Albert E. Morel, a Korean War veteran whose careers on Long Island included managing bowling alleys, making helicopter blades and running a bar, died Jan. 4 at his Coram home of natural causes.
He was 85.
Despite working both days and nights for years, Morel always made time to take his four children on excursions to Long Island’s beaches, parks and other natural landscapes, said his daughter, Diane Dadabo.
“Until his last dying day he said, ‘I never did enough for you,’ ” said Dadabo, of Lake Grove. “But he did. He did.”
Morel was born in Brooklyn in 1932. His family soon moved to Long Island, and Morel grew up in Copiague, Lindenhurst and Amityville, Dadabo said.
His childhood was idyllic. A short biography Morel wrote in 1997 describes the berries he picked in a field near Wellwood Avenue and the clams he and friends dug up in Great South Bay.
“I loved the Bay and knew it like the back of my hand off Copiague, with special spots that we didn’t share with anybody,” Morel wrote.
After graduating from Amityville High School in 1950, Morel worked as a machinist at Liberty Products and then at Fairchild-Republic Co. in Farmingdale. He also served in the Army’s 45th Infantry Division during the Korean War beginning in 1953, Dadabo said.
In 1960, Morel was hired by Gyrodyne Co. in St. James, where for years he helped produce rotor blades for helicopters, according to Dimitri Papadakos, Morel’s longtime colleague.
“I never met anybody all through the years that didn’t really like him,” said Papadakos, of St. James.
Morel later managed bowling alleys in Port Jefferson and Smithtown, and ran the Pub Car, a bar in Port Jefferson.
“My father was a hustler,” Dadabo said of his multiple jobs. “He did it so that we would be comfortable.”
Dadabo recalled Morel as a devoted father, who loved especially taking his children to Long Island’s scenic settings, from Montauk to Wildwood State Park. He imbued in his children his lifelong love of Great South Bay.
“We used to go eeling at night,” said Dadabo, who recalled her father teaching her how to push through bay reeds at low tide in search of the creatures.
He is also survived by son Richard Morel of East Setauket; daughter Catherine Rogers of Kershaw, South Carolina; first wife Clair Rachoza of Lake Grove; three half-sisters, Carol Madalinger of Charlotte, North Carolina, Elizabeth Torres of North Carolina, and Ella Fiota of New Smyrna Beach, Florida; eight grandchildren; and six great-grandchildren.
Morel was predeceased by his second wife Rita and son Edward.
Services for Morel were Jan. 12 at Bryant Funeral Home in East Setauket. He was buried at Holy Sepulchre Cemetery in Coram.