The Man I Called “Sir”



Dad, Papa, Grandpa, Dr. Morse, Jim…James Orrin Morse was all of these, but to me he was “Sir”. It is what I called my father-in-law for 20 years. I asked Tom, my future husband at the time, how I should address his father. He told me that everyone called him “Sir”. I didn’t know at the time that this was a family joke dating back to when Tom’s sister was young and, being sassy, took to responding to his as Sir instead of Dad. It always worked well for us to have me refer to him as Sir. It seemed to suit him and I am always in favor of sassy.

Sir was a very intelligent,insightful and humble man. He was generous and kind. He was superstitious and spiritual. He was a commanding presence who liked to be in control of his universe. He spoke his mind and was definite in his opinions, but respected that other people had differing opinions. He enjoyed a spirited debate.

Sir loved his family, his pets, and his God – not necessarily in that order. He enjoyed home cooked meals, the ocean, college football, reading, journaling, practicing medicine and talking to people. He was a good story teller and woodworker. He was fiercely independent and didn’t like to ask for help. He didn’t want to bother or trouble others with his burdens.

He was not overt or demonstrative in showing affection but he was quick with a compliment and appreciative of anything done for him. All of his children and grandchildren knew he loved them and was proud of them. His children admired, respected him and revered him.

During the weeks since Sir’s passing the family has laughed and cried as we have shared stories and recounted our memories of Sir. As the stories came to light we have realized that Sir shared a different part of himself with each one of us. He truly was a complex man and it was a pleasure to have known him. He will be missed and never forgotten.

I think that Mom said it best on the card she attached to the balloons we released the day of Sir’s burial “Save a place in heaven for me”.

Until we meet again, Sir, rest in peace.


  1. Beautifully written. Sorry for your loss, but Sir is in Heaven waiting……..God Bless :-))