Melvyn R. Diamond, age 81, died peacefully at Rochester General Hospital on March 21, 2019. He is predeceased by his parents, Leo and Sylvia Diamond; his sister, Lois (Diamond); and first wife of 22 years, Joanne (Gordon). He is survived by his brother Steven and his wife Laura and their children; and his loving wife of 36 years, Sharon, as well as their children, spouses, and significant others: Elisa (Perreault), Bruce and Michelle Diamond, Susan Diamond and David Hocker, Susan Weinreb and Peter Smith, and Michael and Sasha Wertheim. Loving grandchildren Jennifer, Benjamin, Jason, Jeffrey, Talia, Elizabeth, Jack, Nicholas, Cameron and Zachary. Melvyn’s larger family includes in-laws as well as many cousins, nieces and nephews. He was also devoted to his dog, Spike.
Melvyn was born on December 4, 1937 in Brooklyn, NY. He graduated from Thomas Jefferson High School, obtained his BA in Anthropology from Brooklyn College and his MA in Anthropology from Northwestern University. As a second generation American, Mel was grounded in strong tries to his family, neighborhood and the enduring value of working for his place in society. These experiences were reinforced throughout his professional life as a social science researcher, human services policy maker, manager and realtor in New York City, Chicago, IL, New Haven, CT, Poughkeepsie, NY, White Plains, NY and Rochester, NY. His work and those of his colleagues led to the wide spread development of community based alternative residential arrangements for thousands of adults and children previously institutionalized in state operated facilities. Many of these alternative residential group homes and intermediate care facilities became models adopted throughout New York State and elsewhere in the country to promote community based residential and rehabilitative services for people in need.
Mel was an intrepid walker and bicycle rider, promoting his health and enjoyment of his neighborhoods and especially the Erie Canal. As a health care provider and consumer he especially was indebted and thankful to the whole range of care givers from Rochester Regional Health Care who supported him through his treatment with Multiple Myeloma.
But Mel’s greatest legacy is his love and commitment to his family, and his success in passing down that value of family to all his children and grandchildren. His calm, patient, good-humored nature and generosity of spirit will be remembered.
Donations in support of Rochester General Hospital and its Oncology programs are welcome. (Click HERE to donate online). Donations can also be made to the Diamond Family Fund, supporting the training of religious educators at Temple B’rith Kodesh. (Click HERE to donate online).
Funeral services will be at Temple B’rith Kodesh, 2131 Elmwood Ave, Rochester, NY 14618 on SUNDAY March 24 at 2 PM. Click HERE for a map to Temple.
Shiva and calling hours are at 138 Woodland Road in Pittsford on March 25 and March 26 from 2-4 PM and 7-9 PM. Click HERE for a map to the Shiva House.