Valerie "Janie" Morse - age: 88
(February 14, 1933 to February 18, 2021 )
Resident of Boonville, California
In loving memory of Valerie “Janie” Morse
Valerie Jane Cavender was born in Alfordsville, Indiana, on Valentine’s Day, 1933. She was the third daughter of Lucille and Charles Cavender.
Her family left Indiana while she was still a toddler and she spent her childhood in Clearwater, Florida.
She was one of those people who lit up any room and was such a beautiful little girl that two nationally known artists painted life size portraits of her at different times in her childhood. The artists were Henry White Taylor and Ralph Huntington McKelvey, both featured prominently on the internet.
Janie was an accomplished acrobat and became a featured basketball player at Kirby High School after her family moved to Arkansas in the mid-forties.
In 1949, she married her high school sweetheart, Johnny Ray Harding, and they made their first home in Glenwood, Arkansas.
After their first daughter, Linda Lou, was born they moved to Boonville, California in the early 50s where they built their own home and had four more children, Connie Jane, Randy Ray, Billy Michael, and Johnny Phillip.
They established and operated their own trucking business in the redwoods until Johnny’s death in 1960.
Janie met and married Howard Morse in the early 60s, and had two children, Denise and Kirt.
Over the years, she had several jobs in the valley, from grape picking, to store clerk, to head chef at Highland Ranch in Philo.
She went on to open her own restaurant in Philo in the 80s. She called it Janie’s Place and it was known far and wide as a place where there was plenty of great food, and it became the community meeting place of many great friends. She had articles written in newspapers about her restaurant, and it was featured on Bay Area news shows.
People came from all over to enjoy her cooking. After having 7 children and all of their friends to cook for, there was nothing she couldn’t cook.
After closing the restaurant in the late 80s, she and her sister Bobbie opened an antique shop called The Loft, in Philo, and the little shop was filled to the brim with beautiful things. Antiques were her passion; and she would sit for hours researching every item.
Janie was a lover of all things, from her family, to gardening, to the little creatures that
came to her porch to visit. She loved to sit and admire her flowers and talk to her little
bird friends. It was always in her nature to love and appreciate all the things around her.
Janie was preceded in death by her husband Howard and sons Billy Michael Harding
and Randy Ray Harding.
She is survived by her children, Linda Woodard, Connie Lemons, Phillip Harding,
Denise Morse, and Kirt Morse. She also had numerous grandchildren and great grands,
and her sisters, Billie Harding and Bobbie Watt.
Due to the Covid Pandemic, there will be no service at this time. Her family will have a
private ceremony at Janie’s home in Boonville at a later time.
In lieu of flowers, the family is asking donations to be made to Anderson Valley
Ambulance or Anderson Valley Senior Center.