In Memoriam: Morse Richard Olin


Carl A. Tarantino, CHP

Morse R. Olin, of Ashland, Virginia, passed away at his home in the company of his loving family at the age of 56 on 26 December 2013 following a 16-month valiant battle against lung cancer.

Morse was a highly valued and respected power reactor health physicist with Dominion Resources since 1985, working in various staff and supervisory radiation protection and emergency planning positions. Most recently, Morse worked at North Anna Power Station preceded by several positions at Surry Power Station and corporate headquarters in Richmond, Virginia, including staff health physicist, radiological engineer, decontamination supervisor, and supervisor of health physics technical services and emergency preparedness. His areas of expertise included external and internal dosimetry, radiological waste, instrumentation, regulations, and emergency planning. Morse participated in the Power Reactor Special Session at the Sacramento annual meeting when his fight against the formidable lung disease began.

Morse was born 29 December 1956 in Bainbridge, Maryland, to Rosalie and Hubert Olin, growing up in the Chesapeake area. He was an avid sailor who was most happy on his sailboat, Strong Persuader, sailing the channels of the Chesapeake Bay. Morse graduated from Virginia Tech in 1979 with a BS in biology with a health physics minor and earned his MS in nuclear science engineering from Georgia Institute of Technology in 1981. Following graduation, Morse worked for the Charleston Navy Shipyard in various health physics and training positions and then spent a couple of years with Combustion Engineering in Connecticut, where he worked in nuclear fuels. In 1984, Morse received his American Board of Health Physics certification in reactor health physics and joined Dominion's corporate health physics organization, where he embarked on a 28-year career with the Richmond-based utility. Morse was a plenary member of the Health Physics Society since 1982.

Anyone conversing with Morse knew of his intense love for all things Virginia Tech, most notably the Hokies football team. His other favorite pastime and long-standing hobby was sailing, spending endless hours cruising the Chesapeake Bay. He was a member of the Southall Landings and Gatlinburg Pointe Yacht Clubs. Morse loved to read and enjoyed quiet times in the evenings sipping on his favorite adult beverage, a martini (straight up, no fruity additives), and he also enjoyed cooking on his Big Green Egg ceramic charcoal grill.

Morse is survived by his dear wife Barbara of 34 years and three sons, Josh, Zach, and Connor. The family maintains a website in tribute and honor of Morse at A service of thanksgiving for the life of Morse Richard Olin was held 31 December 2013 in Ashland at St. James the Less Episcopal Church.