Thursday, May 14, 2015

RIP Alan Marcus

RIP Alan Marcus

Monterrey Herald
May 17, 2015

Alan Richard Marcus, 92 years old, whose life was dedicated to the arts and who was also a passionate advocate for social justice, passed away unexpectedly on May 5th at 5:25 AM. He suffered a massive cerebral hemorrhage that came with no warning and no pain.

A Carmel Highlands resident since 1955, he was loved and is mourned by his wife and frequent collaborator of 63 years, psychologist Dr. Lotte Marcus, as well as his three adult children, Naomi Beth, Anina Ruth, and David Jonathan, son-in-law Colin Campbell, daughter-in-law Barbara Hall, three grandchildren, Gabriel Joseph, Ana Sofia and Jonathan Alan, brother-in-law Marvin Okanes, and two nephews, Jonathan and Paul Okanes.

A professional writer over the course of seventy years, Alan worked commercially in radio, television and film. In addition, he wrote four novels (one just recently published on, and many short stories, one of which won an Atlantic Monthly First Prize, and poetry. His fictional work received acclaim from Archibald MacLeish, Saul Bellow and Dorothy Parker, and was honored with a Guggenheim and a McDowell Colony fellowship. He wrote critical essays on politics, psychology, public policy, and multiple sclerosis.

He was also a jazz pianist and over the years he composed both words and music for songs he performed with daughter Naomi and son David, with whom he recently composed a piano rag. He mentored and was passionate about helping artists to bring their work to fruition, though he could be a very acerbic critic at times.

Born and raised in Providence, Rhode Island, Alan Marcus was the son of Philip Marcus and Rose Duwinsky, and brother to Barbara Marcus who predeceased him. Educated at Brown University, Alan served in the US Army in World War II, during the invasion of Normandy, the liberation of France, and the post-war occupation of Germany. The short stories that emerged from these experiences appeared first in the Atlantic Monthly magazine, culminating in the publication of his first novel, Straw to Make Brick, which is about the chaos and trauma of Germany immediately after the war.

He then became a staff writer for MGM Studios in Los Angeles, scripting half a dozen feature films and numerous other television dramas. His treatment titled "Wives Ahoy" became the basis for the hit ABC series, "Here Come the Brides." This commercial work led to the writing of his much-praised second novel, Of Streets and Stars, a poetic description of the lives of those who work and live in the artificial Hollywood film world.

In the 1970's, Alan, with his wife Lotte, founded AKTOS Inc. This educational company was dedicated to producing and teaching video dramas for English-As-A-Second-Language classrooms, which evoked and cut through cross-cultural dissonance in the Salinas Valley. He then turned his attention to health care policy, and published a series of articles in medical journals such as Family Medicine and Family Systems Medicine.

His final years were spent supporting playwright Rick Foster's non-profit organization, Duende, dedicated to bringing California history into children's classrooms in Sonoma County. On the last day of his life, he was engrossed in editing a new novel, "Journey South", the third that he will have published on Amazon.

Our dear Alan will be cremated by the Mission Mortuary within the next two weeks, and a memorial service will be held on the Monterey Peninsula this July.

Our entire family, and especially Lotte, would gratefully appreciate any memories, photos, or thoughts of Alan that will help us in our grief. These may be posted at Alan's memorial site, Contributions in his memory may be made to your local library. If you would please let us know of any such library contributions through the memorial site, we, in turn, will ship Alan's latest books to the library as our co-donation, as Alan was disconsolate about the state of reading in our culture.

MARCUS, Alan (Alan Richard Marcus)
Born: 7/10/1922, Providence, Rhode Island, U.S.A
Died: 5/5/2015, Carmel Highlands, California, U.S.A.

Alan Marcus’s westerns – screenwriter:
The Marauders – 1955
Here Come the Brides – 1968-1970

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