Moses L. Easley, III

Moses L. Easley, III, 74, died May 16, 2018 at home of acute myeloid leukemia.

Born in 1944 to Viola and Moses L. Easley Jr., in Beaver Falls, Pennsylvania, he grew up in Dowagiac, where he was an outstanding high school athlete in football, basketball, baseball and track. Known for his speed, he was the Michigan state champion in the 220 sprint in 1962, second in the hundred-yard dash and earned half of his team’s points when Dowagiac Union High School won the Class B state championship in track. 

Moses L. Easely, III

After success as a high school running back, he attended Indiana University on a football scholarship. He was also a member of Indiana’s track team.

After college, he signed a free-agent contract with the New York Jets in 1966 and when he was cut from the team, he briefly played semi-pro football in Joliet, Illinois, before joining the U.S. Navy, where he served 3-1/2 years as a corpsman in Rota, Spain, and on the USS Francis Marion in the Mediterranean Sea.

While in the Navy, Moses married his wife of 49 years, Mary Anne, in 1969.

After his discharge from the Navy, with his business degree, Moses was recruited by the Hartford Insurance Group into its management training program and became a marketing rep for the company in Flint, Michigan, and finally in San Francisco.

A decade later, he returned to college to earn a master’s degree in psychology and became a family counselor determined to help at-risk, multicultural youth and their families referred by the county juvenile probation department. He became clinical director of a men’s recovery facility and worked as a counselor for pre-release prisoners at San Quentin Prison. He served as a volunteer assistant football coach in two San Francisco high schools: George Washington H.S., which he helped win two city championships, and Woodrow Wilson H.S. He also volunteered in San Francisco’s

Red Ribbon program, aimed at awareness and prevention of substance abuse among young people.

In 2000, he and his wife Mary Anne moved to Nantucket, Massachusetts, where he was a family counselor and director of Family and Children’s Services’ Substance Abuse Program.

He founded Nantucket’s Red Ribbon program, which remains an important annual week-long event. He remained committed to helping people in distress and to encouraging young people in sports and coaching them in life skills.

He is survived by his wife Mary Anne, sister Marletta Seats of Benton Harbor, nephews and cousins, and many, many friends.

He was predeceased by his brothers James and Gregory.

No service is planned.

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