Fond Memories of Marvin Spieler
Photos of Marvin Spieler courtesy of David Gonzalez
“I had heard of Marvin’s work with the Speakers Bureau long before he and I ever met face to face. When we did meet, I was taken with his gentle nature and genuine interest in helping others, including me. He was a natural listener and often gave me advice on both personal matters and systems advocacy. He was also a fierce advocate. Although we did not speak often, whenever we did, it felt like I was reuniting with an old friend. Thank you Marvin for all you did to help improve the quality of life for so many in the recovery community. You will be truly missed and always remembered.”--Carlton Whitmore, Director, Office of Consumer Affairs, NYC Dept. of Health and Mental Hygiene
“I first met Marvin at a support group in the year 2000. I was in the beginning stages of recovery from a deep depression in which I literally lay in bed for almost a year with next to no human contact. Marvin suggested I try presenting my story at his Consumers Speakers bureau. Through his guidance and positive support I eventually tried (and loved) public speaking. But I am just one of many people that Marvin has mentored, guided and supported. Very few people on this planet can honestly say they have changed so many lives for the better than Marvin.”--Kurt Sass, Administrative Coordinator, Community Access, Inc.
“Marvin, was an unforgettable character. He was always advocating for a cause, usually mental health related. I knew marvin for about 20 years and rarely heard him complain even when his health was not the best. He devoted over 20 years to serving on the BSAEH, Inc. Board of Directors and along with Dan Frey was one of the driving forces behind City Voices. I always admired Marvin for his tenacity and his moral compass. He will be missed by many. May his memory be a Blessing.”--Isaac Brown, President/CEO, Baltic Street AEH, Inc.
“Marvin, you saved City Voices newspaper from the brink of disaster. For that, in addition to your friendship, I am grateful. It was cute seeing you and Sharon both ordering shrimp with lobster sauce. Who says all Jews have to keep kosher? God, probably. But you were an atheist, so who cares?! Rest in peace, Uncle Marvey.”--Dan Frey, Editor in Chief, City Voices: A Peer Journal for Mental Health
“Marvin was a staunch advocate who rarely minced words, but also one of the kindest souls I’ve ever known. It was my pleasure to attend Marvin’s wedding reception a few years ago. We spoke briefly during the reception and he shared how happy he was and assured me that it was never too late to find happiness and meaning in life. I was struggling with my own recovery at the time and needed to hear this! Marvin had a way of reminding you of what really mattered. I will miss his candor and kindness.”--Teena Brooks, LMSW, Assistant Director, Office of Consumer Affairs, NYC Dept. Health and Mental Hygiene
“Marvin was one of the very first employees here at MHA-NYC when I started almost 30 years ago. In his role as a consumer leader and spokesman his impact on mental wellness and recovery was immense. To me personally, Marvin was a cherished personal friend who helped my through my my daughter’s illness and gave me hope in my darkest days.”--Giselle Stolper, Executive Director, Mental Health Association of New York City
“I was saddened by Marvin's sudden passing, and will always remember his kindness and generosity and enthusiasm for the community he represented with such dignity. I remember how happy he was when he told me he had gotten married. He was like a young man again. He encouraged me always. He always tried to help and offer useful information, and he was a good person. He will be missed. I hope he is enjoying the spirit world. Peace now, angel Marvin. No pain and no meds needed in heaven.”--Lisa Roma Wacholder, Associate Editor, City Voices: A Peer Journal for Mental Health
“Marvin was a great friend. He always worried about me being sick, and, here he was, sicker than I was. I thought that was very nice of him. Sometimes he would take me for ice cream or lunch. He wanted me to do the Speaker's Bureau, but I never got around to it. Now I wish I had because he could have helped me out of my depression. He will always be missed. At least he is not suffering anymore. May he rest in peace and be in a better place.”--Sandy Brower, Peer Advocate
“Marvin was warm; intelligent; and wise. He was instrumental to me, both at my last position as a peer specialist at a home for adults, when he supplied me with speakers recruited from his Speakers Bureau, to present at our popular Peer Led Socials; and when he arranged for me to go out and speak as well. I knew him for over five years. I was so happy when he confided in me about his marriage to Sharon. I wished him a hearty 'mazel tov' and I could see how great his relationship to her was and how much it helped him overcome his overwhelming medical struggles. Now the pain is completely gone, and I’m sure he is happy, looking down on us with his trademark compassion. As the poet Shelley put it, 'Hail to thee, blithe spirit!'”--Joel Simonds, Peer Specialist, South Beach Psychiatric Center
“Marvin spoke with a quiet presence that was as masterful as it was plain humble. Sometimes, there are those who just do what is needed, going about the business at hand.”--Jeffrey V. Perry, CPRP, Program Manager, Baltic Street AEH, Inc.
“I met Marvin Spieler many times at Baltic Street. I discussed many issues with him when he made the time to speak to me. I found I could relate to him regarding recovery, empowerment, and the basic fundamentals of wellness. We spoke mainly about the current events that were happening then. I wished him all the best when he married. We had moments of laughter and were saddened by events that were happening in the news. I deeply express my sympathy to his wife and family. I am so saddened, we will miss him dearly.”--Anthony Sgarlato, Program Manager, Baltic Street AEH, Inc