Donald Curtis Morse

August 11, 2021
Donald Curtis Morse

Donald Curtis Morse, 59, of Williamsburg, Virginia passed away on August 11, 2021. Mr. Morse worked for the US Joint Staff Directorate for Joint Force Development (J-7) as Chief of the Allies and Partners Force Development (APFD) Division after retiring from active duty in the U.S. Marine Corps as a Colonel. He served for more than 25 years in a multitude of staff and command positions. One of the highlights of his career was Commander, 2nd Tank Battalion, 2nd Marine Division as well as participating in Operation Iraqi Freedom.

A native of Shelbyville, Kentucky, he graduated from Western Kentucky University as well as numerous Service schools, and is very proud to have received a diploma from the Norwegian National Defense College (Forsvarets Høgskole) in Oslo, Norway.  He was extremely proud of receiving the Spanish Navy Cross Merit Medal.

In addition to his outstanding contributions to our military, he was also an Associate Member of First Baptist Church in West Point, Virginia, and a member of both the US Marine Tankers Association, American Legion & other various organizations.

Mr. Morse loved God, watching trains, playing board games, and gem collecting, but most importantly he loved his family, friends, and spending time with his loved ones.

He is survived by his son, Curtis Morse, daughters; Lauren Morse, Macy Morse, Eliza Morse; parents Jonathan & Lula Morse, siblings; Linda Pursell, Deborah Morse, David Morse, Alex Morse; & multitude of extended family.

A service will be held on Monday, August 23, 2021 at 2PM at First Baptist Church, 414 Main Street, West Point, VA, 23181. Burial will take place at a later date at Arlington National Cemetery.

Bucktrout Funeral Home is assisting with services.


Purchase Flowers

Subscribe to this Obituary

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Tribute Wall

Please feel free to sign the guestbook or share a memory



Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


  • August 24, 2021
    Jason Hines says:
    Words cannot express the depth of my sorry at Don’s death. Even though I only worked with him this past year, he was a truly remarkable man. He had the rare ability to make you feel as if you had been friends for years even if you had just met for the first time. He is very sorely missed. My deepest condolences go to Don’s family and his family in APFDD.

  • August 24, 2021
    David Monroe says:
    I graduated with Col. Morse at Shelby County High School in 1980. We were pretty good friends since first meeting at Shelby County Upper Elementary in the sixth grade. Until learning of his passing today, I was not aware of his seemingly prestigious career in the USMC. I, also a veteran USArmy SSG, would like to thank Don's family for not only his, but their service to our country. Rest in Peace Sir, and God Bless.

  • August 24, 2021
    Grant Goodrich says:
    Dear family and friends of Don, and fellow Marines, we lost a leader, mentor, and good friend with Don’s passing. Don was my CO at 2nd FAST in Yorktown, and I was one of his XO’s. Many of us just received the news today, and are still stunned. I will always be grateful for his support as I pursued a scholarship that took me to language school and overseas - it hurt my ‘career’ but changed my life. I saw Don last year for a virtual toast to the Marine Corps’ birthday- we laughed, told stories about our younger years, and raised a glass to the departed. You will be missed Don, but not forgotten. Semper Fi, Marine

  • August 23, 2021
    Ian and Fenella McAlister says:
    Fenella and I send our deepest sympathy and heartfelt condolences to Don's family. The FLO community could not have asked for a better Branch Head on both a personal and professional level. A gentleman, a man of great warmth, sincerity, humour and thoughfulness for others, he was quite simply a pleasure to be around. As Branch Head his commitment to promoting the cause of the FLO community and advocating on our behalves was unstinting, full of good counsel and always prepared to go the extra mile to help us in our engagement with the JS J7. The memories of him will only ever be good ones and the news of his passing came as a huge shock. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family at this very difficult time. Be assured, we will not forget - we were fortunate to have known and served with Don, and his place in the lives and memories of a great many people will endure. Ian McAlister

  • August 23, 2021
    Joe Ordona says:
    I was Don's Executive Officer when he commanded 2nd FAST Company. He was a great leader, mentor and dear friend. I still remember Don's first day at the unit when I had to rush him down to Norfolk for a battalion staff meeting. He was such a great commander and part of his legacy was being the ONLY non-infantry officer to command a FAST company. We were planning to get together the last time I was in DC this past May but we couldn't make it work. Now I so wish we would have been able to see each other one more time. I'm still in shock and so heartbroken. I'm going to miss your laughter, sincerity and courageous ability to always say and do the RIGHT thing Don. I will miss you greatly my dear friend. Condolences to Don's children and family. Semper Fidelis, Joe. PS. If anyone knows the details behind Don's passing and his future internment at Arlington, please call me at 703-447-7518 or email [email protected]