Obituary: Edmond Northrop Morse, World War II veteran, served on Board of Finance
Edmond Northrop Morse passed away peacefully in the early morning of April 11th surrounded by devoted family members. Edmond (Ted) was 92.
Ted was born in Baltimore, Maryland on December 31st, 1922, the only child of Ethel Luisa Dannenberg and Edmond Harris Morse. Ted’s father, Major Morse, was a career officer in the United States Marine Corps (USMC) who earned the distinguished Navy Cross medal for exceptionally meritorious and distinguished service in Europe during World War I. Major Morse died in active duty at an early age while serving in the Asia Pacific, after which Ted and his mother returned from Long Beach, California to the Baltimore area. Ted attended the McDonogh School in Owings Mills, Maryland and was awarded a full scholarship to Brown University, where he matriculated in 1940.
As World War II was intensifying, Ted completed his studies at Brown quickly and graduated with Honors in Economics in early 1943, after which he immediately enlisted in the USMC. Ted’s active duty included serving as a Marine Scout and Platoon Leader in the 24th Regiment of the 4th Marine Division during the Battle of Iwo Jima in the South Pacific, which suffered nearly 100% casualties and indelibly influenced Ted’s future life.
Upon his return from World War II, Ted joined the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston and after a brief stint entered the Harvard Business School, from which he graduated in 1947. Just prior to joining the Marine Corps, Ted met his wife-to-be, Sidney Harvey Phillips. They were married in Baltimore on June 5th, 1948 and initially settled in New York City, where Ted had already begun a lifelong career in financial research and capital management at Smith Barney.
Ted was promoted rapidly to positions of greater responsibility within the firm, and rose to become an Executive Vice President & Director for many years. Following his successful career at Smith Barney, he joined First Manhattan Company as an Executive Vice President for an additional decade before retiring.
In 1951, Sidney and Ted moved to Darien to raise their family near friends. Throughout his life, Ted was cherished for his special qualities of commitment to family and education, lifelong passion for business and history, and tremendous resilience and inventiveness, all enriched by a dry sense of humor. His grandfather, Harmon Northrop Morse, was a prominent Professor of Chemistry at Johns Hopkins and Amherst Colleges; Harmon’s biography also describes Ted in its reflection that “the courage and ambition of the boy overcame all obstacles.”
During his retirement years, Ted served on Darien’s Board of Finance and Pension Board. Ted was also a founder of the Bank of Darien and the Connecticut Investment Group as well as an active member of the Lockwood-Matthews Mansion Museum. Along with his family, he enjoyed the Tokeneke and Wee Burn Country Clubs as well as spending summers at his grandfather’s Morse family cottage on Chebeague Island, Maine. Ted also loved Peru, Vermont, where he and Sidney oversaw the renovation of several 19th century country houses.
Ted’s beloved wife Sidney pre-deceased him by only months after a remarkable 66-year marriage. Ted is survived by his five children Edmond H. (Barbara), David F. (Elaine), Judith B., Anne S. (Scott), and John B. He is also survived by his grandchildren Edmond R., Christopher B., and Benjamin S., as well as a great granddaughter, Emerson A.
Funeral services will be held in the chapel of Saint Luke’s Episcopal Church in Darien, Connecticut at 2 pm on Friday, May 1st. Interment will be private. In lieu of flowers, donations may be sent to the McDonogh School at 8600 McDonogh Road, Owings Mills, Maryland 21117.
— by the Family