Our much-loved dad and zaida died suddenly on March 23, 2018, three months shy of his 94th birthday.
Mort was predeceased by his beloved wife Lee, his brother Irv and his partner Fay Glass. He leaves to mourn his children Maxa and Cliff Chisick and Jeffrey and Cindy Slusky; grandchildren Casey Chisick and Sophie Milman, Josh and Laura Chisick, Daniel and Baillie Chisick, Lee Slusky and Zachary Slusky; and great-grandchildren Lev, Jacob, Lyla, Talia, Maya and Asher Chisick.
Mort was born on June 27, 1924, the elder son of Rae and Max Slusky. He grew up in the North End, graduated from St. John’s Tech, and worked as a dining car waiter on passenger trains before enlisting in the Canadian Navy during the Second World War. He trained as a radio operator and was stationed at several locations in the Caribbean before the war’s end.
After his discharge, Mort attended the University of Manitoba Law School and was called to the bar in 1951. His brother Irv followed in 1953 and they practised law as Slusky & Slusky until Mort retired in 1999. As a lawyer, Mort was admired for his honesty, integrity, compassion, and dedication to his clients, some of whom continued to seek out his wise counsel long after his retirement.
Mort and Lee Rombom were married on December 25, 1949. They settled into the Grove Apartments on Main Street and began building their life together. Maxa was born in 1952, and Jeff in 1961, about the time they moved to their new home on Sweetwood Bay in then-mostly undeveloped Garden City. Worried about Maxa’s diminutive 10-year-old, 50-pound frame, Mort set about plumping her up with nightly Dairy Queen milkshakes after dinner. (Mission accomplished, Daddy; thanks.) Mort and Lee shared a traditional, loving marriage, rooted in their mutual devotion to their children and, in time, to their three eldest grandsons, Casey, Josh, and Daniel. Tragically, Lee passed away in 1989, at only 62, before grandsons Lee and Zach arrived to complete their family.
Late in his life, Mort was fortunate to meet Fay Glass, with whom he shared nearly a decade of happiness until her untimely death in 2007.
Mort was a devoted, loving zaida whose face lit up whenever his grandchildren were near. He delighted in regular family dinners and visits and that enjoyment grew even stronger when Casey, Josh, and Daniel married and provided him with three beautiful, talented granddaughters who loved and respected him. And just when he thought things couldn’t get any better, great-grandchildren started to appear about six years ago, recharging his batteries and putting an indelible smile on his face. The lives of his six great-grandchildren have been enriched permanently by time spent with their Zaida Mort.
Cursed with a lighting-fast swing and shaky putting stroke, Mort was nevertheless an enthusiastic golfer well into his ninth decade, and was rewarded with four holes-in one for his efforts. He served on Glendale Country Club’s board for several years. He passed his passion for golf (along with the shaky putting stroke) on to Jeff, for whom it remains an obsession.
Mort’s early life was steeped in Judaism and he remained invested in Jewish customs and traditions throughout his life. He was a longtime member of Rosh Pina Synagogue and served on its board of directors for many years.
Although reluctant at first, Mort grew to enjoy life at Shaftesbury Park Retirement Residence, where he rekindled old friendships and formed many new ones. He was an active and eager participant in social programs and trivia competitions, where his razor-sharp recall kept him well-stocked in Kit-Kat bars.
Until the very last day of his life, Mort carried himself with great dignity, good humour, and a proud independence that will always be an inspiration to his family. As a family friend, struck by his gentlemanliness, memorably put it, he was “a man who wore his tuxedo on the inside.”
Mort’s family would like to extend heartfelt thanks to the staff at Shaftesbury Park for treating him with the kindness and respect he deserved. We are also grateful to Dr. Terry Szajkowski for his extraordinary kindness, excellent care and reassuring availability.
A funeral service was held March 25 at Congregation Etz Chayim, officiated by Cantor Tracy Kasner Greaves. Pallbearers were Mort’s five grandsons and his nephew Alan Slusky.
He will be loved, missed
and remembered forever.
Donations may be made to Jewish Child and Family Services, Agape Table or any charity of choice.