Holyoke Mayor Alex Morse shared a poignant message this week, announcing the death of his older brother Douglas, who he wrote had struggled with heroin addiction “for years.”
Douglas, known as Doug, Morse passed away on Monday, according to his family-submitted obituary.
“He was a good and caring man, and I was blessed to have him in my life,” his brother, Alex, wrote on Facebook. “For years, Doug struggled with heroin addiction. With his passing, he’s become yet another reminder of the deadliness of this disease and the need for greater access to effective and compassionate treatment. I share this because we’ve lost too many people and it’s important that we never stop shining light on this epidemic. All across this state and country, it’s time we do better. I will keep up that fight in his honor.”
Doug Morse was born in Holyoke and graduated from Holyoke High School. In his obituary, his loved ones noted that in his struggle with addiction, he made “countless friends among his fellows in recovery and supported others on their journeys.”
He leaves behind a son, Gavin.
“Of everything he did in his life, he was happiest about being a father to his beloved son,” his loved ones wrote.
Alex Morse wrote that he was grateful that his brother was able to join him on the campaign trail in recent years. Morse is currently running for the Bay State’s 1st District congressional seat against incumbent Rep. Richard Neal.
“It meant the world to me to have my big brother by my side,” he wrote. “I talked about him often on the campaign trail, about his struggles and his determination to overcome them. And just two weeks ago he joined me in Pittsfield to talk about his journey. He will no doubt continue to join me for as long as I live.”
Calling hours for Doug Morse will be held Sunday in Holyoke. His family is asking that in lieu of flowers, donations be made to Hope for Holyoke to help others struggling with addiction.
Below, the obituary for Douglas Morse, courtesy of Messier Funeral Home:
Douglas Allen Morse passed away on Monday, February 24th, 2020. Doug was born in Holyoke, MA in 1979, the firstborn child of Tracey and Kim Morse. A member of Holyoke High School’s class of 1997, he played safety and defensive end on the undefeated football team, capping off the season with a Super Bowl win. He struggled with drug addiction for years. In the process, he made countless friends among his fellows in recovery and supported others on their journeys. He was a friend to many and a beloved brother, uncle, cousin, son, and father. He loved being an uncle, and was a frequent presence at his niece Lauren’s and nephew Nathan’s basketball games. Of everything he did in his life, he was happiest about being a father to his beloved son Gavin. He could often be seen on the sidelines of Gavin’s games, cheering him on. He is predeceased by his mother Kim and grandmother Sandra Powell. He is survived by his son Gavin; his father Tracey; his brothers Alex and Matt and his sister-in-law Jessica; his niece Lauren and nephew Nathan; and several aunts, uncles, and cousins. Calling hours will be held on Sunday, March 1st, 2020 from 3:00 – 5:00 PM at the Messier Funeral Home, 1944 Northampton St., Holyoke. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to Hope for Holyoke, 100 Suffolk St., Holyoke, MA 01040 to help others struggling with addiction or online at https://gandaracenter.networkforgood.com/projects/55730-everyday-giving.