2013-04-10 / Obituaries

Margaret Sullwold Moritz


Margaret Sullwold Moritz Margaret Sullwold Moritz Margaret Barclay Sullwold Moritz died on April 5, 2013, at the age of 98, at home in Hartsdale, N.Y.

She was born September 14, 1914, in St. Paul, Minnesota, to George John Sullwold Sr. and Margaret Barclay Sullwold. Throughout her life she shared fond memories of the summers she and her family spent at Minnesota’s White Bear Lake.

The family moved to South Pasadena, California, where Margaret and her brother George, Jr. attended South Pasadena High School and UCLA. Margaret earned her bachelor’s degree in French at UCLA and later did graduate work in Chinese at the University of Washington.

Margaret was active with the national YWCA throughout her life, and met her husband, the late Paul Walter Moritz, through his work with the national and international YMCA. They were married in Topeka, Kansas, on May 1, 1941.

Margaret and Paul lived in Beijing in 1947, where Paul was already working with the YMCA and United China Relief. After about a year in China, Margaret returned to California with their two children and Paul returned home later. They lived alternately in New York’s Westchester County (White Plains) and the Los Angeles area (Pasadena and San Gabriel) throughout their married life, and their four children were born alternately on the two coasts. In 1968 while the family was living in White Plains, Paul died suddenly at the age of 50. Margaret had lived in Hartsdale, N.Y. since 1974.

Margaret was an active community volunteer, working with church groups, PTAs, the League of Women Voters, Girl Scouts, and many other community organizations. She served as president of the Women’s Group, a member of the Altar Guild, and as a Vestrywoman and Warden at St. Bartholomew’s Episcopal Church in White Plains—the first female Warden in the history of the Diocese of New York. She later served as an elder at Hitchcock Presbyterian Church in Scarsdale; and belonged to the Women’s Club and the College Club of White Plains.

After Paul’s death she became the Director of World Fellowship Education for the National Board of the YWCA in Manhattan. She served as Executive Director of the Volunteer Service Bureau of Westchester and worked with the Westchester Community Foundation. She also worked for a time in the library at Scarsdale High School.

Margaret always tried to put her beliefs into action and was keenly dedicated to social justice. During World War II she regularly visited Japanese-American detainees at a California internment camp, and was proud of her work with the YWCA to combat racism. In her career she made the acquaintance of a diverse array of notable women including Lila Acheson Wallace, Dorothy Height, Betty Shabazz, and Mary Rockefeller. In her professional work with the YWCA she traveled to South America, Europe, Africa, and the Middle East.

Margaret spent her free time gardening, sewing, quilting, embroidering, playing bridge, reading, and doing crossword and jigsaw puzzles. She admired the novels of John Steinbeck; adored birds, dogs, and cats; and loved the English language, a stickler for its proper use. She had exquisite handwriting and practiced calligraphy. From her own mother she acquired her love of birds and roses and an uncanny knack for baking. She loved to drive and took pride in her house and her family. Despite the untimely death of her husband she carved out a new life for herself.

Her children are Susan M. Moritz, of Hartsdale; Thomas D. Moritz, of Los Angeles; Ann Moritz Chesnut (Richard) of Lake Peekskill; and Deborah C. Moritz, of Madison, Wisc. Her grandchildren are Maggie Chesnut of Brooklyn; Olwen Jaffe of Washington, D.C.; Max Jaffe of Somerville, Mass.; and Dillon Chesnut of Haverford, Pa.

Interment will be private. In lieu of flowers the family suggests a donation in Margaret’s name to Hospice & Palliative Care of Westchester, 311 North Street, Suite 204, White Plains, NY 10605. 914-682-1484 / www.hospiceofWestchester.com

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