Because of this injury and the number of surgeries, he never served in World War II, however, many of his brothers and friends had enlisted and he did what he could in support of the war.

During these periods of visits to St. Joseph's Hospital, he met his future wife, Claire V. Marotte who was a nurse at this hospital. He also worked at the Sheraton Biltmore Hotel as an accounting clerk for a time, he was very good with numbers.

Omer and Claire were married in 1950. He fathered six children and attended Bryant College where he graduated with a degree in accounting and spent the rest of life working in the accounting field. He worked for the State of RI as the Assistant Property Manager for many years along with multiple jobs often times to support his large family.

Later in life, he became a member of the Lincoln chapter of the Society for the Preservation and Encouragement of Barbershop Quartet Singing in America (S.P.E.B.Q.S.A. ) and enjoyed all that this organization had to offer.  He loved to go swimming and did some traveling with the Barbershop groups and even had the opportunity to travel to California in 1975. He passed away on March 16, 1984.