School 27

Dr. Stephen Charles Morse

September 7, 1956 ~ April 11, 2021 (age 64)


Dr. Steve Morse, 64, of Macon, Georgia, died Sunday, April 11, 2021, after a 5-week battle with COVID.

Steve was born September 7, 1956, in Marietta, Georgia. He was the son of William and Margaret Morse.

Steve was the Dean of the School of Business at Middle Georgia State University in Macon, Georgia. He held a Ph.D. in Economics from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, and a bachelor’s degree from the University of Georgia, Athens. He was a respected expert in economic development, as it relates to the hospitality and tourism industries. Steve was frequently invited to speak about the impact of the service industry on the economy at conferences on both national and international stages.

Steve’s applied and practical research led to the development of an “Economic Significance of Tourism Toolkit.” Southeast Tourism Society (STS) used this research to showcase tourism’s economic impact for generating jobs, payroll, and taxes for local tourism destination marketing organizations. His system allowed those who work in tourism to show local officials and policymakers the economic impact tourism had on their communities. As a result, his economic models and his understanding of tourism’s impact have fostered growth in tourism destinations across the Southeast. He shared this model at the STS Marketing College, where he was able to provide training, over many years, to hundreds of tourism professionals.

But there was much more than just his contribution to travel and tourism. He was a friend and a mentor to many. His infectious personality drew people to him, and he always remembered your name and where you were from. Most importantly, Steve was a mentor to his students, both current and former. He loved to impact their lives by encouraging new experiences, promoting graduate degrees, and providing career advice and help. And, he always had one more pep talk left for that student that needed support.

Steve was a devoted family man and enjoyed traveling, kayaking, and boating with the love of his life, Mary. They were college sweethearts and reconnected in 2006 and lived their dream life since marrying in 2008. Steve adored his stepsons Evans and Chance. He was Scoutmaster for Chance’s Boy Scout Troop 999 in Sylva, NC, and guided Chance and other Troop 999 Scouts to achieve their Eagle Scout Rank. He also served on the Executive Committee for the Daniel Boone Council, Boy Scouts of America.

Survivors include: Wife Mary Foster Morse and sons, Chance Reed of Statesboro, Georgia and Evans Reed (Elizabeth) of Portland, Oregon; his father, William Morse, Jr. (Grace) of Daytona, Florida; and brother, Greg.

Morse (Sherrill) of Tucker, Georgia, and Brian Morse (Beverly) of Chattanooga, Tennessee, and nieces and nephews Lindsey (Will), Mellissa, Brad, Lee, & Rion.

He is predeceased by his mother, Margaret “Maggie” Morse, and his loyal canines Casey and Maggie.

A memorial service will be held at a future date due to COVID concerns.

The family has set up a scholarship fund in Steve’s memory for students at the University of Georgia College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences. Checks can be made payable to the UGA Foundation and mailed to UGA CAES, 117 Four Towers, Athens, Ga 30602. Please include “Steve Morse Scholarship” in the check memo. To make an online gift, visit:

Please visit to express condolences.

Hart’s at the Cupola, Hart's Mortuary and Cremation Center, 6324 Peake Rd, Macon, GA 31210 has charge of the arrangements.

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117 Four Towers, Athens GA 30602

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