Marc J. Silbert’s sense of humor, encyclopedic knowledge of just about everything and dedication to community activism were only a few of the traits that led to success in his varied positions, including village trustee, police commissioner and chief emergency manager, all of Sands Point. He was also director of Long Island Temps, a Westbury staffing firm.
“Marc never said no to whatever job needed to be done,” said Sands Point Mayor Edward Adler, who encouraged Silbert to become a trustee in 2001. “People like Marc are just what makes this village tick.”
Silbert, a longtime Sands Point resident, died Saturday of heart illness. He was 68.
Silbert was born in the Bronx and moved to Great Neck when he was 10. He grew up there with his identical twin, Evan, and their younger brother, Sam.
“To speak to Evan is to speak to Marc,” said Marc’s wife, Peggy Silbert, whom he met while the two were in high school and married in 1975. “Evan starts a sentence, Marc finishes it. Vice versa.”
She described them as the closest twins she had ever seen.
“One mensch of a guy,” Evan Silbert of San Mateo, California, said of his brother, with whom he would create faux publications playfully mocking their close friends as a way to keep in touch despite living on different coasts.
Silbert attended New York University, where he studied history and physics, which added to the wealth of information he was always thrilled to share with those around him, family said.
Even during difficult situations, he eagerly demonstrated his command of trivia, responding to “Jeopardy!” prompts faster than the participants on screen, Peggy Silbert said.
Silbert began his career in 1974 as a consultant for the Robert Half staffing agency, which he became president of at its New York headquarters. After leaving in 1987, Silbert continued consulting for 15 years, before joining Long Island Temps in 2002.
As a Sands Point village trustee, Silbert took on leadership roles, such as police commissioner and chief emergency manager.
It was the mutual respect he developed with the police force and his constant support of their work that allowed him to create such a strong bond with the force and all other departments, Mayor Adler said.
Of all the roles Silbert filled, the most important was as a father.
“You look at people’s careers and resumes and, really, his was ‘dad,’” his son Ryan Silbert of Manhattan said. “He was an idealized father not just for us, but for anyone who saw him as a father.”
Aside from his love of golf and the Yankees, Silbert was a creative soul, influencing Ryan’s career as a filmmaker. He was a tremendous storyteller, and pop-culturally spiritual, Ryan Silbert said.
Silbert’s younger son, Adam of Brooklyn, described his father as a funny optimist, not just to him, but to everyone around him.
“His acts of kindness, as well as his warmth, humor, wit and generosity extended to loved ones, friends and strangers,” Adam Silbert said. “He made every person he ever interacted with feel special.”
Services were held Tuesday at The Community Synagogue in Sands Point, followed by a shiva at the Village Club of Sands Point. After the funeral, his coffin passed an honor guard of dozens of Sands Point police officers, as well as police and fire department officers from other municipalities.
Besides his wife, sons, and twin brother, Silbert is survived by his younger brother, Sam, of Scottsdale, Arizona.