James Francis Moritz, a retired music teacher, died Oct. 12 at age 74. As of presstime, the cause was unknown.
Moritz was born on May 17, 1938, and graduated from the University of Illinois.
Moritz taught in a variety of schools, ranging from public to private in Chicago, New York City and Philadelphia.
He retired from Philadelphia’s Friends Select School, where he served as choir director, in 2000.
Moritz was a member of The American Choral Society and did work with the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society in memory of his son, Bradley, who died of childhood leukemia at age 10 in 1977.
He had a passion for the theater and musical arts.
Moritz was a musician, choral conductor and theater director but also had many other talents.
“He was a cook and host extraordinaire,” said Jerry Clark, Moritz’s partner of 36 years.
Moritz was known for his grace and “grit,” Clark said, which provided a comforting atmosphere at the couple’s various parties.
“He was brutally honest with others and particularly himself,” Clark said. “He sought excellence in all things.”
A memorial was held Oct. 19 at the Unitarian Society of Germantown.
Moritz is survived by Clark, his son Jeff, brother Bill, godson Henry, niece Rachel, four grandchildren and many extended family members and friends.
Memorial donations in his name can be made to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society; www.lls.org.