By: Peggy d’Albert
A great match made in Maryland (37 years later).
Marcella is lively, vivacious, and determined. She spent her formative years in Baltimore. She knew her calling early and earned her Master’s Degree in social work. She knew her community well, first working with pregnant teenagers and mothers with children. In a highly diversified career she became the executive director of The Leadership, a training program for corporate executives. Next she became vice president of a company, “Manchester,” a human resources consulting firm, headquartered in Philadelphia. Her focus always has been on the women’s movement, so she became president of the Baltimore N.O.W. (National Organization for Women). Next she went to the House of Ruth, a shelter for abused women that often involved drugs, and, at times, prison sentences.
Marcella took board positions at City Life Museums, The National Aquarium in Baltimore, and a Community Foundation. An earlier marriage produced a son, now married with three children. She and Michael have a daughter, who is now a married physician with a son and a horse farm in New Hampshire.
Marcella and Michael moved to Tampa in 1997 to expand her job. Manchester closed, but she carried on. Michael developed a large private practice, treating severely disabled children. Later, the family moved to Sarasota, where Michael started a training institute for psychotherapists.
Michael is reserved, calm, supportive, a good listener with a sense of humor, and always has a twinkle in his eye. He began his life in a farming community in Iowa and the family of three lived in a small trailer. He was the first in his family to graduate from college (Cedar Rapids, Iowa). His first career goal was as a pharmacist. A wise friend challenged him to apply to medical school. Of course, he made it!
He went from the farm to the pharmacy to an internship at Montreal General Hospital for pediatric residency, then back to the U.S. at the University of Maryland in Baltimore. In 1967, he was drafted into the army medical corps for a one year tour in Vietnam, then Germany for two years. His career began with psychiatry, then child psychiatry, often culminating in family therapy, for approximately 25 years. He taught at Johns Hopkins Hospital, where Marcella met him, teaching at a seminar. He still has his own small private practice right here in Sarasota! His goals fulfilled, including a “big house,” Victorian, a replica of Longfellow’s. A few houses later and “no pine box,” eventually they found their way to Plymouth Harbor with thanks to Judy Liersch and Al Jennings. Together they have traveled all around the globe.
It is a delight to have Michael and Marcella in our midst. How often do we find passion and compassion combined. A hearty welcome!