August 4, 1922 – June 15, 2018
Irvin Louis Morse Sr., 95, passed from this earth on Friday June 15, 2018 at his home surrounded by his loving family. He was born August 4, 1922 in South Bend, Indiana to Howard C. Morse and Bethany A. (Geyer) Morse, both of whom preceded him in death.
On February 1, 1946 he married Mary Lee Gillespie of Bartlett, Texas who preceded him in death March 21, 2007. Irv is survived by 5 children and their spouses, Irvin (Mary Jane) Morse, Jr. of Granger, Michael (Sharon) Morse of Mishawaka, Deborah (Jeffrey) Waters of Indianapolis, Melinda (Gilbert) Clark of South Bend, and Mary Beth (Scot) Clark of Midlothian, Texas. He is also survived by 9 grandchildren; 10 great-grandchildren and many nieces and nephews. Irv was preceded in death by his brother, Howard C. (Katherine) Morse of Mishawaka; and his sister, Patricia A. (Walter) Crawford of Mt. Orab, Ohio.
Irv began his professional career as an accountant with Cortlett and Sons Lumber Co. in 1945. He eventually became part owner of the company and worked there until the company closed in 1981. He was then employed by Big C Lumber until he retired at the age of 83. He was active in the Indiana Lumber and Builders’ Supply Association, serving as its president in 1983.
Irv was very active in the Disciples of Christ church. He served as Deacon, Elder, and officer of the board of Southside Christian Church in his 70+ years of membership. He was at the forefront of the congregation’s process to become an open and confirming place of worship for the LGBTQ community.
Irv was an avid genealogist, a hobby he inherited from his grandfather. He was a member of the South Bend Area Genealogical Society and was the president emeritus of the organization at the time of his death. In 2017 he was awarded the Indiana Genealogical Society’s Distinguished County Genealogical Service award in recognition of his distinguished contribution to genealogy in St. Joseph County, Indiana.
Irv also was a volunteer for the St. Joseph County Library where he helped to enter the marriage, birth, death and divorce records for the county into a database. He researched specific genealogical inquiries directed to the library from persons seeking information in their family search. Irv spent every morning, except Wednesdays, Monday through Friday, working at the library. On Wednesday mornings he worked at the archives. He continued this service until March of this year when he became ill with Leukemia.
Irv loved his family, classical music, reading, bowling, traveling and cherry pie. A service celebrating his life will be held at the Southside Christian Church, 1329 E Jackson Rd., South Bend, Indiana on August 4, 2018. Visitation will begin at 10:00 AM followed by the memorial service at 11:00 AM. In lieu of flowers, contributions in his name may be made to the Southside Christian Church or the Genealogical Society of South Bend at their website, www.sbags.org.
He will be missed by his family and his many friends.