Featured Story

Shelter Island Reporter obituaries


Thomas George Morritt
Thomas George Morritt, a resident of Shelter Island for more than 20 years, died on February 16, 2018 after a brief illness at his Florida home. His wife of 63 years, Bettianne, was by his side.

Thomas George Morritt

Thomas George Morritt

Together they were members and ardent supporters of St. Mary’s Episcopal Church and were well known in the community.

Born April 4, 1927 in New York City, Tom spent several of his early years living in Montreal, Canada. He graduated from Manhattan Aviation High School and served in the United States Navy as an aviation machinist mate at the end of World War II.

Upon discharge, he began his career as a stereotyper at several New York newspapers, including the Herald Tribune and Journal American. He finished his professional career as an industrial arts teacher in the New York City school system and upon retirement began transitioning from Syosset to Shelter Island as a full-time resident.

More recently, he was a volunteer guide at The Nature Conservancy’s Mashomack Preserve, greeting guests at the Visitors Center; a member of the Lions Club; a supporter of the Shelter Island Meals on Wheels program; and a community volunteer always helping others with driving to doctors and grocery shopping through the Shelter Island Office for Senior Services/Transportation, and providing any helping hand that was needed.

No matter the event or happening, his family and friends recalled, Tom could be found at the center of the action getting the job done.

He is survived by Bettianne; his children, Pamela Freitag of Syosset, Thomas Morritt of Syosset, Lori Pollard of LaGrangeville, New York, Lisa Cusick of Massapequa and Jennifer Schneider of Syosset; and grandchildren Kimberlee, Thomas, Zachary, Kelly, Rachel, Grant, Dylan, Brynn and Ashlynn.

There will be a service at St. Mary’s Church on Saturday, February 24 at 10:30 a.m. Interment will be in St. Mary’s Cemetery after the service with lunch following in the church hall.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Smile Train or St. Mary’s Episcopal Church, P.O. Box 1660, Shelter Island 11964.

Daniel Oehler Reich

Daniel Oehler Reich

Daniel Oehler Reich
The family of Daniel Oehler Reich mourns the death of this husband, father and grandfather on February 14, 2018.

The son of Therese (Teddy) and Stanley Reich, Dan was born in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn on Christmas Day 1931. He spent his formative years in Bay Ridge and graduated from Poly Prep Country Day School in 1949.

Upon graduation, he attended Bowdoin College in Brunswick, Maine. Following his graduation in 1953, Dan proudly served two years in the U.S. Marine Corps.

Dan met and fell in love with a local Bay Ridge girl, Olive Buerk, and they were married in Bellport in August 1956. The newlyweds bought their first home in Bay Ridge, where the family still resides. In the early years of their marriage, Dan had hoped to pursue a law degree, but he never sat for the bar exam. He worked as a salesman for a paper company to pay for law school and found his professional niche; he launched Daniel O. Reich, Inc., now known as Reich Paper, in 1958.

The Reich family’s ties to Shelter Island began in 1964 when they were invited to spend a weekend at the home of Jenny and Gunnar Knutsen on South Midway Road. The spell of the Island prompted them to buy a home in Silver Beach where they summered until 1974, followed by a move to “Aquarelle,” a Victorian in the Heights.

Dan was an avid, self-taught sailor who enjoyed the thrill of racing and fondly leveraged the Bowdoin polar bear mascot in naming the family’s boats. When not sailing his beloved Stuart Knockabout, Ol’ Bear, Dan could be seen cruising as far north as Maine in the family’s Lord Nelson tugboat, Teddy Bear.

The Reich family joined the Shelter Island Yacht Club in 1967, where Dan rose through the ranks to serve as commodore in 1976-7.

He is also remembered as chairman of the board of the former Brooklyn Federal Savings Bank, the first president of the North Ferry Corporation, the president of the New York Paper Club and a member of the New York Yacht Club, the Off Soundings Club as well as Gardiner’s Bay Country Club.

In addition to being passionate about boating, Dan was an avid reader of history and politics, and loved animals — especially the family’s beloved adopted dogs.

Dan leaves behind his wife of 61 years, Olive; his sons, Peter (Loren) and Duke (Lisa); and daughter Robin (David); three grandchildren with equally strong passions for boating — Melissa, Daniel and Luke; two nieces, Susan and Holly.
A funeral service was held at the Union Church in Brooklyn. A memorial service to commemorate Dan’s life and to wish him fair winds and following seas will be held at Union Chapel on Shelter Island this summer.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be sent to the American Cancer Society or the Animal Rescue Fund of the Hamptons.

Michael Hagler
Michael Hagler of Shelter Island died on February 16, 2018. He was 79.

Born on July 13, 1939 in Jersey City, New Jersey, he earned a B.S. degree in mechanical engineering from Rutgers University and a M.B.A. from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania. Upon graduation from business school, Michael joined the firm of Grant Thornton, from which he retired as the Director of Management Consulting in 1998.

He is survived by his wife of 54 years, Ellen; daughter Dorie (Michael Shorr); son Andrew (Deborah); grandchildren Lucia Miel, Jacob and Nicholas. Each carry him indelibly, they said, in their hearts and minds.

Known alternatively as Mike and Mikey to his friends and colleagues and as Peebah to his grandchildren, his family said he taught, by example, four lessons: Be generous, and generosity includes providing opportunities to others; be resourceful, and resourcefulness may often involve bungee cord and duct tape; be joyful, and joyfulness can be found by being on, or watching, the water; and hope for a broad reach in 15 knot winds, but be prepared to take a reef or start the engine to get you where you need to be, knowing that fair winds and tide will always return.

Michael was buried at the Beth Israel Congregation Cemetery in Bath, Maine, on February 19, 2018. A memorial service will be held on Shelter Island this spring.

The following organizations would be pleased to accept donations in Michael’s honor: Eastern Long Island Hospital Foundation, Attention, Foundation/Community Relations, 201 Manor Place, Greenport, NY 11944; and Shelter Island Ambulance Foundation, P.O. Box 547, Shelter Island, NY 11964-0547.