We’re here today to mourn the passing but also to honor and cherish the life of Marvin Rosenfeld, beloved husband and father and cherished friend. Marvin’s passing was completely unexpected and we’re having trouble grasping that this has happened. Just a couple of weeks ago, we were talking about when he’d be ready to go home. He was very much himself, talking and talking. It’s passing strange to think that he won’t be talking anymore. We do know, however, that once the sickness had captured him, it would not let go, and we had to let him go.
Marvin was born in 1929 in New Haven, the son of Anna and Abraham. His parents were immigrants from Europe; his father was a shirt manufacturer. He was raised with his beloved sisters Mildred and Rhoda; they were all good-looking and happy. We remember Mildred with respect today and we mourn with Rhoda. They would always have very good relationships with each other and they were all gorgeous.
Marvin went to Cheshire Academy and Hillhouse High School and then the American international College in Springfield
He served his country in the Air Force in Korea. He was with the Psychology department of the 51st Fighter Interceptor Wing that flew F86’s.
Papers came admitting him into Officers training school at the very time he was about to go on his honeymoon with Fern and he chose his honeymoon.
They were married in Ansonia at her grandmother’s house in 1953; they have been married for 64 years. To the end, he would say, “This is my bride.” At what turned out to be the end, Marvin was focused not on himself but on Fern. We wish Fern only the best; this is difficult beyond words and we know that her children and her family will take wonderful care of her.
In 1956, Marvin began to work for Schering-Plough pharmaceuticals and he was a very successful rep. He was very dedicated to his career. He was a great salesman. He was very into his work. He was always the Number 1 or Number 2 salesman in the company.
He was very knowledgeable about developments in his field as they intersected with government policies and legal changes that affected our lives. Senator Blumenthal spoke here a few years ago and Marvin took him on about a proposed change in Congress; Marvin was polite but strong and it was clear that he knew a lot more than the Senator, who said he would look into it.
Marvin and Fern raised their wonderful children Al and Linda who have been loyal and loving children. We thank them for being so devoted to their parents.
Perry and his family have become a part of this family: Ileane and Charles, Colleen and Jeff, and Matthew and Liz are Marvin and Fern’s grandchildren. For the last 21 years, he has called Al’s Cynthia “My lady.”
Al remembers a moment at his grandparents Abe and Anna’s pool. He saw his father dive in and lap the pool with a strong stroke. Here was a guy who could be awkward on land, who sometimes had a balance problem, and Al heard someone exclaim, “Look at that guy swim!” He was so proud of his father.
Linda talks about how he was a great photographer. He had remarkable photographs from Korea. He had a great eye. He was accomplished at photos of flowers and landscapes.
Even in their later years, Marvin and Fern were always doing things for others, volunteering at the Jewish Home and other places. They would read to stroke victims.
At this sad time, we remember Marvin’s lifelong friend Shelly Rubin; they grew up together and they were always thick as thieves. Shelly passed away six months ago and this was a great sadness for Marvin. Now they can pal around together again.
I would see Marvin often, either here or in the neighborhood. In every conversation, he always tried to be positive, to see the good side of things. He was very understanding about the limitations of others. In Yiddish, we have an expression: “He didn’t have any hachmes.” Marvin didn’t play any games or have any illusions; he saw life for what it was and what it wasn’t and he was very realistic but still maintained his optimism. I totally respect this quality that he had.
To Fern and Al and Linda and the whole family, we wish you G-d’s comfort at this sad time. He was a righteous man. May he rest in peace. Let is say Amen.