Morris M. Himmelstein, 88, Baltimore City veterinarian


Dr. Morris Meyer Himmelstein, a veterinarian who ran a practice in Baltimore for 50 years, died Sunday at Sinai Hospital after suffering cardiac arrest.

A resident of the Mount Washington section of Baltimore, he was 88.

Dr. Himmelstein maintained a veterinary practice on York Road for five decades, providing care mostly for house pets and other small animals.

"When I was a kid, he used to do house calls at the zoo, too," said his son Dr. Jay Himmelstein of Worcester, Mass. "He took care of the occasional wolf, too. Some people have unusual house pets."

One client kept a pet wolf at Dr. Himmelstein's animal hospital, visiting and walking the animal daily, Jay Himmelstein recalled.

Dr. Himmelstein was known as "Dr. Moe," "Moishe" and "Papa Moe," the son said.

He was born and raised in Philadelphia, where his family lived above Himmelstein's Restaurant.

He graduated in 1933 from Central High School in Philadelphia, where he played junior varsity basketball and varsity soccer.

He attended Temple University in Philadelphia for two years and then transferred to Michigan State University, where he received a degree in veterinary medicine in 1940.

During World War II, he served as a government inspector for meatpacking houses, first in South Dakota and later in Baltimore.

In 1946, Dr. Himmelstein opened a veterinary practice at 4703 York Road. He sold the practice in 1996.

He married Miriam Cooper in 1944. She died in 2004.

Dr. Himmelstein was a member of Baltimore Hebrew Congregation for many years.

An avid sportsman, he played soccer, mostly as goalie, for Haslingers and the Parkville soccer clubs in the 1940s. A tennis player into his 60s, he was a club champion at Willow Glen.

Dr. Himmelstein enjoyed investing and trading financial securities. He also enjoyed reading. After he lost his sight a few years ago, he began listening to books on tape.

He was active in the Meyerberg Senior Center.

A funeral service will be held at noon today at Sol Levinson & Bros. Inc., 8900 Reisterstown Road.

In addition to his son, survivors include three other sons, Allan Himmelstein of West Orange, N.J., Paul Himmelstein of Hartford, Conn., and Neil Himmelstein of Center Moriches, N.Y.; a sister, Mildred Docktor of Fort Lee, N.J.; and eight grandchildren. Another son, Bernard Himmelstein, died in 1990.

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