Alvin Marcus had a lifelong love of music, and it began in Frankfort.
Marcus, 90, died July 15 at his home in Phoenix, Arizona.
His brother, Bob Marcus of Woodland Hills, California, said Alvin’s love of the mechanics of the piano were nurtured while he was a student apprentice of Dr. Carl Fudge Sr., then the director of the Frankfort YMCA, who refurbished pianos on the top floor of the Bridge Street YMCA.
“He loved children,” Bob Marcus said of his brother, “and he wanted to make children accessible to great music. In the spirit of Leonard Bernstein, he made music enjoyable for youngsters, and that’s something I admired very, very much about him.”
Alvin Marcus was born in Lexington and grew up in Frankfort. He left Frankfort after graduating from Frankfort High, attended the University of Kentucky and Transylvania University and earned a master’s degree in music from the Cincinnati Conservatory of Music.
“I used to call him, and we’d discuss a piece of music for long periods of time,” Bob Marcus said. “I’m going to miss that.”
According to his obituary, Alvin Marcus served as a professor in Indiana and Arizona. His involvement ranged from department chair at Northern Arizona University to orchestra conductor and band conductor in elementary and high schools, to churches as choir conductor with his wife, Audrey, as organist and the private Marcus Piano Studio.
Besides his family and music, Alvin Marcus also loved animals.
“He really should have been a veterinarian,” Bob Marcus said. “He’s seven years older than me. I had a dog named Mickey, and she contracted distemper. Mickey wouldn’t eat anything at all; she was dying. I can see it to this day.
“We took Mickey up to a doll house; we used to live on Shelby Street. Alvin went down and got an ice cream sandwich and put it right in front of Mickey’s face. She slowly started licking the ice cream. She ate it all, and it brought her back to life. I’ll never forget that.”
Bob Marcus said his brother was also a composer who wrote a symphony and a violin concerto.
Alvin Marcus’ love of music was something he shared.
“Mr. Marcus is remembered fondly for introducing me to the beauty and endurance of classical music,” Frankfort resident Robert Smith wrote. “An appreciation and love of the great works has stayed with me throughout my life.
“Consequently, our two sons grew up with the great masters’ works. As a graduate of the world-renowned Cincinnati Conservatory, his influence was instrumental in our oldest son becoming a violinist.”
Alvin Marcus was preceded in death by his wife and his sisters, Betty J. Isaacs and Elaine S. Levine. His survivors include four children, 16 grandchildren, four great-grandchildren and his brother.
His only family member still in Frankfort is cousin Sam Marcus.
Visitation and the funeral will be Thursday in Phoenix.
What does Bob Marcus remember as his brother’s best attribute?
“Kindness,” he said. “He was in tune with people’s feelings.”