Morrie Piha



Morris Piha (call me Morrie), Seattle area real estate entrepreneur, passed away peacefully surrounded by family and friends on May 14, 2013 after a short battle with cancer.

He was born on July 20,1933 in Portland, Oregon to Samuel and Vida Piha who had immigrated from the Island of Rhodes. In 1944 the family moved to Seattle to join a growing community of Sephardim from Rhodes and Turkey.

Morrie attended Garfield High School and the University of Washington, earning a degree in accounting.

After serving his country in the US Coast Guard in Alaska, he returned to Seattle and soon married the love of his life, Marlene Calderon Piha. They had three children, Vicki, Sandy and Ricca.

In 1965, after working for M. Ross Downs and the Melrose Company for Herb Meltzer, Morrie opened a one man office in the Hogue Building in downtown Seattle. Over his 48 year career the company grew into one of the largest and most well regarded firms in the area.

Morrie was dearly loved and respected by a wide circle of friends, family, business associates and employees. He sponsored a baseball team called Morrie's Kids, and he was fondly known to team members as Uncle Morrie. He was a founding member of ROMEO (Retired Old Men Eating Out) and a beloved member of many other social groups.

Morrie was active in communal affairs and served on several boards including Make A Wish, Samis Foundation, Seattle Sephardic Brotherhood and Foundation Bank. He was a long time member of Sephardic Bikur Holim Synagogue where he helped to maintain the Sephardic culture and customs which he loved.

He is survived by his loving wife and best friend of 51 years, Marlene Calderon Piha, their daughter Ricca Poll (Billy), and their son Sandy Piha (Lesley). Their beloved daughter Vicki Lynn Ashberg (Jay) preceded him in death in 2007.

Morrie was lovingly called "Popoo" to his 6 grandchildren he so dearly cherished...Miles, Emma, Shane, Jadon, Mitch, and Macy.

His brother, Victor S. Piha, sister, Esther Kligerman and mother in law, Rita Calderon, and numerous nieces and nephews, all of whom he loved so much.

Morrie touched so many lives. He was generous with his time and advice as a beloved mentor to friends of any age. He was always quick witted and humorous, making all of those around him smile. He was also fondly known for his life's philosophies, commonly known as Morrie-isms.

A memorial service will be held on Friday, May 17th at 10:00 a.m at Sephardic Bikur Holim, 6500 52nd Avenue South in Seattle followed by burial at the Sephardic Brotherhood Cemetery at 167th and Midvale Ave North.

In lieu of flowers, Morrie would have loved to have donations made to the charity of your choice or to the City of Hope in memory of his daughter, Vicki Lynn.

Published in The Seattle Times from May 15 to May 17, 2013.

Eulogies were given by his children, friends and Rabbi.
Part 1 Part 2 Part 3

Morrie-isms