Estelle Mavis Morgan 1930-2019

By Shlomo Maital  

   My sister Estelle passed away quietly in Pittsburgh on June 19.  She was 91.   

    Estelle was born on May 7, 1930, in Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada.  She studied piano at the Regina Conservatory and   She graduated from the University of Pittsburgh, with a B.A. in psychology, and worked for renowned Pittsburgh neurosurgeon Dr. Koskoff, specializing in EEG technology.  She married the late Dr. H.C. (Chuck) Morgan, noted Pittsburgh optometrist in 1952.   She is survived by grandchildren Adam and Daphne, great-grandchild Dominic, daughters Lisa and Kim, and brother Shlomo.  In her later years, she resided at Riverview, on Garetta St., Pittsburgh.

      Estelle Morgan was a Pittsburgh-based, abstract painter working mainly in large-scale watercolor. Having come to the United States from western Canada, her work was inspired by the light and minimal forms of her native environment.

    Morgan’s work has been exhibited at museums such as the Carnegie Museum of Art, the Butler Institute of American Art, and the National Museum for Women in Washington, D.C., as well as solo and group shows in Scotland, Nairobi, Toronto, Hawaii, New York and Pittsburgh.  Her work is included in private, public and corporate collections in the U.S., Canada and Israel.   

     Estelle loved beauty, and in her paintings, created it.  I think beauty kept her alive.  She was beautiful herself, to the end, and always, dressed beautifully and was perfectly coifed.  She battled Parkinson’s for many years but fought it with courage and determination.  She somehow found a way to continue to paint, despite her shaking hand. 

     Estelle loved her hibiscus plant.  And it responded – it blossomed just before her last days.    Her hibiscus lives on, in her daughter Kim’s apartment…

      We were blessed to visit with her, in her apartment, on June 4, days before she fell ill.  Estelle left this world, as she lived in it, in style.  Her friend Jennifer, violinist with the Pittsburgh Symphony, came with Rodrigo, a pianist, and played Bach’s 6th violin sonata and Meditations, by Jules Massenet.  The concert was in Estelle’s living room; we crowded in, with her best friends Ruthie and Charlotte, three amazing ladies, all 91, beautiful and wise, and though we did not know it, it was our farewell.  She fell ill shortly afterward and after a brief stay in hospital and in a hospice, passed away.

      We’ll miss her a lot…