I would like to say just a few words about my father-in-law
Abe Morantz. He never liked to have people make a fuss, a tzimis,
The honor guard that is present here, from the Brigadier Frederick Kisch Branch of The Royal Canadian Legion, is well deserved by Abe. Our family is grateful for your presence.
He had volunteered for army duty and was sent to France and Belgium. His prolific letter writing to his late wife Anne, and he wrote her whenever he could, saved his life. As told to me, he was in a tent with many loud talking soldiers. To get away from this distraction he moved to a quieter place; a jeep, parked some one hundred feet away, when a shell made a direct hit on the tent killing all his comrades inside. He escaped death but suffered severe shrapnel wounds to his leg and his arm and spent many, many weeks recovering.
After returning from Europe, he epitomized the hard working entrepreneur - always doing tasks in his restaurant no matter how many hours per day it took - an old fashioned work ethic that built a strong business, a place where he toiled for 55 years.
Abe's persona could be feisty and biting at times, as those
who were customers and staff occasionally experienced. Customers
received barbed comments, or a kiss, or a sample taste of something,
or a bag of goodies. You couldn't always predict which.... I
myself in the over 30 years that I knew him, virtually never received
a straight answer to a straight question. I soon learned to adapt.
But we all knew that under his exterior hard shell, there always
was that soft and compassionate heart.
As all of us knew, his one great love was Anne, his wife
for 49 years, and he never got over her passing in 1994.
He went on from this loss to take great pleasure from interacting with his children and grandchildren. Although there was a cultural and style gap between the generations, he related to and helped them in his own particular ways. Seldom did the family miss a weekly meal at a local restaurant where the three generations could exchange ideas.
Never feeling comfortable receiving thanks and compliments, he would much rather give than receive. Everyone knew him as 'the candy man' who freely gave out candies and chocolate.
All should know that his recent illness never gave him any pain or suffering, and he passed away peacefully in the company of those he loved.
He touched the lives of all those he came in contact with and his soul lives on in our hearts.
He lived a long and full life, complete with life's challenges and rewards, and will now be with Anne for eternity.