Morton Porwick

Obituary of Morton Porwick

August 11, 2020 Updated Shiva/Memorial Information: The family of Morton Porwick has rescheduled the Shiva-Memorial via Zoom to Thursday, August 13, 7 PM. To join the Shiva-Memorial copy and paste this address into your address bar above: Morton Porwick passed away peacefully on August 1st at the age of 88. He always had a smile on his face and a twinkle in his eye. Morty genuinely connected with every human being who crossed his path. He did everything for his family and much more. He was unmatched in his blend of unconditional love, authenticity, and humor. Born on September 9, 1931, he was the son of Etta Spitz Lacks and George Porwick. Raised in the South Bronx in a multi-generational home, he was an only child whose first language was Yiddish. Mort grew up raised by his immigrant grandparents—his mother needing to work to make ends meet. When his uncle returned from the army, Mort shared a bed with him in their modest home. He learned English when he started public school. He graduated from Stuyvesant High School, where he was one of 12 students selected as Senior Celebrities for their outstanding personalities and popularity. He graduated from New York University, the only school to which he applied. He paid his way through school by bussing tables in the Catskills. After finishing two years of law school, Mort served in the army from 1955 to 1957. He was stationed in Heidelberg, Germany. Upon his return, the daughter of the family butcher, Estelle, set him up on a blind date with his soulmate. Sandy Kliger was also an only child from the Bronx. When she returned home from her first date with Morty she announced to her parents that her “looking was over.” They were engaged in six weeks and married about 4 months after meeting. He returned to law school and graduated from New York Law. While he was not a practicing lawyer, Mort used his legal training in a lifelong career in New York commercial real estate. With his career launched, it was time to start a family. Mort and Sandy’s first child, Nancy, was born and they relocated from Queens to Riverdale. Four years later came not one, but two babies! Julie and Evie’s arrival made it clear that they needed to make the move from their two-bedroom apartment to a house in the suburbs. Mamaroneck became both their home and community for the next 47 years. When it came to filling the house in addition to the children, Morty took on the challenge as his life’s passion. He was an avid collector of a wide assortment of memorabilia. In addition to coins and stamps, he collected: plants, marbles, bird feathers, T-shirts, corks from wines enjoyed, matchbooks, American flags, shells, sports cards, records, old Look, Life, and Saturday Evening Posts, Broadway Playbills, yarmulkes, dried flower petals, boomerangs, cow bells, two dollar bills, pocket knives, street signs, and license plates. He stored his pin collection in three coffee cans labeled: “politics,” “schools,” and “miscellaneous.” These pins told the story of his life. He enjoyed sharing his travel-soap collection (stored in a secret closet) with his grandchildren. He was a 25-year plus member of the American Numismatic Association. Occupying the majority of bookshelf real estate was his extensive collection of National Geographics. He carried a small handwritten list of any missing magazines in his wallet. He searched flea markets for the issues that would complete his collection, dating back to the publication’s start. Outside the walls of the house, Morty was an unstoppable volunteer in his beloved community. He served in multiple fundraising, committee-head and officer’s positions at Larchmont Temple from 1970 through the nineties. He always worked quietly behind the scenes. At a dinner honoring his work for the temple, the rabbi at the time said, “Mort Porwick is not one who takes kindly to the spotlight. His pattern is to hold the spotlight for others—so as to guide them on the way, to open new vistas for them to behold.” Mort was truly an extraordinary Every Man. No task was ever beneath him—if something needed doing Morty would step up and take it on. Remembering Mort, a former temple president said, “He was a special person who could charm even the most recalcitrant congregant to be a contributor.” Rabbi Jeffrey Sirkman said at the funeral, “Mort was a leader’s leader; he didn’t need to be President…For when leaders of Larchmont Temple had a question, about business or buildings or staff or approach—they just called Mort. We would not be the warm—connected—caring congregation we are today if not for Mort’s spirit leading the way.” In his neighborhood, he was an originator of and headed the Orienta Point Association Picnic for several years; an annual event that continues to this day. To know Mort was to love him. A newer caregiver of his said yesterday, “I only knew him for six months, but I fell in love.” The manager at his beach club wrote, “The entire staff LOVED your dad!” He will be missed. Mort is survived by Sandra, his wife of nearly 63 years, his daughters Nancy Weiser, Evie Porwick, Julie Warshaw, his son-in-law Ned, his grandchildren Kate, Chloe, and Phoebe Weiser, Sadie Warshaw, Natalie and Ethan Smith.
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