MATTHEW I. SPETTER

Obituary
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  • "Dr Mathew Spetter--A perfect GENTLEMAN in all meanings of..."
  • ""Grandpa Spetter" as we lovingly referred to you and will..."
    - Tania Roopnarine
  • "Death leaves a heartache no one can heal, love leaves a..."
    - Ann Cusa
  • "I will always remember Dr. Spetter with his pipe and his..."
  • "I love Dr Spetter and was inspired by him for fifty years..."
    - Eric Offner
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SPETTER--Dr. Matthew Ies died peacefully at his home on December 30, 2012, surrounded by his family. He was 91 years old. Born in the Netherlands he participated in the Dutch resistance during World War II until his capture by the Nazis. He was imprisoned in several concentration camps including Auschwitz and Buchenwald. A witness at the International War Criminal Trials in Nuremburg, Germany, and a part of G2 and G3 American Intelligence, he was awarded the Resistance Cross by the Government of the Netherlands. In 1951, Dr. Spetter and his family moved to the United States where he became involved in the Ethical Culture Society. He became a Leader of the Riverdale Yonkers Ethical Culture society for a period of 40 years and the Chairman of the Department of Ethics for the three Ethical Culture schools. He also taught at the Encampment for Citizenship of the American Ethical Union. Dr. Spetter worked for human rights, civil rights and international peace. He was an associate professor at the Peace Studies Institute and the Department of Religion at Manhattan College, a very active member of the community and a founding member of the Riverdale Clergy Council. As a Clinical Member of the American Association for Family Therapy, and as a therapist, Dr. Spetter understood the importance of mental health. He founded the Riverdale Mental Health Clinic in 1960, an important community resource today. Dr. Spetter was also an author of numerous, annotated lectures regarding what matters about life, radio programs and publications including his books The Courage to Stand Alone, Man the Reluctant Brother and To Deny the Night. He will be greatly missed by all who knew him or simply heard him speak. The reach of his words and his work is vast. Dr. Spetter is survived by his son Job, Job's wife Gina and their sons Chase and Job Robert, his daughter Ruth and step-children Connie Boykan, Rick Berke, Gary Berke and Wendy Berke Hall and their respective families. Dr. Spetter's daughter Sanne and wives Suze, Ina and Sylvia predeceased him. In lieu of flowers, donations in the memory of Dr. Spetter may be made to the Riverdale Mental Health Clinic or the Riverdale Yonkers Ethical Culture Society. A memorial service will be held later in 2013. Please contact The Riverdale Yonkers Society for Ethical Culture for details.

Published in The New York Times on Jan. 6, 2013
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