Captain Kendall Esten Morse

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Captain Kendall Esten Morse
May 10, 1934
April 21, 2021


Captain Kendall Esten Morse, of Arundel, Maine passed away on April 21, 2021 in Falmouth, Maine.
He was born and raised in the little town of Machias Maine on May 10, 1934 one of nine children, and he wanted us to know he never slept alone until he was married!
Kendall graduated from Morse High School in 1952, and later went on to work in a sardine factory. after which he joined the US Coast Guard, serving from August of 1953 to August of 1957 aboard the Coast Guard Cutter COOS BAY WAVP 376 out of Portland, ME.
Shortly after leaving the Coast Guard, Kendall joined the State of Maine Department of Sea and Shore (now called the Department of Marine Resources) and was stationed aboard the patrol boat EXPLORER out of Camden, ME, where he rose to the rank of Captain. He lived and worked aboard the EXPLORER with another Warden for 7 day stretches with 2 days off.
Kendall was spending time away from his growing children, and he was growing weary of battling the wind and winter weather, which then led him to accept a position with the US Department of Fish & Wildlife, National Marine Fisheries Service in Gloucester, Massachusetts. He did a 9-month training period and was reassigned to Portland, ME where he was responsible for enforcement of International Fishing Regulations and the Marine Mammals Protection Act. This position required Kendall to spend up to 2 weeks at sea with the US Coast Guard, inspecting fishing vessels, both foreign and American, to ensure compliance with the international treaties. A back injury later prevented him from climbing up the Jacob’s ladders to inspect Soviet factory ships, and in time he had to retire from this type of work.
After his retirement, Kendall took up storytelling and specialized in regional Maine humor, which he performed from Maine to Texas to Scotland. As the story was told, back about 1980 a man named Gordon Wark, who worked in Orono at Maine Public Broadcasting, came up with the idea to corral some Maine storytellers and he made Kendall the Host and co-producer. The show was called “In the Kitchen.” There were seven episodes, starting with the late great Marshall Dodge of Bert and I fame, in which they all sat around a table, which was of course a prop, and they told stories. They ended up being on National Public Television, which was shown all over the country, several times.
When the In the Kitchen show was over, Thorndike Press asked Kendall to write a book based on the TV series. At that time Kendall did not know how to write a book, but he tackled it anyway. He wrote a chapter and gave it to his friend Marshall and asked for his opinion. Marshall read it and said to Kendall, “This stinks, you can do better.” Kendall had asked for the truth and he got it, so he went away and rewrote the whole thing, which he gave to his old buddy Andy Anderson, who gave his opinion of it and made a couple of suggestions. Kendall got through the first paragraph and he took off writing, eventually making a book called “Stories Told in the Kitchen.” The book was in print for almost 30 years, after which he wrote a sequel entitled “Father Fell Down the Well,” which sold pretty well at the time.
In 1988 Kendall was hired to do the National Folk Festival in El Paso, TX, where he represented the Northeast Storytellers and he was able to perform with the late cowboy poet Glen Orlen; they had a great time telling stories!
To continue on in his very interesting life, Kendall was nominated for a Grammy award in 2010, for a bunch of recordings in memory of his dear friend, Utah Phillips. A lot of different people recorded for this album, including Gordon Bok, Pete Seeger, Tom Paxton and many others.  Kendall, his wife Jacqui and their friend Dan Schatz were nominated for a Grammy as producers as well; which they didn’t win however Kendall said just being nominated was a big deal.
Kendall was also inducted into the State of Maine Country Music Hall of Fame, where he said “I don’t know what a folk singer is doing in a country music museum, but they seemed to know what they were doing.” He wrote two songs in 1974 during his music career, called Seagulls and Summer People and Lights of the Shore.
Kendall had a quote, “I Knew if I lived long enough, something like this would happen.”
He was predeceased by his parents.
Kendall is survived by his wife Jacqueline (Clark) Morse; his children, Elaine Hodnett and husband Steve, Deb Roberts and husband Jim, and Rebecca Morse and husband Michael; three grandchildren, Thomas Roewer, Meghan Milan and Steve Tracy and Jonathan Germano and two great grandchildren.

A memorial service will be lived streamed on Sunday, April 25, 2021 at 11AM, to join the family please visit,

Maine Coast Conservation Trust
1 Bowdoin Mill Island
Suite 201
Topsham, ME. 04086
This honors his devotion to coastal conservation.


P.O. Box
West Kennebunk, ME. 04086
This honors his love of animals.

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