Morris E. Blitz, 93, ex-head of Normandy School District.
Morris E. Blitz, retired superintendent of the Normandy School District, and who helped found the University of Missouri-St. Louis, died Friday, June 8, 2007, of complications from cancer, at his home in Creve Coeur. He was 93. Mr. Blitz was reared in Boston and graduated from its acclaimed Boys Latin School and Boston College, where he studied languages, played football and began a lifelong interest in wrestling. Mr. Blitz's contributions to St. Louis emerged during World War II, when he was drafted into the U.S. Army and stationed at Scott Field, now Scott Air Force Base. During a weekend furlough, he met a young St. Louisan, Evelyn Silverman; they were married in 1943. In the European Theatre of Operations during World War II, Mr. Blitz specialized in intelligence, especially the interrogation of German prisoners of war. Following the war, Mr. Blitz joined the Normandy public schools, teaching languages and introducing wrestling to students. "There are two good things about wrestling," he was quoted as saying in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. "One is that the little guy is just as important as the big guy. The other is that the coach can't send in a substitute when things are going bad." Mr. Blitz was inducted into the Missouri Wrestling Hall of Fame in 1978. Mr. Blitz was appointed superintendent of the Normandy School District in 1972, serving until 1977. "All the kids at school, everybody just loved him," Charlotte Roeder Irwin, his secretary at Normandy told the Post-Dispatch. "Any time we had a reunion, all the people would write who was their favorite teacher or coach, and everybody would write Morris Blitz." Mr. Blitz was on the committee that worked for the approval of a bond issue to buy land for the University of Missouri-St. Louis. An adminisrator for years at UMSL, Mr. Blitz received the Chancellor's Medal, the university's highest honor, in 1994. Mr. Blitz's wife, Evelyn Silverman Blitz, died in 2003. Among the survivors are two sons, Robert D. Blitz of St. Louis County and Philip E. Blitz of Creve Coeur. Funeral services were held Monday, June 11, at Rindskopf-Roth Funeral Chapel, 5216 Delmar Boulevard. Burial was private. Memorial contributions may be made to the Blitz Scholarship Fund, Normandy High School Alumni Association, Box 210869, Normandy, Mo. 63121.