VILLAGE MEMBER STORIES
Sam Marwit (Dover)
Where are you from and how did you find yourself in New Hampshire?
I was born in Far Rockaway, New York and grew up in Queens and later Nassau County. I went to the University of Michigan where I got a B.A. majoring in psychology and then to SUNY Buffalo for a Ph.D. in clinical psychology. From there, I took a first job at the University of Missouri-St. Louis with the expectation of staying for a year or two and moving on, but as life would have it, I wound up staying in St. Louis for the next 39 years.
New Hampshire has figured into my life in strange ways. My first serious job offer was at the University of New Hampshire, which I turned down to go to St. Louis and my last not so serious job offer was at the University of New Hampshire when I returned to the area in 2008, which I again turned down because I was retired from academia.
While in St. Louis, I frequented New Hampshire with friends to fly fish the Ammonoosuc and Androscoggin rivers, mostly to learn that I was not very good at it. My wife Barbara Lehocky and I later owned a condo on Newfound Lake that served as a base for skiing and summer sports. So, I visited often and fell in love with the state. When it was time to leave St. Louis “for one more life adventure,” the natural destination was New Hampshire with Barbara and I saying “why not retire where you vacation.”
We settled in Dover and now I devote some time to serving on the Village board and to develop the Village membership in the Dover area.
What did you do before retiring?
In the beginning, I ran the University Counseling Services and later switched to a graduate teaching/research position in the Psychology Department and all along, I nurtured a thriving clinical practice. Much of my work focused on late life and end of life issues, which I most recently brought to New Hampshire in a consulting capacity.
In St. Louis, I co-founded a teaching/research/community education group called Resources for Crisis and Change, was on numerous editorial boards for significant journals in the field of end of life, taught internationally (e.g., Hebrew University in Jerusalem, Medical Academy of Latvia, and elsewhere), and am told that my teaching truth telling in medicine at the end of life was primarily responsible for the development of 25-30 modern hospice programs in the Baltic nations where none existed prior. This latter is thanks to being a non-physician member of an international USAID-sponsored medical exchange program resulting from a multi-year grant written by my wonderful, lovely, talented wife (whose own story needs to be shared at some point). I left St. Louis a Diplomate in Clinical Psychology and a Professor Emeritus.
Despite all this, my most major accomplishments, as far as I am concerned, are being a devoted husband and having raised two wonderful sons whom I love dearly and who themselves are splendid fathers. I have three grandchildren who are the joy of my life. I also have a dog I like a lot.
What role do you see the Village playing in your life as you grow older?
I anticipate that the Village will meet Barbara’s and my needs to age in place. We have what we consider a lovely home on the Cocheco river and are not interested in giving this up. Barbara and I have already made new, lifelong, highly valued and trustworthy friends as a result of being Village members, and we feel this community of like-minded folks can only get stronger with time and exposure.
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