The World Mourns Passing of Great Humanitarian Trudy Morse

By: Aug. 30, 2013
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The world mourns the loss of a great, one.of.a.kind philanthropist/artist Gertrude "Trudy" Morse, who passed away on August 21 at Arden Courts, Potomac, MD. She was 94. This pure renaissance woman was a civil rights activist, having traveled through Africa, Australia, Europe and the US, an advocate for natural childbirth and breast feeding, a poet, a dancer and all-around champion humanitarian. She is survived by six children, twenty-one grandchildren and ten great-grandchildren.

Her late husband Malcolm S. Morse was a famous scientist with the National Bureau of Standards where he worked on dynamic thermo-physical measurements in space before his death in 1986. One of the reasons for her frequent trips to various parts of the globe was her continued interest in her husband's research on anomalous phenomena. Also, a jazz musician, she toured with and gave tremendous charitable contributions to Maestro Cecil Taylor, Kidd Jordan and Sun Ra to extend performance in music throughout Europe. To her, life was an unending adventure, and as well as writing eight books of poetry, she kept diaries on and off the road.

Scientist and fellow jazz enthusiast/poet/illustrator Ana Isabel O, who nicknamed Trudy 'Grammy' has this to say about her: "For me, Trudy was the most joyful and positive person I ever met. I learned a lot from her and her poetry. Dancing with Trudy was a thousand trips to heaven; she was a truly inspirational grammy!"

Born in Brooklyn NY, Morse, a prominent member of Who's Who and winner of multiple awards, resided in Maryland for over fifty years. She is survived by one brother Bernard Gorcey. In fact, her father was famous vaudevillian Bernard Gorcey and her brother Leo Gorcey scored big time in such films as Dead End Kids and The Bowery Boys. Leo Gorcey died in 1969.

Morse leaves a great legacy to all who loved her in the realms of literature, art, music and politics. The New England Conservatory received huge donations from her as well as Pauline Oliveiros at the Deep Listening Institution. Morse was one of Obama's original supporters and raised funds for his campaign.

Ana Isabel sums up best the essence of Trudy Morse and how she feels she should be remembered: " I never met anyone as positive as her. She loved dancing. Even a few months before she passed away she danced a bit when we met. She also sang and loved children. As she grew older she loved the laughter of her grandchildren and great-grandchildren more than anything. Whenever I was feeling low, it was Trudy who showed me how to reach my inner child.

She was a trip! It will take me time to adapt myself to her physical departure. She wasn't scared of death, she believed and lived near death experiences -- Her spirit will live on."

Trudy's website is back online:

A memorial service will be held on September 15, 2 p.m. at Cedar Lane Unitarian Universalist Church, 9601 Cedar Lane, Bethesda, MD. In lieu of flowers, donations may be sent to Rabbi David Shneyer of Am Kolel, 19520 Darnestown Road, Beallsville, MD 20839.