Marv Black: A Profile

By Fran Margulies

Behind the gentle Marv Black we meet on Shabbat mornings hides a former fierce warrior. I visited Marv recently, and he proudly pulled from under his bed a formidable collection of “edged weapons,” as he called them. They range from short lethal knives to long graceful Samurai swords. Slowly hoisting each one in turn, he demonstrated to me the proper grip and best angle of use. Known as “The Saber Man” when he attended The Bronx High School of Science, Marv earned top awards in fencing and also, fittingly, in horsemanship.

Trading martial romance for a more practical career, Marv earned a psychology degree from Brooklyn College and a master’s in educational psychology from Duquesne University in Pittsburgh, PA. He also served two years as US Army medic at Fort Polk in Louisiana. Marv’s working life was counseling; he was employed in the township of Middle (Cape May Court House), in south eastern New Jersey, where he worked with K-12 students until retiring at age 64.

Then the winds of adventure began to stir again. Marv moved to Hawaiʻi, and, from this base, he set out to explore the world with his companion and dear friend Brina. They toured together more countries and waterways than one can name. Marvin exercised his fluency with languages, particularly Spanish. Still actively counseling, Marv volunteered for years with the Honolulu Police Department, answering the telephone for Honolulu CrimeStoppers.

Slowed now by age and strokes, Marv is ably supervised by his daughter Deb who lives nearby, who celebrated Marv’s 80th with a grand pool party, and has recently found Ed, a helpful live-in companion for Marv. Keeping in touch long distance are Marv’s brother Larry and sister-in-law Linda, his son Taylor, daughter-in-law Stacey, and granddaughter Aden.

A few years ago, Marv indulged in one more expansive gesture: he invited all of his neighbors, his fellow Sof Ma’aravers, and many friends, to a sit-down banquet in a Chinese restaurant where he played genial host and introduced all of us to his daughter Deb and beloved young great-granddaughter Liana!

A huge and affectionate l’chayim!! to you, Marv! Happy 86th birthday! (June 24th.)