In Loving Memory of Marvin J. Bostin

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In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in memory of Marvin Bostin to the Connecticut Chapter of the Alzheimer's Association at

Dr. Marvin J. Bostin, whose innovative approach to planning pediatric healthcare facilities left his imprint on virtually every leading children's hospital in the United States - as well as important new children's hospitals in Israel and South Africa, died in the final hours of Tuesday, September 19, 2023 at the age of 90. He passed peacefully at home in Stamford, Connecticut, the city that had been his primary place of residence for nearly 55 years.

Dr. Bostin strongly believed in a distinctive approach to children's healthcare and eschewed traditional, sterile pediatric facilities for bright, airy spaces that often felt more like modern hotels than hospitals. The first of his more widely acclaimed projects was the renowned Children's Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP), which was the nation's first hospital devoted exclusively to the care of children. The new CHOP building, completed in 1974, replaced an older facility that had been in service for over 60 years; it featured a soaring atrium, glass elevators, and bright colors and signage. The new CHOP also became home to the nation's first Ronald McDonald House to provide important support and comfort to the families of sick children who often traveled great distances to receive cutting-edge treatment at CHOP.

The success of CHOP, and Dr. Bostin's critical role in creating the vision for this important new facility, lead to his participation in more than 40 children's hospital projects throughout his career. Among his more well-known children's hospital clients were: Children's National Medical Center in Washington, D.C.; Children's Hospital at Yale-New Haven Medical Center in New Haven, Connecticut; Steven and Alexandra Cohen Children's Medical Center at Long Island Jewish Medical Center (CCMC) in New Hyde Park (formerly Schneider Children's Hospital); Children's Medical Center in Dallas, Texas; and the Children's Hospital at Montefiore Medical Center, part of the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in Bronx, New York.

In addition to his dozens of U.S.-based projects, Dr. Bostin's reputation as one of the foremost experts in planning children's hospitals lead to important international projects, among which were the Schneider Children's Medical Center of Israel in Tel Aviv, and the Nelson Mandela Children's Hospital in Johannesburg, South Africa. He also worked on dozens of major medical center projects for clients that were not explicitly related to children's healthcare, including Lahey Clinic Medical Center in Burlington, Massachusetts; Temple University Hospital and School of Medicine in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; Indiana University Medical Center in Indianapolis, Indiana; Yale Comprehensive Cancer Center in New Haven, Connecticut; and the Medical College of Virginia in Richmond, Virginia - just to name a few. Dr. Bostin also participated in a variety of professional associations throughout his career, including the American Hospital Association, Committee on Architecture for Health, and the Children's Hospital Association. He was often called upon for presentations or to lead panels, and was part of a delegation of healthcare leaders assembled by President George H. W. Bush for a mission to the USSR during the so-called "glasnost" period that preceded the dissolution of the Soviet Union late in 1991.

Outside of his long and impressive professional career, Dr. Bostin had a lifelong thirst for knowledge, which he fed, in great part, through extensive reading and travel. Before the era of Google and travel "apps", he would carefully research and plan trips to not only ensure comfortable accommodations, but to immerse himself in the full range of cultural, historical, and especially culinary opportunities. During a lifetime that included more than one million actual air miles, he saw sites as diverse as the Great Wall of China, the Pyramids of Egypt, Easter Island, glaciers in Antarctica, the Taj Mahal, and every corner of his beloved second home - Israel. A vital stop on any journey to a new place, however, was to sample local ice cream and chocolate.

Dr. Bostin built a wide range of collections that included rare books related to healthcare, unique and unusual "occupational" shaving mugs, and volumes filled with engraved U.S. Postal Service First Day Covers. He enjoyed music of the old standards - Frank Sinatra, Neil Diamond, Barbara Streisand; great operatic singers such as Pavarotti and Boccelli; folk hits from Pete Seeger and Peter, Paul, and Mary; a smattering of hits from the likes of Kenny Rogers and Roger Whittaker; and, when a nap was needed, the hits of fellow Canadian Gordon Lightfoot. He also had a keen eye for art and became an early fan (and collector) of works from Theo Tobiasse, Leonardo Nierman, Amos Yaskil, and Shalom of Safed. In addition, Dr. Bostin's interest in art included deep knowledge and collecting of works by the unique artist Arthur Szyk, whose religious and ethnic background overlapped greatly with his own.

