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Morton Stein

November 1, 1919 June 24, 2015
Morton Stein
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Obituary for Morton Stein

Morton (Mort) Stein
Sugar Springs-Gladwin, Michigan

Morton Stein, my father passed-away, peacefully today at the retirement home where he had been living since his companion/partner Bernadine died unexpectedly from illness 3 years ago. Mort’s passing may go mostly unnoticed by the public, but the people who did get to know him are very vocal about what an impression he left on them. So many people have told me how much they enjoyed him… and his stories. For everyone who has gone out of their way to tell me how fond they were of my dad, thank you. I know he appreciated all of you.


As a young man in Brooklyn, N.Y., Morton Stein became one of the first Good Humor Ice Cream men in the country, first on a bicycle and eventually driving a Good Humor truck. By the time he was 18, Morty, as his family called him, was working as a stagehand for a theater on Broadway where he struck a friendship with the very popular Jimmy Durante. That friendship eventually took him on the road traveling across the country with Durante as a cast member of the show “Jumbo”. I’m sure Jimmy Durante has been waiting to thank Mort for keeping his memory alive.


Mort Stein entered the Army Air Corps in March 1943 and was stationed in North Africa as a communications specialist, directing air traffic and supporting missions all over the area. When the war ended, Mort settled in Detroit to re-unite with Marie Stachow after meeting her at a USO event before shipping out. Mort and Marie were married in 1946 and raised 2 children, Marilynn and Mark.


In 1973, after divorcing Marie, Mort met Bernadine Zitka and began a relationship that lasted until Bernie’s death in 2012. During the nearly 40 years that they were together, Mort and Bernie traveled to every continent (except Antarctica) and visited hundreds of cities around the world, making countless friends all along the way.


Morton Stein lived in Sugar Springs near Gladwin, Michigan since 1990 and loved playing golf there and enjoyed working with many community programs, including the Gladwin Community Arts Council. Mort and his companion Bernie were constantly working on new projects, from producing Murder Mystery Theater to hosting a Polish dance troop. Immediately upon meeting him, Mort was eager to share stories from his life and with such a diverse and interesting background, he had many tales to tell.


Morton Stein is survived by his 2 children, 4 grandchildren and 6 great grandchildren.



Committal services at Great Lakes National Cemetery

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