Jim Morse, 50

     SACO - Jim Morse, 50, a resident of Spring Road, passed away Wednesday morning on Feb. 8, 2006, at his home.
     He was born on July 21, 1955, in Newton, Mass., a son of Carlton and Evelyn Noel Morse. He graduated from Thornton Academy, Class of 1974.
     Jim was the vice president of manufacturing operations for Belleco Food Equipment Specialists in Gorham.
     He was a Harley Davidson and Corvette enthusiast.
     He was predeceased by his mother Evelyn Noel Morse.
     He is survived by his father, Carlton Morse and his step mother Charlotte of Scarborough; his wife of 26 years, Cheryl Berrick Morse of Saco; a daughter, Nicole Lela Morse of Buxton; three brothers, Peter, Danny and Paul; a sister, Judy; three grandchildren, Caitlin, Bailey and Abby; and s everal nieces and nephews
     Visiting Hours will be from 2-4 and 6-8 p.m., Friday, from Cote Funeral Home, corner of Beach and James St., Saco. A Funeral Service will be held at 11 a.m., Saturday, from Cote Funeral Home. Burial will be at a later date in Laurel Hill Cemetery, Saco.
     Arrangements are by Cote Funeral Home, Saco.
     A special thanks to Hospice of Southern Maine for their love and support. Those planning an expression of sympathy are asked to consider donations to:
    Hospice of Southern Maine
    901 Washington Ave., Suite 104
    Portland, Maine 04103
    Jim Morse

Jim Morse, 50, business founder, bike collector, family man

SACO - Jim Morse, a founder of Belleco Inc., a Gorham-based manufacturer of food service equipment, died Wednesday. He was 50.

As vice president of manufacturing operations, Mr. Morse was responsible for the design and development of the Belleco line, which includes commercial conveyor ovens and toasters.

With three managers from Holman Cooking Equipment, which closed its Saco office in 2004, Mr. Morse founded Belleco Inc.

Mr. Morse was director of engineering at Holman. Russ Bellerose, a longtime friend and Belleco's president, said Mr. Morse was passionate about the food service industry.

"This whole company has revolved around the work he did," Bellerose said. "This equipment is outstanding. With Jim's passing, there is a huge hole in the development of new products."

Mr. Morse's wife, Cheryl, described him as a simple man and a true gentleman who loved his family and valued his friendships.

Cheryl Morse said that when they met, she had a 7-year-old daughter. When her daughter was 26, Mr. Morse asked for permission to adopt her.

"It was a surprise for her," his wife said. "We wrapped up the adoption papers for a Christmas party. She just looked at them and started crying. I have a picture of them embracing and they are in tears. It was a wonderful moment. It was wonderful to see them come full circle."

Mr. Morse was a Corvette and motorcycle enthusiast. One of his prized possessions was a 1970 red Corvette convertible.

His wife said each year, they hit the road with five or six other couples for a drive to Bar Harbor or through the mountains in New Hampshire. Mr. Morse liked leading the pack of cars.

"Corvettes were his passion," his wife said.

Mr. Morse also enjoyed collecting and refinishing antique Honda motorcycles. He was building a replica of a motorcycle from the movie "Easy Rider," a favorite of his.

"I loved his craft," his wife said. "At one point, he owned too many and we had to build a third garage. I loved that it was his passion. It was fun for me, too."

Mr. Morse spent summers in his youth on Chebeague Island, where his parents owned a summer cottage. That period of his life was special to him, and helped shape his character, his wife said.

Mr. Morse was often called "Cliffy," after the character Cliff Clayburn from the television series "Cheers." His wife said he got the nickname because of his vast knowledge of trivia.

"You always wanted to be on his team for Trivial Pursuit," his wife said. "He was very smart. He had this immense capacity for information."

- Melanie Creamer