Brother Marvin G. Tesler

July 23rd 1926 – April 2nd 2010

brother Marvin G. Tesler

The following Biography was prepared by Brother Marvin’s daughter Pam

Brother Marvin Gerald Tesler was born in Providence, RI in 1926, son of the late Harry and Evelyn “Nan” Tesler of Attleboro, MA.

Brother Marvin G. Tesler was a sergeant in the US Army and served as a medic in the 44th Infantry Division, the “Blue Devils” in Italy. He was the longtime proprietor of Charles Package Store “The House of Good Spirits”, Attleboro, MA for 45 years, and known as “Cousin Marvin” to his loyal patrons.

 Marvin was a member of the Attleboro High Class of ’44, served as class president for the duration of his life, and chaired the 65th reunion committee. He was a proud graduate of Brown University Class of ’49, and served as President of the Tower Club. He was a lifetime member of Temple Beth-El, Providence, RI, where he served on the Board and was an Honorary Life Trustee. He was a member of the University Club (RI), Boca West Country Club, Boca Raton, FL, Highland Country Club, Attleboro, MA, and a former member of Ledgemont Country Club, Seekonk, MA. He was a proud 32nd Degree Ancient Accepted Scottish Rite Mason, Shriners International, and a Master Mason at Ezekiel Bates Lodge A.F. & A.M. in Attleboro, MA.

Marvin G. Tesler was the beloved husband of “his bride”, the late Marilyn “Lynne” Schaffer Tesler for 45 years. He was the beloved husband of Joyce Schreiber Tesler for 10 years and cherished step-father and step-grandfather to her children and grandchildren. He was the dear brother of Eleanor (and the late Marcus) Rand. Marvin was the most beloved father of Pamela Tesler Howitt (and the Honorable Steven) of Massachusetts, and Peter J. Tesler, MD (and Deborah, MD) of New York, and the cherished grandfather of Jacob, Lucas and Zachary.

 Marvin was a consummate gentleman, friend, music lover, oenophile and avid golfer. He always “treated others as he would want to be treated”, and believed in giving back to his community and to those less fortunate. He had a marvelous sense of humor, and was an accomplished businessman. As he was known to say about his golf game, “Go ahead, asked me how I played…Don’t ask!”

 Brother Marvin passed on April 2, 2010 and is deeply and forever loved and missed.


An Article by Mark Flanagan at the Sun Chronicle

To read the original, please click here

We’re all related, somebody observed, if you go back to Noah.

In downtown Attleboro for a few decades, everybody was related by way of the man who ran the corner liquor store.

“Hello, cousin!” was the standard greeting from Marvin G. Tesler to all he knew. And Cousin Marvin, as he came to be known, seemed to know everybody you might see on the streets in a five-block radius of Charles Package store at Pleasant and Park streets.

We sadly learned last week of his death on April 2 at a Del ray Beach, Fla., hospice center. He was 83. Funeral services were held Thursday in Temple Beth-El, Providence.

Tesler will be remembered in local history as one of the figures who tried to build a bridge from the old downtown Attleboro to the new.

The package store that Tesler ran for 45 years was already a landmark when he took it over. It had previously been Charles’ Fruit Store, operated by his father, Harry Tesler. As little as two years ago, an oldtimer – I’ve got some nerve using that expression; let’s say old timer – buttonholed me to tell me about the incredible bargains that could be found there on a Saturday morning. That was the day, I had heard in earlier stories, when families from Norton and West Mansfield would pile into their cars for a big shopping trip, all the way to “Charlie’s Fruits” and the other stores in downtown Attleboro.

But that was in the pre-World War II days, long before Emerald Square opened in North Attleboro and a retail boom along Route 1 dealt a knockout blow to retail in downtown Attleboro. Marvin Tesler was one of a few to make a stand. He joined with Calvin Archard, owner of London’s, in an urban renewal project that transformed the old first block of Park and Emory Street from a collection of crowded wood-frame store buildings to a plaza with adequate parking. The retailers who initially filled it eventually yielded to a museum and health service offices, while Tesler sold his business and later moved to Rhode Island. The package store remains on the corner, however, under the name City Spirits.

Tesler will be remembered as well for the professionalism he brought to the package store business. He played by the rules and had a high degree of expertise about his product, though I never felt he was as successful in teaching his customers about fine wines as he would have liked.

But mostly, he’ll be remembered, as it was put in his obituary, as “a consummate gentleman, friend, music lover, oenophile and avid golfer.” One who, I would add, thrived on bringing people together.

That was the case last September when he, along with a few other committee members, brought the Attleboro High School Class of 1944 for a 65th-year reunion. It was the 13th consecutive reunion; the class had never missed a five-year milestone. “Getting together is like, there’s my youth, my growing up, my family,” Tesler observed at the gathering.

He played a similar role with the Class of 1949 at Brown University, from which he graduated after serving as a sergeant and medic with the Army’s 44th “Blue Devils” Infantry Division in Italy. His associations extended to the Tower Club, the University Club of Rhode Island, Boca West Country Club in Florida and Highland Country Club, the Shriners and the Attleboro lodge of Masons.

Condolences go to his wife, daughter, son, grandchildren, stepchildren and stepgrandchildren. And they go as well to the uncounted members of Marvin Tesler’s huge extended family. “So long, cousin,” can be hard words to say.

Marvin G. Tesler