Leonard Vernon Morse

July 4, 1923 ~ February 24, 2023 (age 99) 99 Years Old


Leonard V. Morse, 99, of La Grande, and formerly of Woodburn and Newberg, died peacefully on Friday, February 24, 2023 at his home in La Grande. He passed on his mother's birthday and is now safely at home with Jesus and his sweetheart of 73 years.

A service will begin Thursday, March 16th, at 2:00 p.m. in the indoor mausoleum at the Valley View Memorial Park & Mausoleum, 24235 NE Dayton Avenue in Newberg, Oregon.  The service will include Masonic Rites and Military Honors and will be officiated by David Case of Northwest Christian Church in Newberg.  Arrangements are entrusted to Daniels-Knopp Funeral, Cremation & Life Celebration Center in La Grande.

Leonard Vernon Morse was born in Portland on the 4th of July in 1923 and was raised by his parents, William E. and Beulah Frances (Eckert) Morse in Portland as well as Stevenson and La Center, Washington.  After graduating from high school, he proudly served in the U.S. Army during WWII.  He was in the Army Air Corps' 14th Air Force known as the Flying Tigers.  He traveled around the world during his service and delighted friends and relatives for years with stories related to his service.  After his honorable discharge in 1946 he returned to Newberg where he met his sweetheart, Betty E. Newton.  They married in Stevenson, Washington on April 4, 1947.  They made their home in Newberg for many decades, spending some time in Woodburn before moving to La Grande in 1992.

Leonard worked as an estimator for Portland General Electric and invented a way for them to save time and money by using “twig construction” for hanging powerlines versus the old method of using cross arms.   

Besides their faithful devotion to their church, Leonard and Betty were very active in the Masonic and Eastern Star activities in Newberg as well as The Optimists International service club.  After moving to La Grande, he and Betty were active in the Union County Historical Society and the Grande Ronde Bird Club.He played a very supportive role in Betty’s “Little Dresses for Africa” organization.  Leonard took college courses and became a hospital chaplain and served In Portland as well as La Grande.  He was an active member of Valley Fellowship and later participated in the Crossroads Community Church.

Surviving relatives include his daughters, Wendy L. Schmidt of La Grande and Becky E. and her husband Willie Noll of Summerville; grandchildren, Brook Draper, Heather Stewart, and Tessy Hansen;  great grandchildren Ember, Naomi, Caleb, Noah, Demetrius, Re, Lucas, Katherine, Elisha, Brianna, Feliciana, Abagaile, Amber and Jaden;and one great-great granddaughter, Marina.

Besides his parents, he was preceded in death by his wife of 73 years, Betty; a younger brother, Raymond Morse and an older sister, Elaine Dickie; his son David Morse; and two grandchildren, Jedidiah Morse and Hailey Knapp. 

Contributions in memory of Leonard Morse may be made to the charity of the donor’s choice.



Funeral Service

Thursday, March 16, 2023
2:00 PM

Valley View Memorial Park & Mausoleum
207 Villa Road
Newberg, Oregon 97132

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