Eulogy for Morris Ostroff
By: Gayle Cratty
It is with deep honor and sadness that I speak on behalf of my dear friend, Mo Ostroff who left us too soon. He was and will remain in the hearts of all of us who are here today, a very special person we will not soon forget. He is indeed one of those people who left his mark on us forever. He was an extraordinary friend who lived his life with deep conviction and love of life. He loved his family and loved Dawn with all his heart. I, like so many of you, was blessed to witness just how much their love for one another was of deep conviction and truly epitomized the vows they took in holy matrimony.
Mo and I met as classmates at Frankfurt American High School when we were sophomores in 1966. Mo was a kind and sensitive, even shy person which were qualities that made him the person he was. He was a person so easy to speak to and that is how we became friends….sharing some of the same classes and both us later finding out as adults that our lives truly paralleled in many ways. Both of us very fluent in German and having taken advanced classes together.
Mo loved sports and loved reading and keeping his mind intellectually fluid with as much knowledge as he could obtain in life. It was a pleasure having a conversation with him as he was truly very well rounded and broad in his thinking. It was obvious he relished keeping his mind active and could recall things that many of us are lucky to remember in the moment. Mo was a real friend who valued those who were close to him. He was genuine, kind, loving, spiritual but most of all a wonderful human being.
Even when he was realizing that things were slowing down for him, he shared with me last summer in Sedona where Dawn and he met me for a visit while I was traveling to the Southwest, that he did not wish to have any more surgery….he knew he was close to the end and he wept as we all did when we said our goodbyes….we continued to keep in touch and yet there was so much that I wish we could have had time to share with one another…..
We met at high school reunions reminiscing with friends and as Dawn became a significant person in his life…it would become even more incredibly important to him to have Dawn by his side.
I have never known anyone who demonstrated as much courage and conviction to fight for his life. Mo was one determined man who gave of himself to so many and he never expected anything in return. I remember when he shared a story about how total strangers were praying for him and how moved he became emotionally sharing the story with me. He had no idea how much he was valued….
I was blessed to have Mo in my life as an adult ---we visited one another --- he coming to New York with his family to visit with my husband and children and us visiting in Phoenix. We met in Los Angeles in February 2007 on one of his last treatments which had gone very well for him and we enjoyed an incredible time with he and Dawn (dining out and go to a Jay Leno taping) that was such a highlight for him. His trip with Dawn during his illness was such an inspiring and spiritual journey with his true soul mate as he shared with me. To be so blessed to have a loved one who can care for someone so unconditionally is something I will never forget for the rest of my life as Dawn was the perfect wife, soul mate, spiritual mate, intellectual mate, nurse and companion that anyone could ever wish for and Mo shared that with me. What a tribute to those who were close to him to know that he valued and loved his sister, Pearl, brother, Ron, his parents, his children Mauri and Heidi and Bri who did so much to help in these last years….I don’t mean to leave anyone out of this and I apologize if I have – it is not intentional.
Mo loved the outdoors and it was something he relished even to the end……we are Eagles from FHS and we have not lost our Eagle as he soars in our hearts and if you know Mo the way all of us treasure that relationship, then we are rich in spirit and in life for having known Mo, his memory will always be with us. I miss his humor, his spirit to forge ahead even when things were difficult, his love of family, friends and Country! Thank you for allowing me to speak, this is truly an honor! Rest easy my friend as we will all see one another again.