Maureter Parks Morse, an employee of the Veterans Administration, accomplished artist, community and political activist, churchwoman and world traveler, died Friday. She was 78 and lived in Mount Airy.
Maureter was known for her lavish dinner parties, which earned her the title of the "hostess with the mostest" among friends.
Her home was a gallery for her striking watercolor paintings and drawings as she honed her artistic skills at the Center in the Park at the Germantown YWCA.
She was born in Philadelphia, the eldest daughter of Maureter R. and Samuel Parks. Her father was chauffeur to C.A. Rowell, department-store magnate in Germantown, a prestigious position for a black man in the '20s, and her mother was a college graduate, also rare for a black woman in that period.
Maureter graduated from Germantown High School in 1949. She and the late John Alonzo Morse were married in 1950.
She worked for the Veterans Administration for 30 years, and was union shop steward.
She was a volunteer with the Women's Guild of her church, St. Luke's Episcopal, in Germantown. She was a committeewoman in the 50th Ward and was active with her neighborhood Town Watch.
As a traveler, she visited Europe, North Africa and the Caribbean. In the United States, her favorite destinations were Los Angeles, Las Vegas and Disney World in Orlando, Fla.
She is survived by a son, Steven, and a granddaughter. She was predeceased by another son, John.