Dr. Mortimer “Morty” Glasgal
“That was perfect”
Dr. Mortimer “Morty” Glasgal always lived and loved life, including those he shared it with, from conception to his death, to the fullest. He passed away peacefully on Sunday, February 7th 2021 in Santa Barbara, California at the ripe old age of 88 and a half. A cultured artist and an intellectual with a love of theater, classical music, literature, politics, gardening and world travel, Morty was a positively charming and enthusiastically positive presence wherever he went. He shall be missed dearly by his friends and family. He is survived by his son, niece, grand nieces and Kanta, his loyal friend whom he called “the love of his life” and who was his stalwart companion in his final years..
Ever the optimist, his common summary of his busy day’s events was, “That was perfect.” Morty liked to live in the moment, stop to smell the flowers and always took the scenic route. He approached life with ease, applying positive new age philosophies to each day and processed the family tragedies he experienced as what was “meant to be.” About his inevitable end, he wrote “My life was full of all experiences and for that reason, I have no regrets, except that it could be a better world for everyone.”
A zoom memorial service will be held in the near future. Please email MortyMemorial@gmail.com for details on how to join. If you wish to make a donation in his memory, consider The Pacifica Foundation, which funds the community radio stations that were always on in his home.
Born to loving parents in the early summer of 1932, Morty grew up with New York City as his playground. Raised along with his beloved older brother Robert in a selfless and caring family, Morty learned the values of self-sacrifice, loyalty, higher education and the arts. Morty worked at his father’s pharmacy, collected stamps and spent quality time with his cherished extended family that included Matthew, Joyce, Edie, Buzzy, Martin and Betty.
At the prestigious High School of Music & Art, Morty established life-long friendships with a crew that would come to be known as “BTOs” (Big Time Operators). After his graduation in 1950, Morty followed in his older brother’s footsteps enrolling in the University of Buffalo’s accelerated undergrad + graduate Doctor of Dental Surgery program. Upon earning his degrees, he joined the merchant marines and took a job as a doctor’s mate aboard a luxury cruise liner, spending a season sailing the South Pacific where he explored many islands and cultures. Morty again followed Robert by enlisting into the US Air Force where he served as a captain. When stationed as a pediatric dentist in England, he spent his time off-duty sampling Europe’s diverse artistic, cultural, and leisure offerings. Following his time in the military, Morty served as an assistant professor of dentistry at New York University before settling into private practice in Smithtown, Long Island.
On his first date with Judith, Morty said, “you’re the one I’m going to marry.” A year and a half of globetrotting courtship later, his premonition came true and they tied the knot. In 1976, the couple welcomed twin boys. Morty grew a pediatric dental practice with his partner and friend, orthodontist Jerry Levy. Even though the practice thrived year after year, Morty valued his time and committed to only working six months a year, spending time with his family and traveling the other six. As a fellow of the American Academy of Pedodontics, he contributed to dental science research, and he was an active supporter of public radio, public television and the local arts council. Despite claiming not to like the family cat, Morty was caught several times, cat-on-lap, petting away.
Morty was devoted to his parents, and as they aged he provided them with loving care and support. Morty retired from dentistry after 44 years of practice and moved to California to be closer to family where his adventures and travels continued in grand style. He loved driving his convertible, navigating by the seat of his pants, through thousands of miles of back roads up and down the west coast.
Until the pandemic, he kept an extremely busy schedule and was a true man-about-town. He loved and cherished time spent with his partners, each serendipitous, unique and very constructive to his life. He was known for his quick wit, plentiful puns and off the cuff poetic recitations. Morty was a regular in the lecture halls of the local colleges, yoga and exercise classes, theaters, gardens and farmers markets. He was a true friend to all and always made new ones along the way. We like to think that his perfect journey is continuing now in the great beyond, alongside family members and friends who passed before him.