Matthew Philip Andrew Moralis – March 5, 1964 – Jan. 7, 2022 Matthew (Matt) Philip Andrew Moralis found relief from suffering with his sudden death on Jan. 7, 2022, at the age of 57.
He was a complex person, with eclectic interests and experiences. He was born in Edmonton, and lived in Vancouver, California, Taiwan, Korea, and Fort McMurray before ultimately settling in Toronto’s West End.
Even as a child, he had a mischievous nature, and a sense of humour. Matt loved wordplay, and a good practical joke. Those were qualities he never lost. He was also fearless, as well as compassionate and generous, “temporarily” fostering stray adult cats and ultimately adopting several that could not be placed in homes. He also lent money freely to people.
He could not tolerate injustice or unfairness.
In Asia, he played on his high school soccer and rugby teams. He was a soccer goalkeeper, finding satisfaction as the last line of defence. He returned to Canada, landing at the Edmonton International Airport at the age of 17. He was travelling alone, on a passport that had an insert to accommodate all the visas he had accumulated due to high school sports. He was surprised by the attention this attracted from the RCMP.
In Alberta, he worked as a smokejumper, member of a crew of firefighters trained to respond by helicopter to remote bush and wildlife fires. After that, he worked in the darkroom and as a photographer for a newspaper in Fort McMurray.
He came to Toronto, and enlisted because both his grandfathers had served in the military and he wanted to continue that tradition. One was a career military doctor in WWI and WWII, and the other enlisted during in WWII. Matt also thought he might benefit from the structure and discipline. He served in the Royal Canadian Regiment (1st Battalion), located at Canadian Forces Bases Petawawa and London. He was preparing for deployment to the 1991 Gulf War when the ground campaign ended after about 100 hours. When not on duty, he liked to roam the province on his motorcycle. He was a proud veteran.
In the late 1980s, he had a bad parachute landing that caused fractures in several vertebrae but leaving his spinal cord intact. He completed his tour of duty, but his degenerative condition eventually left him with complex chronic nerve pain. He also developed complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) as a result of both the bad landing and an attempt to rescue two people from a burning car at the scene of an accident. He was diagnosed with Addison’s Disease (adrenal insufficiency) in 2020, a complication of his pain treatment regimen.
After his discharge, he became a successful self-taught independent Information Technology consultant, working on both mainframe and minicomputers for banks on Bay Street and interfacing with the stock exchange. However, because of his degenerative spinal condition and the associated chronic pain his mobility became increasingly restricted, and his prescribed medications reduced his ability to solve problems. As a result, he was forced to shut his business down.
He was proud of his daughter Kate, but doted on his twin grandchildren, who were born in 2018. He spent as much time with them as possible. They were a ray of light in his life.
His interests including photography, music, military history, particle physics and string theory. At one point he contributed unused computing capacity to support the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI). He was also very active in certain online video gaming communities, such as World of Tanks.
Matt is survived by his wife of more than 25 years, Kathie Hornyak, and Laurie Beth Case, the mother of their daughter, Kate (Dan) and grandchildren Allegra and Leonardo. He is also survived by his mother Elizabeth and siblings Michael, Peter, Marc, Paul and Selina (Russell) as well as 6 nephews and nieces: John and Sophia, Jake, Noah, Thomas and Andrew.
Donations in his memory can be made to Plan International Canada at www.plancanada.ca and Doctors Without Borders, Médecins Sans Frontières Canada, please visit Doctors Without Borders / Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) Canada