We deeply mourn the passing of our friend and colleague, Todd Spencer. A devoted staff member for twenty-two years and an alum of Phoenix House, Todd joined the maintenance staff in 1991 after successfully completing treatment. Todd took great pride in his work, seeing to the upkeep of the Phoenix House Jack Aron Center, a multi-program facility and headquarters of Phoenix House Foundation on Manhattan’s Upper West Side. Todd was always there to help others, tending to the needs of in-house staff, a friendly presence we could count on coming to our offices every day. He served as a mentor and role model to clients, showing them diligence and pride in sustaining recovery, always there to give encouragement if he noticed a struggling soul in need of comfort. Over the years, clients, staff, and counselors came and went, though Todd was a constant and loyal member of the Phoenix House family.
A beautiful memorial service celebrating Todd’s life was hosted by Todd’s family for his friends and acquaintances in Mount Vernon, New York. Many Phoenix House staff members attended, those very close friends from Todd’s “second family” who worked side by side with him every day. Phoenix House Founder Mitch Rosenthal, M.D. spoke at the memorial, reflecting on Todd’s influence on both staff and clients over the years, his kind and gentle presence, and positive work ethic.
“To Todd, his work was important, because he gave it importance,” Dr. Rosenthal said. “And this was the lesson he taught a generation of residents who worked for and with him. Work may be elevating, but it is not the work that ennobles the worker. But rather, as Todd taught us, it is the the worker who ennobles the work.”
Our lives are richer for having known him and having shared his warm friendship. We celebrate the positive influence he had on our lives and extend our heartfelt prayers and deepest condolences to Todd’s family.
The Phoenix House Jack Aron Center’s dedicated programs on Manhattan’s Upper West Side give adults, teens, and members of the military community the support they need to achieve lasting recovery. Our Community Residence program provides short-term residential substance abuse treatment for men and women, and our outpatient programs provide men and women with clinical services promoting personal growth and relapse prevention.
Find out more about the programs and services offered at Phoenix House, or call our toll-free number today:1 888 671 9392.