Cover photo for Daniel Morse's Obituary

Daniel Morse

d. December 20, 2023


Daniel (Dan) Fessler Morse departed his earthly life on Wednesday, December 20, 2023.

Dan was born in Trenton, NJ on July 3, 1949, to William Fischer and Theodora Doris (Pulone) Morse, joining brother George Fischer. The family lived in Shanks Village, NY, until his sister Edith arrived in 1953, when they moved to West Norwalk, CT. His father Billy passed away from cancer in 1958 and mother Doris married fellow teacher JM Stevenson in 1960. After George and Dan had graduated from high school, the family moved west. While George was at Denver University and Dan was at NYU, JM, Doris, and Edith were in Tucson. But in 1968 they settled in Sombrillo, NM, close to JM’s childhood home of Nambe.

Dan met through his motorcycle racing buddies his future wife, Tina Maez. Together, Dan and Tina had three children, Rachel, Michelangelo, and Susan.  He first made his living as a motorcycle mechanic and managed shops in Espanola and Los Alamos. He took up motocross racing and won several races.  He later landed a job at Los Alamos National Laboratory.  After several years there he left for moral reasons. Rekindling his love of photography, he worked at several photo labs and soon developed a reputation as one of the best fine art photographers in Santa Fe. He was the primary photographer for the Gerald Peters Gallery for more than ten years before opening Firefly Studios where he served the greater art community in Santa Fe.

Dan is survived by his children and their mother, Tina and his cherished grandchildren, Brittany, Jared, Andres, Isaac, Skylar, Emilee, and Jace.  Dan was also delighted to have two great-grandchildren, Weston, and Kasey.  Dan also leaves behind his brother, George and Sister, Edith and brother-in-law Cecil Brown, nieces, nephews, friends, and neighbors.  Dan was a gifted soul, expressing himself through humor, photography, cooking, sports, gardening, and music.

Our father left us with a tremendous number of memories, keepsakes of special notes and letters, special small items with significant meaning to him and our family.  He was thoughtful and generous with all that he gave.  He enjoyed cooking gourmet meals and dishes for his family and never turned down an invitation for a sushi meal.  As a father he showed unlimited amounts of understanding and compassion towards his children and grandchildren.  His advice always included an enormous amount of wisdom, and he never sacrificed his integrity to his values and beliefs.

It was recognized that our upbringing was in Northern New Mexico, yet he always strove to ensure we had knowledge of our heritage from the Morse/Pulone side, this was evidenced by our father maintaining an Italian tradition of cooking a Feast of the Seven Fishes meal for Christmas Eve using ingredients he harvested from his beloved vegetable garden. He hosted a dinner for his children and grandchildren where he served a pasta dish from the Basilicata region of Italy where his maternal grandparents originated from.  He has left a lifetime of cherished memories and a legacy for his family.

A Celebration of Dan’s Life will take place at 6:00 PM on January 12, 2024, at the Bond House Museum in Espanola, NM. The event will be hosted by the San Gabriel Historical Society. The family recognizes the gift Dan possessed through his art of photography and encourages artists that Dan served during his career to kindly bring prints or stories highlighting Dan’s talent.  Some of his art will be on display following the service. 

The family of Daniel Morse has entrusted the care of their loved one to DeVargas Funeral Home & Crematory of the beautiful Espanola Valley.  505-747-7477

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Daniel Morse, please visit our flower store.


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