• If you are citizen of an European Union member nation, you may not use this service unless you are at least 16 years old.

  • You already know Dokkio is an AI-powered assistant to organize & manage your digital files & messages. Very soon, Dokkio will support Outlook as well as One Drive. Check it out today!



Page history last edited by Jill Morse Menezes 15 years, 2 months ago


Memories of Rich Morse




Stories  |  Pictures  |  Early Life



This is a collaborative site for memories, stories, and pictures of Rich Morse.

Please add your own stories and pictures. Just click the "EDIT" tab at the top of any page.

(It's easy. If you want help try the PBwiki Manual or 30-second training videos.)


There are also many remembrances posted at the concertina.net forum.



The following message is from Rich's parents in Hawaii.

It was not received in time to be read at the memorial celebration on April 19th: 


           As a child goes though his stages of life, there are times when parents feel he is hit by a form of lightning, and his world changes.  Here are some special moments in Rich's life from Mom and Dad.


How Rich discovered reading


           During summer vacations when our children were under seven years of age, the traditional bed time ritual of the Morse family was to have Dad read out loud one chapter of a book each night to the children before they went to sleep.  This is when the classics were read  -- Treasure Island, Wizard of Oz, Lassie, Robinson Crusoe, and so on.


           This particular night the Wizard of Oz was being read.  Dad was getting close to the end of the book.  He finished the night's chapter, but the kids begged him to keep reading as it was so exciting.  No. They would have to wait until tomorrow night for another chapter.  The kids were tucked into bed, and the adults retired soon after.


           Hours later, Mom and Dad were awakened to see a light shining under their door.  The light was coming from the living room.  They went to investigate. There was Rich, sitting on the sofa, the Wizard of Oz in his lap.  When he saw his parents, his face beamed with unmistakable joy and awe as he exclaimed,   “I can read!  I know how the story ends."


Rich receives his calling


           Although Rich's father wrote books and his mother is an artist, they had other interests in business.  One was a tourist company where they rented recreational vehicles to tourists on all major Hawaiian islands.  In 1967 they ordered three pickup campers from a company in California.  RV's were unknown in Hawaii, and no one could repair a damaged one, so dad asked the company if Rich (then 15) could watch them being built.  Rich spent a summer month at the factory.  Upon returning home Rich told his father, "Don't buy another RV.  We can build them ourselves."


           Rich designed and built three RV's a year for three years, many of them of new designs that were later copied by the industry.      


          During this time his mother also started Hawaii's first scale model company serving architects, and Rich was a valued worker.  Thus, his goal in life was set.


Rich goes to college


          Rich left his childhood home in Volcano, Hawaii, when he was 18, and never looked back.  It was as if the East Coast siren, and now a love for archecture was calling him.  At age 18, he traveled 5,000 miles to Providence, Rhode Island to attend college at Rhode Island School of Design. 

            At that point, the family had three other children in private high school, and funds were not readily available to send him to such an expensive college.  So Rich was instructed to find out information about student aid and scholarships through the school.  He reported back with the exciting news that he was eligible for a scholarship.  Since Rich was from Hawaii, he was eligible for a "minority scholarship," because at that time, caucasians were a minority in the State of Hawaii.


Rich as a bum


Rich wasn't big on writing, or calling home, so when he did, we would ask how he was doing, if he needed money, the usual parent questions.  Months after college there was silence.  Finally when he did call, Dad asked, "Do you have a job yet?".  Rich answered "Oh, yes. Two other guys and I play music on street corners at Harvard Square.  We are doing great, so I don't need any money."


The Morse Family thanks you


Rich was very quiet about his life when he became established in architecture in the Green Mountains of Vermont.  If he got an award for architecture or anything like that, we were not always informed, as it never was a “big deal” to him.  He just enjoyed doing what he was doing.  He loved to create, to play music, to fix things, to draw -- and if any awards came to him, it was just the cherry on the sundae -- because he already had the sundae, which was his life and doing what he loved.


Because we are so far away in physical distance, we found it very comforting and helpful to read the blogs on the concertina website and the wiki site.  We had no idea that Rich's influence reached so far -- physically --- overseas and for different reasons.  To read how he affected people's lives, from just his disposition or his creation of music, people were touched and blessed by knowing him.  To a parent, this is tantamount to our ultimate success of bringing up a child, which is not measured in awards won or job titles, but in being a decent, caring, human being who made it on his own and touched people's lives.


Even though the immediate family of Rich (parents, sisters and brother) can’t be here today, we just want to express to the community at large our thankfulness and appreciation of your love and acceptance of Rich.  His home truly is there -- with you, his friends, his community, his family.  You have truly embraced him and he responded in kind.  You have shown us what it means to be loved, and we wish that everyone everywhere would be able to experience what Rich did here in this community.


           Much love to you all,


           Gordon and Joann Morse


Comments (2)

David Levine said

at 8:26 pm on Nov 29, 2009

I was not in touch with Rich for many years and this weekend while at my parents' house in NJ for Thanksgiving, read of Rich's passing in the spring issue of Sing out.

I met Rich in 1980 at the first Ashokan and we hit it off immediately (it seems a lot of people could say that). We played fiddle together, did the sauna and mostly smiled, talked and laughed. It's amazing how vivid that memory is of our first meeting. We often reconnected through the years at Ashokan and I will think of him tonight as a warm, positive, altruistic and talented soul.

David Levine

Judy Gatland said

at 2:43 pm on Jan 18, 2010

Wisdom from a 3-year old

I was going through my mother's belongings recently when I came across a letter I had written to her in 1994. There was a passage in there about Geordie, Rich's and my son, which I would like to share. Geordie was 3 years old at the time.

"Geordie was bouncing on our bed last evening and I was folding some clothes. He handed me one of Rich's T-shirts (the mustard-colored one) and said "This is Daddy's. You fold this up and put it in that chest. That will make Daddy happy. I love my Daddy. He's pretty neat.""

Geordie is now 19 years old and a freshman in college, but just as wise about the important things.

Judy Gatland

You don't have permission to comment on this page.