Thursday, June 16, 2016

Joe Morton & Dr. Larry Egbert, presente!

In the last few months, Baltimore’s peace community lost two invaluable members – Joe Morton and Dr. Larry Egbert.  They will be very difficult to replace.  In the peace movement, there are not enough farmers to till all of the exploited and oppressed fields.  But I am hoping two people come forward, and one informs us he will pick up Joe’s mantle and the other Larry’s.  Then possibly both will decide to dedicate their lives to peace and justice work.



Joe Morton, peace activist and Goucher College philosophy chair, dies
Joe Morton
Joe Morton

Joe Morton, peace activist and Goucher College philosophy chair, dies.
A memorial service for Joe Morton, a retired Goucher College philosophy department chair who founded a peace studies program, will be held at 1 p.m. June 18 at the Athenaeum on the school's Towson campus.
Dr. Morton, who was 80, died of cancer April 7 at Gilchrist Hospice Care. He lived in Towson.
Born in Budapest, he was the son of Tibor and Rose Morton, who were Jews living a Nazi-controlled country. His father, a visual artist, was general manager for Eastman Kodak in Hungary.
"Kodak made arrangements to get them out with counterfeit passports. My father, as a 6-year-old, was able to escape with his parents and sister," said his daughter, Rebecca Morton of Columbus, Ohio. "They sewed their jewelry in the lining of their clothes.
"They took a train to Munich and flew to Lisbon, [then] left Lisbon harbor on a ship bound for New York," she said. "They had an extended stay at the Hotel Wellington, and later settled in Rochester, New York."
Dr. Morton earned a bachelor's degree at Amherst College, where he studied Greek and Latin, and earned a doctorate in philosophy from the Johns Hopkins University.
He arrived at Goucher in 1963, served as chair of the philosophy department from 1978 to 1988, and founded the college's peace studies program in 1991. He retired in 2000.
"Joe always taught the senior seminar in the later Platonic dialogues," said a Goucher colleague, John Rose. "He said that Plato's later dialogues were the finest example of a thinker's capacity to critique himself.
"Joe was always ready to review and critique beliefs that he held to bring himself to a better understanding," said Dr. Rose. "I know many instances where Joe reflected, started from scratch, and arrived at an utterly transformed view on a subject. Joe was one of the most intellectually brave people I have ever known."
He said his colleague's interest in peace studies and conflict resolution evolved from joining students in demonstrations and protest actions against the military in the 1980s and 1990s.
"The peace studies program that started as a couple of courses became Goucher's first interdisciplinary major," Dr. Rose said. "It has become one of our most popular majors."
A vegetarian, Dr. Morton kept a bag of apples — purchased at the Waverly farmers' market — on his desk. Students were always welcome to have one.
He kept a sign on his office door that read, "Live simply so that others may simply live."
Dr. Morton began running in high school and completed marathons. He also took extended bike rides.
He took car trips in the Southwest and studied the Lakota Native American culture and philosophy. He also taught Lakota philosophy at Goucher.
In addition to his daughter, survivors include a son, Jason Morton of Hagerstown; a sister, Veronika Kardosh of Ramat Gan, Israel; and four grandchildren. Another son, Paul Morton, died in 1977. His marriage to Mary Elizabeth Corcoran Morton ended in divorce.
—Jacques Kelly
Copyright 2016, The Baltimore Sun

