Ferdinand Gottfried Morant
Ferdinand Gottfried Morant
Iconic Southland Park Terrace resident
and Immigrant from Switzerland:
Ferdinand G. Morant
February 19, 1923 – May 6, 2023
Sacramento, California – Ferdinand Gottfried Morant passed away as he lived life: gently and peacefully, on May 6, 2023. He lived his life fully for 100 years, an example of kindness and generosity, with an endless thirst for learning and teaching others the art of sausage making and cooking.
Ferdy was born in Hasum Kt. Thurgau, Switzerland. As the oldest of four children, he grew up working at his father’s cheese factory, which made it clear to him that cows give milk seven days a week, which meant he worked long hours without any time off. After contracting Meningitis he decided on a career change and he started a three-year apprenticeship as a butcher. After graduating with top honors, the thirst for learning drove Ferdy to the French part of Switzerland to master the French language while working at a local butcher shop. That is where his desire to make a life for himself in the U.S. started. Shortly before leaving for America, he met Betty, who became the love of his life. He promised to return for her once he got established. That happened a year later and he married Betty and spent the next 70 years at her side.
Ferdy started his career as a butcher in Alturas, California in 1952, for the Gysin family, where a Mr. John Clauss, Sr., heard about Ferdy through a salesman who was so impressed with this awesome butcher from Switzerland, who was not even leaving a speck of meat-not even enough for a fly – on any bones. Mr. Clauss told Ferdy, “You have a job with me if you ever come to Sacramento.” Ferdy accepted his offer, and then spent the next 13 years working for “Clauss and Kraus.” Then he became a partner in the proprietorship of the Kohler Pork Store at 2309 Fulton Ave., in Sacramento.
On July 1, 1980, Ferdinand and his son Ed opened their own business: “Morant’s Old Fashioned Sausage Kitchen,” at 5001 Franklin Blvd., Sacramento. It was important to Ferdy that he offer unique tasting sausages at his business. He never bought the (prepared) spices to make sausages the way every big company does these days. He said his sausages shall not taste like Oscar Meyer’s, but will have their own unique flavor. That is what kept “Morant’s” in business for so long. He made sausages and meats for various businesses like the Sacramento Inn and Paragary’s, along with other immigrants from Italy, Portugal, Poland, Sweden, and South Africa, etc. He made sausages unique to their country’s traditions. Customers had the coice of bringing him their own hunted game, and one customer had him make Landjäger out of the bear meat he brought into the shop. He once said, “I just feel like I accomplished something for humanity, for Sacramento. I brought so many cultures together, and no matter where they came from they all appreciated it. That makes me so happy.”
Ferdy was proactive in many organizations. He was a devoted and active member of Holy Spirit Catholic Church for over 60 years. In 1953 Ferdy became a member of the Sacramento Swiss Club, “Helvetia Verein,” as well as the “Turnverein,” German club. He belonged to both clubs for 70 years of active membership. He also was a member of the Hermann’s Söhne, Elks Lodge, Revolver Club, Soccer Club, Historical Cemetery Club and the Akita Club.
Ferdy enjoyed many hobbies, starting with soccer. He was the first person to start a youth soccer club here in Sacramento. In later years he was honored for his accomplishments by the Sacramento FC Republic, of which he was a faithful ticket holder. Ferdy had great marksmanship. He loved practicing shooting in his house by using the inside of the hall closet for a target with a steel trap to catch the bullets. He was the recipient of many medals for shooting competitions in Switzerland (He could have given William Tell some competition!). He was a master at Chinese brush as well as oil painting. He designed The Swiss cookbook cover which holds many of his favorite recipes. He made wall hangings and lampshades out of stained glass. He loved to work out with weights and of course playing golf, which he shared with good friends and he combined his love of golf with many travels. From Sidney to China’s Great Wall and all over Europe.
He shared the love of his homeland with many of us by teaching us traditional recipes from Switzerland, like Bratwurst, Fleischkäse, Landjäger, and of course cheese Fondue from scratch, for which we are forever grateful. Ferdy possessed a masterful mind, which came to shine in everything he did (typical Swiss precision): from immaculate accounting skills and a great sense of business operations, to computer expertise and knowledge of his Iphone. Without Ferdy we are at a loss on how to operate the smart tv-lol!
Ferdy will be greatly missed by his family and friends. He was preceded in death by his two children Eric and Edwin, his sister Margaret, and his two brothers Pius and Paul. He leaves behind his beloved wife Betty of 70 years, his nieces Mary Ann Morant, Jennie Morant, Sandra Tilisen, Madeleine Baumann, Paul Mangold, Preben and Karen Morant Jensen, Brian Morant, and Sarah and Chris Viducich-Breithaupt.
He lived a life of honesty, integrity, kindness, faith and gratitude, setting an example that continues to inspire us all.
“Tschau” Ferdy, until we see you again. We love you!!
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Sacramento Helvetia Verein
3349 J Steet, Sacramento, California.