Mary Miles Hausman Morser died peacefully in her West Gloucester, home on June 19, 2017, at the age of 94.
Mary Miles led a long and full life of service to others. She was devoted to her family and her work as a public health administrator, teacher, and active volunteer for numerous nonprofit organizations.
“I think of Mom as a dear friend from middle school through my having kids, always providing support and participation,” her daughter Sue said. “On a daily basis, she was supportive of our family and her husband, Cal, through his business travels and sailing.”
Son Fred noted that his mother was “a sport, very active. Even though she really didn’t like boating, we thought nothing of asking her to scramble to the front of whatever craft we were in and grab the mooring line, or lower the anchor, check the water depth, or fend off another boat. She was fit and agile all through her life and even rode our horses into her 80s.”
Son Bruce remembers his mother “as cool and calm in the face of serious medical issues for my brother and helping me deal with dyslexia. Her dedication to initially helping me as her child led to her interest in the science of dyslexia and how she could turn that into a gift to the community.”
Giving back — whether to her own family including parents and in-laws, the family pets, her community or those in need — was the hallmark of Mary Miles. She lived by her values and her drive to help others.
Born in Brooklyn, N.Y., Mary Miles was raised in Jackson Heights, Long Island until the third grade, when her family moved to Lakeville, Conn. It was in that idyllic, rural area that Mary Miles developed her love of the natural world and animals — in particular horses and dogs.
She attended Drew Seminary in New York for high school and graduated early from Wellesley College with a chemistry degree in 1944. Responding to the country’s wartime need for nurses, Mary Miles entered the accelerated program at Yale School of Nursing and graduated in 1946, with a Master of Nursing degree and certification in Public and Mental Health.
Mary Miles married her spouse of 68 years, Calvin S. Morser, in December of 1946. The newlyweds lived in Marblehead and Nahant and Mary Miles worked for Beverly and Salem hospitals teaching chemistry, anatomy, and microbiology to nursing students before the couple moved to Houston, in 1947. There, Mary Miles was hired as the clinic director of Planned Parenthood.
The Morsers moved to Palo Alto, Calif., in 1951. Along with giving birth to Sue and Bruce, Mary Miles worked for the Public Health Department of San Jose and volunteered for Palo Alto Allied Arts, to benefit children at Stanford Hospital.
The family moved in 1956 to Wellesley, Mass., where Mary Miles gave birth to Fred and the family lived until 1972. During those years, Mary Miles worked for the Adolescent Unit of Children’s Hospital Boston as an Associate in Language Training, and part-time tutoring children in the Natick Schools.
Calvin’s career took the Morsers to Wilton, CT, in 1972, then back to Gloucester, in 1977, and their beloved house on the salt marsh of Essex Bay. Not one to rest on her laurels, Mary Miles volunteered for the Cape Ann Museum, Greenbelt, Meals on Wheels, and served as a board member of the Sargent House Museum.
In 1987, Mary Miles was asked to be on Gloucester’s Board of Health, eventually becoming Board Chair. Committed to both protecting public health and the environment, she worked tirelessly to pass Gloucester’s no smoking ordinance and fought to protect the natural resources from over development around Essex Bay and beyond.
Despite all of Mary Miles’ good works giving back to her community, promoting public health, education, and sustainable use of natural resources, her greatest and deepest joy was her three children. Her dedication to mothering them was truly a boundless, selfless, and foundational gift.
Mary Miles is survived by her daughter, Susan Klem (Chris) of Lincoln and Gloucester; son, Bruce (Juli) of Vashon, WA, and son Fred (Cathleen) of Potomac, Md.; six grandchildren and one great-grandson.
In honoring with Mary’s wishes funeral services will be private. The family asks that in lieu of flowers to please send donations to Essex County Greenbelt, ecga.org or Sargent House Museum, SargentHouse.org.
Arrangements are under the direction of the Pike-Newhall Funeral Home, 61 Middle St., Gloucester
Published on  August 3, 2017