Cora and Dr. Mars Custodio.

Sent to the Filipino Reporter from the Ma-Yi Theater Company


On a Thursday, Nov. 2, 2017, Ma-Yi Theater Company bid farewell to a dear friend and longtime board member Dr. Marcelito Custodio.

“Mars,” as he was fondly called by many, chaired Ma-Yi’s Board of Directors from 2000 to 2005, overseeing the company’s most significant growth spurt during which Ma-Yi Theater doubled in size, and established a permanent endowment fund.

Mars spearheaded efforts to stabilize the theater’s operations, and he energized the board to become more active in Ma-Yi’s operations.

As an accomplished painter, Mars possessed a keen eye for theater.

“I always sought out Mars’ opinion after a show,” says Ma-Yi Artistic Director Ralph B. Peña.

“He would point out what worked, what didn’t, and why. Mars and Cora came to every show we did, and the two made for formidable, discerning audience members whose opinions we came to value greatly.”

Jorge Z. Ortoll, who now serves on the Ma-Yi Board with Mars, says, “He is a true friend, and a staunch ally of Ma-Yi since its inception, 29 years ago.”

Warm, funny, sharp-witted, and with an easy smile, Mars is family to us, and we will hold him close to our hearts, always. All of us at Ma-Yi Theater are thinking of his family, and especially, his wife Cora.

Mars Custodio’s obituary in The New York Times:

CUSTODIO — Dr. Marcelito C. of Manhattan, NY; Hopatcong, NJ; and Manila, Philippines passed away on Thursday, November 2, 2017 with his loving family at his side.

He was born in the Philippines in 1942; finished secondary schooling at De La Salle; and completed college and medical school at the University of the Philippines.

He immigrated to the United States in 1969 and continued his medical training at St. Barnabas and Newark Beth Israel Medical Centers in New Jersey and MD Anderson Medical Center in Texas.

Board certified in Internal Medicine and Medical Oncology, he started his practice in the metropolitan New Jersey area with Oncology Associates (Cohen, Lippman, Custodio & Steinbaum) and Combined Hematology and Oncology Practice (Custodio, Druck & Palathingal).

He was Chief of Oncology at Christ Hospital and Irvington General Hospital in New Jersey for many years.

He was loved by his patients, respected by his colleagues, and received numerous accolades and recognitions for his medical and humanitarian achievements.

Retiring in 2002 at age 60 to start the next phase of his life, he pursued his art and supported various causes serving on the boards of Ma-Yi Theater Company, Apicha Community Health Center (formerly the Asian and Pacific Islander Coalition on HIV/AIDS), and Society of Philippine American Artists.

He joined medical missions through the University of the Philippines Medical Alumni Society in America (UPMASA), providing medical care to underserved rural areas in the Philippines.

He is survived by his wife Cora; his children Christian and his wife Andrea; Victoria and her husband Randy; Paolo and his wife Yvanna; and his grandchildren Carson, Robbie, Olivia, and Jonas.

The wake will be held at The Church of St. Francis Xavier in Manhattan on Saturday, November 11, 2017 at 9am and a Funeral Mass will follow at 10am.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made in memory of Mars to Ma-Yi Theater Company, Apicha Community Health Center, or Society of Philippine American Artists.

Add comment

Security code

Latest comments