Longtime Roanoke resident, Morton C. Rosenberg, 93, passed away on Sunday, June 11, 2017 at Brandon Oaks Nursing home from complications due to Parkinson’s Syndrome. He spent almost his entire life in Roanoke except for two years at Virginia Tech, three and one-half years in the Merchant Marines during the Second World War and then another two years at the University of Virginia finishing his education.
He is predeceased by his parents, Harry and Helen Rosenberg of blessed memory, and his dear sister, Fran Goldberg and is survived by his loving and devoted wife, Carol, and his beloved children, Cathy Oyster (Lon), his son, Don Rosenberg (Dena), two cherished grandchildren, Jeffrey Rosenberg and David Rosenberg, and his beloved sister, Elaine Rosenberg.
As a teenager, Morton attained the rank of Eagle Scout and later became Scout Master of Troop 4 in Roanoke. When he enlisted in the Merchant Marines in 1943, he traveled from Baltimore to the Mediterranean on seven different Liberty ships as a radio operator, a position of great responsibility for such a young person. After he returned from service, he became a successful business entrepreneur with Oak Hall Clothing Co. and later with Oak Hall Cap & Gown Co. Before he retired, he owned and managed the Colonial Hills Building in Roanoke along with other properties in the area.
Morton was an active member of Beth Israel Synagogue and sat on its board in every capacity from president, chairman and treasurer as well as chairman of the Chevra Kadisha and Cemetery committee. In April, he was honored for chairing that group for over 40 years. In June of 2016, he and Carol celebrated their 65th wedding anniversary with a program and reception at Beth Israel for friends and family.
Another of his activities was leading the Roanoke United Jewish Appeal drive (UJA) for many years. During that time, he traveled to Israel on five different occasions and met PM David ben Gurion at his home in the desert. He was a very successful chairman of the Israel Bond drive and was honored at a dinner at the Hotel Roanoke in 1989.
In 1990, Morton was instrumental in arranging the resettling of 14 Jewish families from Russia to Roanoke. Even now, these grateful people continue to thank him for his kindness and helpfulness.
In addition to all of these projects, Morton made time to be a devoted father and managed to play golf with his buddies and belong to a bowling league. At his home, there are numerous trophies, plaques and pictures attesting to his leadership skills. During his lifetime, he donated 13 gallons of blood to the Red Cross and belonged to the Junior Achievement Organization where he worked with children once again. He was a dedicated Hokie fan and attended many basketball and football games, at home and away.
Funeral Services will be held on Thursday, June 15, 2017 at 10 am in the Sanctuary of the Beth Israel Synagogue, 920 Franklin Rd., Roanoke, VA. Rabbi Rachel Brown and Judge Phillip Trompeter will officiate. Interment will follow in the Beth Israel Cemetery, 2900 Orange Ave. NE, Roanoke, VA. Afterwards, the family and friends will gather at the Synagogue for a Meal of Condolence.
Morton lived a full and satisfying life and he touched many people on his journey. His family would like to thank the staff of the nursing home for their care and the people from the Good Samaritan Hospice for their compassionate help.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made in Morton’s name to the National Parkinson Foundation, 200 SE 1st Street, Suite 800, Miami, FL 33131, or to the Beth Israel Synagogue, 920 Franklin Rd., Roanoke, VA 24016.
The Rosenberg Family is being served by the John M. Oakey & Son Funeral Home, Salem, VA Telephone (540) 389-5441.