Morton Alvin Heller
November 25, 2010
Morton Alvin Heller, beloved husband, brother, father, grandfather and great-grandfather, died peacefully in Aspen with his family at his bedside on Nov. 24, 2010, days before his birthday. He would have been 90 on Dec. 6.
Mort grew up in Woodmere, Long Island, N.Y., where he attended Woodmere Academy. He attended the University of Pennsylvania in his freshman year, but matriculated at Duke University for the remainder of college, where he distinguished himself both academically and in athletics, having won the coveted High-Point Trophy.
After graduation, he attended the Harvard School of Business. He was commissioned as an ensign in the U.S. Navy and was honorably discharged after serving in World War II as a lieutenant junior grade.
Mort moved from the East and fell in love with the West Coast, and for more than 45 years, Mort and Howard Engleman maintained a successful small business investment enterprise, City Capital Corporation in Beverly Hills, Calif. When he relocated to Aspen, Mort, along with his friend and partner, Charles Israel, established the Pitkin County Bank and Trust. The bank merged in 1999 with Zions Bank Corporation, now Vectra Bank Colorado.
Along with his wife of 50 years, Lita Warner Hiatt, Mort devoted his life to philanthropy in Aspen and Los Angeles. Among the many passions they shared are the Aspen Santa Fe Ballet, Aspen Music Festival, Aspen Institute, Aspen Medical Foundation, the Aspen Art Museum, the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion at the Music Center in Los Angeles, and The Thalians at Cedars Sinai Hospital.
Mort is survived by Lita; his sister, Joyce Roaman; his children, Richard Heller and Robin Heller Moss; Vicki Hiatt; Samuel Hiatt and Michael Hiatt; grandchildren Ben Moss and Elizabeth Moss Ohrberg; Lilli and Gabriella Vallone; Cyrus Shaki Khan, Warner Hiatt and Parker Chenoweth; and great-grandchildren Harrison Benjamin Moss and Jack Heller Moss.
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In lieu of flowers, the family has requested that contributions be made to the Aspen Music Festival and Aspen Santa Fe Ballet.
Funeral services will be held at 2 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 28, at Prince of Peace Chapel in Aspen.