Zelda Morley, 95, mother of resident


Zelda Selma Miller Morley, 95, passed away peacefully on Tuesday, January 24, 2017 at her home in Valhalla, NY after a brief illness.

Zelda was born in NYC on August 21, 1921, the daughter of Joseph and Sadie Miller. She was predeceased by her husband of 59 years, Eric Spencer Morley; her four brothers and their wives Al (Blossom) Miller, Harry (Molly/Mary) Miller, Irving (Dorothy) Miller, and Jack (Betty) Miller; her brothers-in-law and wives Curt (Betty) Motell, Henry (Lottie) Morley, and her brother-in–law Maurice Mechur.

She is survived by her children Larry (Lorraine) of Ridgefield, Ct., Sandy of Slingerlands, NY, and Joe (Heather Winters) of Grandview-on-Hudson, NY. Zelda was extremely proud of her four grandsons Bryce, Skylar, Jarrett, and Noah Morley. She is also survived by her last sister-in-law Ruth Mechur of Sarasota, Fl.

Zelda’s extended family included many nieces and nephews who have continued to support her as the matriarch of her family for many years. Over the years they have all enjoyed the family gatherings that kept everyone connected through their aunt.

Zelda attended Hunter High School and Hunter College, graduating in 1943. She then continued on for her certificate in Physical Therapy at NYU working with polio-afflicted children in North Dakota, and polio patients in North Carolina before returning to the Hudson Valley. She was employed at Burke Rehabilitation Center in White Plains, United Hospital in Port Chester, and St. Agnes Hospital in White Plains as well as serving patients in the private sector for many years.

After meeting in the Adirondacks while on vacation, Zelda and Eric married in 1949 and raised their family in Mamaroneck, NY.

An avid fencer, Zelda was active in the Westchester Fencers Club and the Westchester Division of the Amateur Fencers League of America. Zelda competed on the Hunter College collegiate fencing team and went on to teach, officiate, and coach at Mamaroneck High School, and teach fencing at Sarah Lawrence College in Bronxville. She was a long time member of the NYS Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance, as well as being a workshop presenter for them.

Eric and Zelda were co-owners of Miller’s Toy Store in Mamaroneck, NY. Miller’s will be celebrating 70 years of Miller/Morley family ownership and which carries on the tradition of quality service to generations of families in the southern Westchester area.

After moving out of their long time family home in Mamaroneck to Heritage Hills in Somers, Zelda and Eric co-founded the “Heritage Hills Hikers” and continued their active lifestyles traveling, often on bike tours, throughout the United States and Europe. Their next move took them to Westchester Meadows (now The Knolls) in Valhalla. There, Eric began to operate a small convenience store that Zelda took over upon his passing in 2008. She was active in the Resident Council and collaborated with others in crafts to provide shows, sales, and fundraisers to benefit Blyethdale Children’s Hospital in Valhalla as well as the Meadows. Zelda’s talents included quilting, weaving, knitting, and sewing and it was a rare person who did not have some of her handiwork. She was a “go-to” person for residents and staff alike for projects needing a creative eye and guidance. Her skills in sewing and weaving were well known.

The family would like to extend special thanks to many people but especially Zelda’s niece and nephew John and Diane McKiernan, her close friends Trudy Allstadt, Carol Greenbaum, Bea Kalen and Alice Marcus, the aides and staff at The Fieldstone at The Knolls, her private aides Shirley Thorpe, Diana Malaj, and Angelica Guzman, Hospice of Westchester and RN Kathy Ghegan, Dr. Susan Seligman-Haas and Dr. Steven Meixler and the West Med Medical group staff.

There will be no public services. A celebration of Zelda’s life will take place later in the spring. Anyone wishing to honor Zelda may do so by making a donation in her name to The Weaving School, 32 Warren Avenue, Tarrytown, NY 10591 or The NYS AHPERD Foundation (nysahperd.org): Foundation Giving, or 77 N. Ann Street, Little Falls, NY 13365.

Anyone wishing to contact the family may send notes via Sandy at smorley@nycap.rr.com