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Sept. 2, 1926 – Jan. 14, 2013

Richard H. Morse, of Cheektowaga, a retired insurance executive and a prisoner of war in World War II, died Monday in Brothers of Mercy Nursing Home, Clarence. He was 86.

Born in Buffalo, he enlisted in the Army in World War II after graduating from Arcade High School and served with the 87th Infantry Division in Europe.

He was captured by the Germans in France and weighed just 90 pounds when he was liberated eight months later. He was awarded the Purple Heart, the Bronze Star and many commendations.

After the war, he graduated from the University of Buffalo and attended Syracuse University before beginning his career in the insurance business. He was a certified life underwriter and a chartered property casualty underwriter.

After retiring as a vice president in the Buffalo office of the insurance brokerage company Alexander & Alexander, he taught classes in insurance and proctored classes for the Independent Insurance Agents of New York until a few years ago.

“He was the most knowledgeable guy in insurance I ever met,” said Jack Dumpert, a former associate at Alexander & Alexander. “He was so smart, and he knew so much.”

Mr. Morse was a member of the board of directors of the Buffalo Chapter of the CPCU Society and a member of the Western New York Chapter of ex-POWs.

Mr. Morse was an amateur radio operator and enjoyed lecturing, reading, cycling, running and world travel. He held season tickets at Shea’s Performing Arts Center and the former Studio Arena Theatre.

Surviving is his companion of 55 years, Blanche Sorgi.

Services will be at 10 a.m. Saturday in Amigone Funeral Home, 6050 Transit Road, Lancaster.