We are fortunate here at United Way. We get to see people at their best; we see them when they are raising their hands and saying “pick me, I’m ready to help”. We might only know these people for a short time while others say “yes” so many times that they become a part of our family.
And so it is with deep sadness that we share that, Allan Morse, a member of our extended United Way family has passed away. Allan was a graduate of Enka High School and NC State University worked for many years at EATON and afterward as an Engineer for Siemens Industry. He was also the owner of Sante Wine Bar and if you were friends with Allan on social media, you got the chance to travel the world with him through his love of food and wine.
Today we celebrate Allan for his gifts to our community as a dedicated volunteer of ours.
Allan’s most active years with us were between 1999 and 2015 where you could find him serving our community on just about every committee we’ve ever run: grant review teams, strategic planning committees, and on our Focused Initiative Task Force which led us to the development of Community Schools. He served as a board member and on our executive committee. He believed strongly in the power of public policy advocacy and the importance of NC 2-1-1 which led him to raise his hand once again by serving as the western NC representative to the board of United Way of North Carolina.
Allan was a donor to United Way of Asheville and Buncombe County for more than 30 years and, during his “under 40” years, was a member of Highlands Circle our affinity group for emerging leaders. In fact, in 2010 was awarded a Highlands Circle “Circle of Fire” award for his contributions to our community.
Representative Brian Turner, shared this with the crowd when he presented the award in 2010; "For many years, Allan Morse has been a vital part of the United Way of Asheville and Buncombe County community and as an advocate for the people of this region. Allan is a United Way triple threat: he gives, advocates and volunteers. We are fortunate to have someone of his intellect and quiet passion working toward improving our community, and I for one am thankful for his friendship and the time and leadership he has given to our United Way.”
When we spoke to Allan years ago about why he was so committed to giving of his time and resources he said that it had been “an important part of my life for as long as I can remember” and shared that some of his earliest memories of helping others included his parents or grandmother sending him to a neighbor in need with a basket of vegetables or a freshly cooked meal.
Here are just a few testimonials from people who knew him well.
"Allan was a champion for our community be it at his workplace, his church, Buncombe County and North Carolina. He believed in civic engagement and was always ready to spearhead new efforts. It was this kind of leadership that allowed him to help us develop our public policy efforts and ignite what became the implementation of the community school strategy. At times, I thought Allan had an office at United Way; in fact, he did… it was our boardroom. Allan was a true champion for our community; we will miss his leadership!" -- David Bailey, former President and CEO of United Way of Asheville and Buncombe County
"He was a good soul who did more than care, he acted. He believed in what we did and was never too busy to engage." -- Ron Katz, retired Community Partnerships Director, United Way of Asheville and Buncombe County
"Allan led our public policy committee for a number of years as he had a passion for United Way but also ensuring that our communities had the resources needed to thrive. He had a tireless passion for 2-1-1 and most importantly was a true friend to us all. Our prayers and support are with his family." -- Laura Marx, President and CEO of United Way of North Carolina
Allan, you will be missed.