Saturday, January 21, 2012
As you may have heard, Mary Spink, the community activist and executive director of Lower East Side People’s Mutual Housing Association, died on Monday. She was 64. As The Lo-Down first reported, she had been battling a failing liver and kidneys.
She was a well-respected member of Community Board 3. Spink has had a long, varied career. Per The Lo-Down: "After arriving in the city as a teenager, she owned and operated a dress shop, a newsstand and a hardware store. She was a cook, a record promoter, a brick layer, a dancer, a waitress, a plumber, an office manager, a superintendent and a property manager. She served as Director of Drug Prevention for the Archdiocese of New York."
She volunteered as a board or committee member at more than 20 organizations including 19 years as a board or committee member of the LES Peoples Federal Credit Union, 14 years as a board member of the National Federation of Community Development Credit Unions, and for nine years served as a board member and Chair of the Lower Eastside Girls Club.
"Mary was a feminist in a league with Emma Goldman, a community activist in a league with Jane Jacobs, a personality in a league of her own," Lyn Pentecost, executive director of the Lower Eastside Girls Club, told me via email. "Without Mary as our Board Chair in our critical years — we would not be building a. Girls Club today."
Tomorrow at 5:30, community members will take part in a service at Cooper Union (Seventh Street and Third Avenue).