Denton “Denny” Morse, age 83, died peacefully on January 31, 2021. In lieu of flowers, the family is asking that donations, which are tax deductible, be made in Denny’s memory to Booker T. Washington High School’s athletics and robotics programs (Tax ID 82-4195719). Please use the comments option if you'd like to share any special memories of Denny.
Born to Burton and Myra Morse in Burlington, Vermont on December 1, 1937, Denny is survived by three children: Christy Getz (Jim Robins), Steve Getz (Samantha), and Rob Morse; and five grandchildren: Lauren, Eli, Maggie, Jackson, and Chase. He will be missed dearly by twin sister Dianne Eakin (Dave, deceased) and younger brother Steve Morse (Maggie). During his final year of life, he was blessed with the wonderful support of Steve and Maggie, his lovely caregiver Brittani Odie, and the dedicated nurses of Caris Hospice.
A four-sport letterman and accomplished student at Burlington High School, Denny went on to major in education at the University of Vermont, where he played basketball and captained the track team. After graduating, he earned his MBA and an engineering degree from the University of Kansas, where he met his first wife, Hilda Gibson. His first job as a systems analyst at Exxon took them to New York City and then Caracas, Venezuela. After returning to the U.S. and settling in Houston, Texas, Denny married his second wife, Ellie Yager. He took early retirement from Exxon in 1982 to teach computer science in the engineering magnet program at Booker T. Washington High School. An esteemed mentor to many, Denny also coached the high school swim and track teams and in 1998 founded the school’s highly successful robotics team.
Denny was well-known in the Houston running community for his service to the Houston Marathon, which recognized his decades of volunteer work by electing him to the Houston Marathon Hall of Fame in 2013.
Near and dear to his heart were annual trips back “home” to New England, where gatherings with extended family in Ocean Point, Maine were highlighted by raucous croquet matches, stories about the old days over lobster dinners, and late nights of Fictionary. These trips also afforded Denny the opportunity to visit his parents and childhood friends in Burlington.
Sports, games, and competition of all kinds were an integral part of Denny’s life. Following his illustrious high school and college athletic career, he played semi-pro tennis in Venezuela, ran several marathons (including the Boston Marathon), swam daily, was an avid golfer, and played daily basketball into his 60s and ping pong into his 80s. Often found solving (or creating!) various types of word puzzles at the breakfast table, he enjoyed card games with family and friends, and his lifelong cribbage series with his brother Steve ended in a tie.
Denny’s endearing sense of humor and charm enabled him to turn strangers into friends wherever he went. His regular visits to the local Dunkin Donuts were less about his cherished cake donut and more about the friendships he built among the “coffee crew.” He also made friends at weekly language meetups, which offered him the opportunity to feed his intellectual curiosity by practicing the Spanish, French, and Italian that served him well on several trips to Europe over the years.
Above all else, being around family and friends was what made life rich for Denny. He moved to Bluffton, S.C. to be near family and filled his four years in Sun City with all that he loved – meeting new people, playing golf, socializing with the “ping pong crew,” and playing nightly card games after a happy hour cocktail and a nice dinner with Steve and Maggie. Buon Appetito, indeed!