JoAnn C. Morse of Montauk, a high school special education teacher, died of complications of heart failure last Thursday at Stony Brook Southampton Hospital. She was 81.
A 1960 graduate of Tufts University, where she majored in psychology, she went on to earn a master’s degree in education from the College of New Jersey.
While at Tufts, she met Ralph H. Morse Jr., the man she would later marry, and with whom she brought up two children. They had been married for 36 years at the time of his death in 1996.
She had spent most of her career teaching in the Neshaminy School District in Langhorne, Pa., before retiring in 2000.
Her house overlooking Lake Montauk was her favorite place in the world, her family said. She loved to garden and, as a member of the Horticultural Alliance of the Hamptons, enjoyed taking part in the organization’s events and activities. She was a member of St. Therese of Lisieux Catholic Church in Montauk, and served as eucharistic minister.
Born in Queens on June 26, 1938, to Walter McNamara and the former Marion Genzale, she grew up in the Bayside neighborhood and attended Sacred Heart High School.
She is survived by her daughters, Carolyn Pierse of Manhattan and Kathryn Maguire of New Hope, Pa., as well as four grandchildren.
The Rev. Tom Murray of St. Therese will officiate at a celebration of her life on July 20 at 10 a.m. at the church.
The family has suggested memorial donations to the Horticultural Alliance of the Hamptons, P.O. Box 202, Bridgehampton 11932.