Marvin Bostin was born Marvin Bornstein in Toronto, Ontario, Canada on July 3, 1933, to parents who were Jewish immigrants from Poland. He was the youngest of five children of Samuel Bornstein, the younger three of whom were with Samuel's second wife, Rose "Ruchtcha" (Mandel) Bornstein. Samuel was a tailor and, after his untimely death while Marvin was still in his teen years, Rose went on to work in retail sales until her retirement. Although money was often in short supply in Marvin's childhood during the Great Depression and then World War II, he shared mostly happy memories of this time in a tight-knit immigrant community. Marvin faced a childhood bout with Rheumatic Fever that left him bedridden for months, which was followed by a challenging recovery period. But his hard work and strong mind still allowed him to excel in his schoolwork, and he graduated from Harbord Collegiate Institute at age 16 with good enough grades to be accepted by the University of Toronto.

Marvin graduated from U of T with a degree in Pharmacy - the first in his family to receive a university degree. He then worked for a time for his brother Benny's brother-in-law's drug store. However, a mentor at the University encouraged him to pursue additional study, and he made the dramatic decision to leave Toronto to study Hospital Administration at Columbia University in New York City in the 1950's. During this period, while completing an internship at Long Island Jewish Hospital (LIJH), Marvin was counseled by a faculty mentor that with a name like his, he would be confined to working as an administrator only at Jewish hospitals. So, he dropped a few letters from Bornstein and the "Bostin" name was born! (Ultimately, during his hospital administration career, Marvin only worked at Jewish hospitals.)

During his internship at LIJH, Marvin met a medical intern named Harvey Schildkraut. Dr. Schildkraut would become a lifelong friend until his death more than 65 years later. Marvin stayed on as an administrator at LIJH where he made other lifelong friendships, including Marvin Tucker, who had founded a commercial paper products and restaurant equipment company, and fellow administrator, Edward Noroian.

Marvin married Roberta ("Robbie") Barkan, a dental hygienist, in 1960. A year or two later, they moved to Miami Beach, Florida, where he had taken a position at Mount Sinai Hospital. After about four years at Mount Sinai, they returned to New York City where they lived in the Riverdale neighborhood of the Bronx borough while Marvin began his healthcare consulting career at E.D. Rosenfeld Associates. He also began work on his Ph.D. at New York University, which he would complete about seven years later. The focus of his thesis was the impact of inequality in the administration of healthcare on minority populations. Marvin and Robbie welcomed their only son, Shep, in 1966.

In 1969, the Bostin Family moved to Stamford, Connecticut - at the time, a new suburb with many families where the fathers headed off to work in Manhattan. It was during this period that Marvin met Jim Popper, who became his accountant and lifelong friend - the only one of Marvin's closest friends to survive him. Marvin and Robbie divorced in 1979 and chose the novel approach of joint custody of their son - this was such a unique approach to child custody at the time that it landed the family in TIME magazine that year. While he was single again, Marvin purchased a home in Manchester Center, Vermont in 1983. Vermont became a refuge and a place where he always enjoyed escaping into small town life for a while. Eventually, Vermont became a place full of wonderful memories with his son and grandchildren as well.

In 1987, while working on the Schneider Children's Hospital in Tel Aviv, Israel, Marvin met Miriam Paradiz, a pediatric nurse and leader at the medical center where the hospital would be built. Miriam would be his partner and the great love of his life until his very last breath. Marvin continued to work at a steadily decreasing pace until retiring around age 75. In retirement, he and Miriam continued to travel and split their time between homes in Connecticut, Vermont, and Tel Aviv until illness and the global pandemic confined Marvin to Stamford for his last few years.

Marvin was preceded in death by his parents, sister Evelyn and brother-in-law, brother Jimmy and sister-in-law Libby, brother Irving ("Borneo") and sister-in-law Yetta, and brother Benny and sister-in-law Jean. He is survived by his beloved wife, Miriam, son Shep and daughter-in-law Judy, granddaughter Emily, grandson Jonathan and his wife Katie, and great-granddaughters Camila Rose and Juliette Pearl (Emily's daughters).

If the impact of a life can be measured in how many people love and miss you when you are gone, then Marvin Bostin had (and has) an immeasurable impact spanning countries and even continents. His advice, generosity, and ever-present sense of humor touched all who loved him. Marvin is also survived by: The above only scratches the surface of the many family members and friends too numerous to list here, who nonetheless felt the impact of Marvin's love, and will feel the gravity of his absence. May his memory forever be a blessing.