In The Loop
Sad News for the Goucher Community Regarding Joe Morton
April 7, 2016
Dear Goucher Community Members:
It is with great sadness that I share the passing of Joe Morton, founder of Goucher’s Peace Studies Program and professor emeritus of philosophy and peace studies. Joe passed away early this morning. Details about a memorial service will be shared as they become available; currently, it looks as if it may be scheduled for June or July.
Dr. Morton learned the necessity of reconciliation at an early age. Born in Hungary, he came to the United States as a child with his parents and sister to escape the Holocaust. Dr. Morton received his bachelor’s degree from Amherst College and his doctorate in philosophy from the Johns Hopkins University. He came to Goucher in 1963, chaired the Philosophy Department from 1978 to 1988, and founded the Peace Studies Program in 1991, one of the few programs in the country of its kind at that time. He served Goucher faithfully until his retirement in 2000 and remained an active member of the community until his passing.
Dr. Morton was a lifelong teacher because he was also a lifelong learner. With great intellectual courage, he was always ready to reexamine, review, and critique his opinions to bring himself to a better understanding. Dr. Morton would often start from scratch on a given subject and arrive at an utterly transformed view. In many such instances, Dr. Morton’s reappraisal of his beliefs began in his conversations with his students. His interest in peace studies and conflict resolution, in fact, grew out of joining students in demonstrations and political actions of protest against the United States’ military actions in the 1980s and 1990s. These student conversations also led to an awareness of conditions for the homeless, and he took food and clothing to Jonah House for decades.
Dr. Morton had a particular talent for drawing people together and for sustaining relationships. He would say he learned with many American Indian communities, taking summers to drive around the country visiting friends and colleagues from coast to coast. Dr. Morton was the rare philosopher for whom the theoretical philosophical ideas translated clearly into moral purpose and active plans for social transformation. He was an activist against war, the death penalty, militarism, and nuclear proliferation.
He was a kind, gentle, and unobtrusive man, who remained steadfastly and wonderfully present in our lives. He was thoughtful, fiercely independent, and deeply committed to nonviolence as the guiding principle of his life. During the last two decades of his life, he took special inspiration from this passage in theBhagavad-Gita:
“They live in wisdom who see themselves in all, and all in them…whose love for all creation has consumed every selfish desire and self-craving tormenting heart. Not agitated by grief nor hankering after pleasure, they live free of lust, and fear, and anger. Fettered no more by selfish attachments, they are not elated by good fortune not depressed by bad. Such are the seers.”
These are the words Dr. Morton lived by, and the ones that we will remember him by.
He is survived by his daughter, Rebecca Morton of Columbus, OH, his son-in-law, David Brewer, and grandchildren Lotte and Lucian Brewer; his son, Jason Morton of Hagerstown, MD, his daughter-in-law Kelly Ann, and granddaughters Meredith and Sadie; and his sister, Veronika Kardosh of Israel, and his nephew, Michael Kardosh. He is predeceased by his son, Paul Morton.
The family requests gifts made in memory of Dr. Morton be directed to the Human Rights and Non-Violence Fund. Donations may be made by visiting Goucher’sgiving page and selecting the fund from the drop-down menu or mailed to Goucher College, the Office of Advancement, 1021 Dulaney Valley Road, Baltimore, MD 21204.
Our deepest condolences to his family.
José Antonio Bowen
Chesapeake PSR Board of Directors
Thursday, June 16, 2016 9:32 AM
Remembering Larry Egbert, MD, Chesapeake PSR board member

Dear Max

Chesapeake PSR is sad to announce the death of Board Member Dr. Lawrence Egbert last week.

Larry was a kind, gentle soul who worked his whole life to bring peace and justice to the world. Larry served on the National PSR board for years and holds the record for the most defeats for president. He was part of a decades-long national struggle against the death penalty. As an anesthesiologist he was an expert on lethal injections and testified against them. His humanity was endless, and his work against the death penalty led him to advocate for people suffering from terrible incurable illnesses. He was part of the founding committee of the Final Exit Network, the only organization in the United States providing education and compassionate presence for those facing end-of-life choices, not just those declared terminal.

Larry was a retired physician and practitioner of anesthesiology who taught about social problems in medicine at The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, and he was the campus minister of the Unitarian Universalists at Johns Hopkins University.

He also worked at Doctors Without Borders in Sri Lanka, Lebanon and Kosovo. Larry taught at Harvard University, Pahlavi University in Iran, American University in Lebanon, University of Texas Southwestern Medical School and the National Autonomous University in Nicaragua.

Larry's family has asked that memorial donations be given to either Chesapeake PSR or National PSR, Veterans for Peace or the Final Exit Network.

Warmest regards,

Board Members
Chesapeake PSR

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