Obituary of Morris Massry
It is with great sadness that the family of Morris (Murray) Massry announces his sudden passing in Rome, Italy on October 29, 2018 following a cruise to Israel. Morris, 89, was born on April 22, 1929 in Brooklyn, NY to Isaac and Jane Massry.
Morris grew up in Niagara Falls, NY. He graduated Niagara Falls High School in 1947. After high school, he met and married the love of his life, Esther. They married in January of 1949 in Brooklyn, NY and soon thereafter moved to Saratoga, NY to open their first modest retail shop. As the opportunity arose, they moved to Troy and ultimately opened the Janie Shop, a children’s clothing store named after their eldest daughter Jane. While operating their retail business, Morris worked at acquiring buildings around the store, mostly on 3rd Street in Troy. He worked nights preparing the spaces for tenants to occupy. The largest building he acquired was the Boardman Building. This led Morris to meet Sidney Albert and Irving Kirsch who were his tenants at the property. After getting to know the two gentlemen, Morris, with his entrepreneurial acumen, said “let me show you what I can do” and went to work for them. Morris and Esther soon began winding down the retail business in order for Esther to focus on raising their family. Morris could now concentrate full-time on real estate in what ultimately led to a partnership with Sidney and Irving that lasted until their passing in the mid-90s.
His son Norman joined the business after graduating from college in 1978 and became a partner in the business in 1985. Morris took great pride and comfort in being able to transition leadership of Tri City Rentals to his son Norman and always found joy in his daughter Linda, son-in-law Jack, and grandchildren Julie, Murray and Jason continuing his legacy by working in the family business. Morris was grateful for the many long-term employees of Tri City Rentals, including Tim Owens, Partner and General Manager.
Together, Morris and Esther built a family of 6 children, 11 grandchildren, and 7 great-grandchildren. Morris and Esther’s partnership and bond served as an example for all to follow. Morris did everything for Esther and Esther did everything for Morris. During that time, they traveled the world together and found the most joy in bringing back beautiful treasures for their children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren. Morris’s greatest pleasure in life was seeing his family together. He made sure every important occasion was celebrated, including the yearly family cruise. This past year marked the 20th annual cruise for the family.
Morris’s greatest pleasure, next to his family, was his work in the community. Morris served and chaired many of the nonprofit boards on which he sat, including: The United Way, The Troy Savings Bank Charitable Foundation, Excelsior College, Doane Stuart School, Russell Sage College, St. Mary's Hospital, Center for Disability Services, Jewish Community Center in Troy, Daughters of Sarah Nursing Home, National Board of the Daughters of Charity, University at Albany Foundation, Proctors, and Temple Beth El.
Morris was a member of Temple Beth El (Troy, NY), Temple Israel, Congregation Beth Abraham-Jacob, Edmond Safra Synagogue (Aventura, FL), and the Troy Masonic Lodge.
In recognition for his community service and generosity, Morris has been the recipient of numerous awards, including: Temple Beth El – Distinguished Service Award, Cerebral Palsy Humanitarian Award, Troy Flag Day Grand Marshal, Founder’s Award Troy High School, Jerusalem Lodge Award, Edward H. Pattison Citizenship Award – Rensselaer County, YMCA President’s Award, The Albany JCC Pillars Award, Israel National Leadership Award, The Boy Scouts Distinguished Citizen Award, Italian Community Center Foundation Humanitarian Award, The Jewish National Fund Tree of Life Award, The University at Albany Foundation’s Citizens Laureate Award, The City of Troy PBA Gold Shield Award, St. Mary’s Foundation Vincentian Award, The Daughters of Charity National Health System Heritage Award, The Rensselaer County Chamber of Commerce’s Edward Pattison Award, Citizen of the University Award – University at Albany, United Way Chairman’s Award for Excellence, The College of Saint Rose – Doctor of Humane Letters, The State University of New York – Doctor of Humane Letters, Albany Medical College – Doctor of Science, St. Peter’s Hospital Foundation - Catherine McAuley Award.
Through Morris’s generous philanthropy, many establishments around the Capital Region bear the Massry family name, including, Massry Commons at Siena College, Massry Healing Garden and Massry Family Pediatric Emergency Room at Albany Medical Center, The St. Peter’s Massry Family Atrium and The Massry Center in Troy, Massry Center for Business at UAlbany, Massry Assisted Living Residence at The Daughters of Sarah, Massry Center for the Arts, The Esther Massry Gallery and The Veteran Residence at The College of St Rose, and The Massry Building at Unity House in Troy.
Morris is survived by his spouse of 70 years, Esther; his children, Jane (the late Glenn) Horne, Marilyn Massry, Linda Reynolds, I. Norman (Micki) Massry, Sheila (Paul) Koppel, Lisa (Jack) Bibas; siblings, Jack (Sandra) Massry, Joseph (Margery) Massry, Norma (Isaac) Massre; grandchildren, Julie (Jim), Jason (Paulette), Nicole (Dave), Murray (Mallory), Ellie (Briana), Esther, Laurie (Ken), Shoshana (Aaron), Murray, Esther and Alex; and great-grandchildren, Isaac, Ezra, Asher, Leah, Hailey, Norman, and Doralice.
Morris was preceded in death by his parents Isaac and Jane Massry and his brother and his sister-in-law, Abe and Gloria Massry.
A funeral service will be held at Temple Israel, 600 New Scotland Avenue in Albany on Sunday, November 4th at noon. Shiva will be observed at Morris and Esther’s home Sunday at 7:00 pm, Monday through Thursday from 2:00 pm to 4:00 pm. Prayers will begin at 7:00 pm each night.
In lieu of flowers, contributions in memory of Morris may be made to one of the local Massry Family supported organizations.