Passed away peacefully surrounded by family in Aylmer, Quebec on August 15, 2012, at the age of 82. Survived and mourned by his beloved Lancashire bride of 56 years, Kathleen (Taylor). Loving father to Michael (Wiebke), Paul (Christine) and Rachel (Langis). Much loved Grandad to Paul, Hana, Katie, Nathaniel, Clara and Miriam. Former resident of Sault Ste. Marie and Burlington, Ontario, where he will be remembered by students and staff of the secondary schools where he taught history for many years. Youngest of four sons to Isaac and Rachel WERNICK, Morris began life as a true ''East Ender'', raised in working class Hackney, London, where he forged profound lifelong friendships that transcended great distances long before email and flourished for more than six decades. Evacuated from London, he spent the war years in the care of Anne Welsford, a formative influence on his life. He was encouraged by her and sharp eyed teachers and became the first in his family to attend an academic high school. After a stint in the post-war British Army of Occupation in Northern Germany, he went on to the University of Manchester. In his graduating year of 1956 he made what he often cited as the two best decisions of his life - marrying Kathleen and promptly emigrating to Canada. Settling at first in Montreal, they soon moved to ''the Soo'', where the family grew and he quickly became an important figure in that lively community, running in the federal elections of 1962 and 1963 as a candidate of the fledgling NDP. In 1969 he moved the family to Burlington to become Head of History at Nelson High School. He and Kathleen flourished in Burlington over the next 25 years before relocating to Aylmer for proximity to children and grandchildren. Morris infused family and friends with his passion for public education, his enthusiasm for history, film, theatre and good books, and his indefatigable pursuit of progressive politics and social democratic values. Their home was a magnet for colleagues and the friends of their children. His sharp wit and command of history and the English language made him a formidable debater and speaker. He was never reluctant to share his opinions. His command of a racquet made him a familiar presence at tennis and squash clubs, where he will be remembered by many tennis partners. Morris conducted a lifelong, sometimes painful, affair with Arsenal Football Club as well as an ongoing quest to find the perfect loaf of bread and cook up the perfect batch of marmalade. In his later years he took great pleasure in drawing a laugh from family members and unsuspecting strangers. The family is grateful to Dr. Isabelle-Sophie Jolin and to the staff of La Maison Mathieu-Froment- Savoie for their care. A private family gathering will be held. Condolences and messages may be forwarded through www.racinerobertgauthier.ca. In lieu of flowers donations should be made to La Maison Mathieu-Froment -Savoie (www.mmfs.org).
Saturday August 18, 2012
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