Marvin Rosenblum, 89, longtime resident of East Boothbay, passed away peacefully on Dec. 29 at Hill House in Bath after a period of declining health.
Born in New York City on Oct. 8, 1929, he was the son of Herman Rosenblum and Sonia (Ginsberg) Rosenblum, immigrants from eastern Europe. As a child he lived on Coney Island, and fondly remembered his very first job there, guessing ages and weights on the boardwalk. While in his teens, Marvin’s family moved to Los Angeles where he graduated from Roosevelt High School and UCLA. He enthusiastically adopted a west coast life style, playing beach volleyball and surf-casting, as well as spending summers working in Yosemite National Park.
Marvin began his life-long career in education student teaching at the UCLA lab school, then teaching elementary school in Venice, Calif. After a year spent traveling abroad with his wife, Patricia (Maass), the couple returned to her home state of Maine to start a family. Marvin was first 8th grade teacher and principal of the Boothbay Center School, and later, Boothbay Region High School’s first guidance counselor. There he raised the percent of BRHS graduates going on to various forms of post-secondary education from 20 percent to better than 90 percent in just five years. As part of his commitment to helping local students continue their educations, Marvin helped found the Boothbay Region Student Aid Fund, now worth more than four million dollars. The fund’s need-based scholarships have helped students to attend everything from vocational programs to four-year colleges and universities.
In the 1970s, Marvin’s focus shifted to teacher preparation and professional development. Responding to the nationwide teacher shortage at that time, Marvin helped develop innovative methods to train college graduates who lacked teaching credentials. He was granted a Ford Fellowship through which he taught at Stanford, the University of Hawaii, and Harvard. He returned to Maine where he taught as adjunct faculty in the university system, became Assistant Commissioner of Labor during Governor Joe Brennan’s administration (1979-87), and went on to work at the State Planning Office. That position led to his founding and becoming CEO of the Kids Involved Doing Service (KIDS) Consortium, which engages students and educators in service learning using “community as classroom,” and has garnered state and national awards.
Marvin loved his adopted state and was grateful to his outdoor mentors who helped him embrace hunting, fishing, boating, and hauling traps near his Linekin Bay home. He was active in state politics, serving several terms as chairman of the Lincoln County Democrats, and working on many campaigns. An art enthusiast, collector, and friend to many Midcoast artists, Marvin helped form the Boothbay Region Art Foundation in 1964. He took up golf in midlife and was thrilled to be able to “shoot his age” in his mid 80s and to get a hole-in-one in each of his decades from 50 to 80.
Marvin is survived by four children, Paul Rosenblum and his wife Cameron of Cumberland Foreside, Jill Rosenblum and her partner Mike Whaley of Farmington, New Hampshire, Lee Rosenblum of South Portland, and Joshua Rosenblum and his wife Natalia of Millbrae, California; and the mothers of his children, former wives Pat Lewis of Woolwich and Diane Rosenblum of California; and grandchildren Maggie Eismeier, and Jack and Betsy Rosenblum. He was predeceased by his parents and brother Gerald Rosenblum.
Announcement of a spring or summer memorial will be made at a later date.
In lieu of flowers, contributions can be made in his name to the Boothbay Region Student Aid Foundation at P.O. Box 293, Boothbay, Harbor, ME 04538 (207) 350-4032 firstname.lastname@example.org