Brother Charles Marcellin, FMS, a member of the Marist Brothers of the Schools for 63 years, died on February 19, 2017 at Lawrence Hospital in Bronxville, NY. He was 81 years old.
Brother Charles was born in Bronx, NY, before entering the Marist Juniorate in Esopus, NY in 1952. He became a postulant with the Marist Brothers in 1953 and entered the Marist Brothers Novitiate at Tyngsboro, MA in 1954. He professed first vows in 1955. After completing his religious and academic studies at Marist College, Poughkeepsie, New York. He began his teaching career at St. Helena High School from 1958-1960 and served for many years as a teacher and administrator at the following schools; St. Mary’s HS in Manhasset from 1960-62 (teacher), Christ the King HS in NY from 1962 – 66 (teacher), St. Helena High School 1966-69 (Ass’t Principal), Msgr. Scanlon High School 1969-75 (Principal),Marist High School in Bayonne, NJ from 1975-77 (Ass’t Principal) and 1977 – 82 (Principal), Archbishop Molloy HS in Briarwood, NY from 1982-2012 as school Treasurer.
He professed his final vows in 1960. He earned a masters degrees in History from St. John’s University in 1964.
Brother Charles was the son of Charles and Mary Elizabeth (Murphy) Kamarad. He is survived by his niece, grand nephews, many friends as well as by his Marist Brothers of the Province of the United States.
Br. Charles’ wake was held on Wednesday, February 22nd at Fox Funeral home in Forest Hills from 2:30pm – 5:00pm. His funeral was on Wednesday, February 22nd at Our Lady of Mercy Church in Forest Hills at 7:30pm, followed by his burial was held on Thursday, February 23rd at the Marist Brothers Cemetery in Esopus, NY.
A Reflection on the Life of Brother Charles Marcellin
Written by Brother Robert Andrews
I first met Brother Charles in September of 1969. We lived in community together for forty-two years. Charlie instantly became a brother to all the people he met. There were stories of Brother Charlie going out to the bus stop to greet the incoming freshmen on their first day of classes at St. Helena High School. I very quickly discovered a very humble and generous man. It was rare to hear anyone ever finding fault with Brother Charles.
Charlie loved his family very much. He grew up on Queens and attended St. Kevin’s Grammar School and then St. Anne’s Academy in Manhattan. He lived with his parents and two brothers until leaving for Esopus, New York where he completed his senior year of high school. He spent many wonderful hours with his father and his brother Tom playing golf. They always looked for every public golf course they could find, enjoying the company of each other followed by a good meal and a few beers. In Charlie’s father’s declining years, many hours were spent caring for him. He was a very devoted son.
His niece, Elizabeth, and her husband Michael felt that same devotion to Uncle Robert. Uncle Robert loved being with Niece Elizabeth, Michael, her husband, and his two grand nephews. Holidays, graduations and birthdays were spent always with Elizabeth, Michael, Thomas and Patrick. Thank you Elizabeth, Michael, Thomas and Patrick for bringing so much love and joy into Uncle Robert’s life. He loved all of you so very much.
By mid-day on Sunday, several e-mails began appearing which praised Charlie for his great work at St. Helena High School. Here are but a few of those comments, and I quote them: “Brother Charles was a visionary and a true educational leader.” “He made our school thrive.” “Brother Charles gave us a warm, friendly and nurturing environment for both students and faculty alike, and allowed us to grow professionally.” “He was never bureaucratic in his administrative decisions; but rather responded sensitively to suggestions from faculty, staff and students.” “He seemed to work very well with everyone.”
Here are a few attributes that, I feel, capture Charlie as a person: “He was courageous in decisions concerning his life, but as many of us know, it could take a rather long time to get an answer.” “He was a very caring and thoughtful person; very loving towards his family, a spiritual man as defined by the many spiritual books he read.” “He had a great fondness for reading.” “He read history and especially all about the ‘Great Wars.’”
In the spring and summer, you would see Charlie laboring in the garden. Many a laugh we had discussing which plants stayed in our garden and which ones did not. He was a true disciple of the Lord Jesus and Mary of Nazareth.
In conclusion I would like to reflect on a few qualities that Charlie and other Marist Brothers aspire to. Here are the qualities that mark us as Marists: mercy and compassion, availability, welcome and hospitality, simplicity manifest in everyday ordinariness and a common touch. We are self-effacing apostles who demonstrate a spirit of joy and respect for others; we are called to be humble and hidden and unknown in the world.
May you rest in peace,