All about Sweet Home since 1929

Ralph James Morse

Sept. 4, 1928 - July 16, 2020

Ralph James Morse, 91, a resident of Sweet Home, died in the early evening of July 16, 2020.

He was hospitalized on July 11 and was taken quickly by the many complications associated with cancer. During this time, he was surrounded by generations of children, grandchildren, and friends.

Ralph was born on Sept. 4, 1928 in Terry, Mont. to James Leonard and Agnes Lorna (Ross) Morse.

After several years in Terry his family moved to Wisconsin to rejoin the Morse family agriculture industry near Nekoosa. His family would eventually settle in Washington where he would complete his public schooling.

Ralph enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps at age 18 in 1946 and served until 1949, when he was honorably discharged due to the demobilization of the United States Armed Forces after the Second World War.

After working in the commercial industry for several years, Ralph decided to return to the armed forces and served in the California National Guard for over 30 years, retiring as a Chief Warrant Officer 4. He was a mechanic and crew chief servicing the F4U-4 “Corsair” airplanes. He also worked at both the Nike Ajax and Nike Hercules missile sites.

On July 2, 1949, he married Anita Logan, of Prineville, in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho. They had three children, James Lawrence Morse, Robert Lee Morse and Deborah Lou Morse.

Ralph and Anita divorced after 21 years of marriage.

Ralph would go on to marry Linda, before finally meeting his soul mate, Dorothy. Ralph and Dorothy were married on June 21, 1990 in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho. Dorothy had four children from a previous marriage.

Ralph spent his entire life participating as an officer serving the Lions Club, American Legion, Veterans of Foreign Wars, and AMVETS.

Ralph is survived by his sister, Ardeena Pheasant; and his children, James Morse, Deborah Swanson, Melissa Efstathiou, Tammy Mello, Renee Hildebrand and Jerome Castrogiovanni.

He is also survived by his grandchildren, Sally Morse Kersh, Ralph James Morse II, Joey Anderson, Brian Swanson, Kosti Efstathiou, Kalani Efstathiou, Christine Mello, Benny Jr. Mello, Kayla Mello, Whitney Mello, Matt Hildebrand and Clayton Castrogiovanni; and six great-grandchildren.

He was preceded in death by his wife, Dorothy “Dottie” Kuulei Morse, who passed away on June 30, 2020; his son, Robert Lee Morse; sister Theo Luxner; brother Harry Clayton Morse; mother Agnes L. Schmidt; and father James L. Morse.

A visitation was held July 19 at Sweet Home Funeral Chapel. A U.S. Military Funeral Honors will be held at the Veterans of Foreign Wars, 580 Main St., Sweet Home, at a date to be determined.

Sweet Home Funeral Chapel is handling the arrangements.