J. Marvin Bloom, optometrist

J. Marvin Bloom
J. Marvin Bloom
Posted: June 11, 2014

J. Marvin Bloom, 81, of Blue Bell, an optometrist in Center City for 40 years, died Saturday, May 24, of cancer at his home.

Before retiring in 2000, Dr. Bloom practiced optometry and fitted patients with contact lenses from an office at 12th and Market Streets. He was much beloved by his many patients, his family said.

"We are hearing from hundreds of people who knew him. It is unbelievable," said his wife, Dene Samitz Bloom.

Born in Chester, Dr. Bloom graduated from Chester High School in 1950 and the Pennsylvania College of Optometry with a doctor of optometry degree in 1955.

He served in the Army from 1956 to 1958 in the Medical Clinic at Fort Carson, Colo., and then at Fort Sheridan, Ill. He was an Army reservist from 1958 to 1962.

Known to friends as "Marvelous Marvin," Dr. Bloom had many interests. He played violin with several community orchestras and also played a Jewish chant as part of the service sung on the eve of Yom Kippur at Congregation Or Ami in Lafayette Hill. Dr. Bloom played the violin, accompanied by an organist.

"The tradition was begun by him, and they did it for many years," his wife said.

He also enjoyed classical music, doing home repairs, volunteering for Meals on Wheels, and driving patients to and from dialysis or cancer treatments.

Grandson Alex Billings said his grandfather was an inspiration who led by example and careful tutorials: "He wouldn't just help me out with something, he would teach me how to do it the right way, so I didn't need help next time."

Granddaughter Jen Leopold said Dr. Bloom was "the rock" that held the family together. "He made those around him feel welcomed, always taught a meaningful lesson, gave advice, and loved his family more than anything in the world," she said.

Besides his wife of 56 years, he is survived by daughters Rachel Bloom Leopold and Lisa Bloom Billings; a son, L. Stephen; and five grandchildren.

Services were May 28.


bcook@phillynews.com

610-313-8102

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