Greystone Oral Histories

Former Employees, Interns, and Students


Numerous employees including those in the training stage of their careers or on temporary assignment, CEOs, department heads, and long term professional staff recollect how working at Greystone left an indelible impression on them. Children of Greystone employees who grew up on its campus also share stories of their unique childhoods.

Vilma Berry, Quality Assurance Director (1980-2016)
As the QA Director, Vilma was responsible for the hospital’s compliance with 1,200 patient care regulatory standards. Vilma also talks about the highly successful transition of patients from the former hospital to the new Greystone in 2008.

David Bugen, Associate Hospital Administrator to CEO (1976-1979)
David describes his prior employment at the state agency overseeing Greystone and the various areas of institutional change he implemented at Greystone.

Russ Carey, Groundskeeper (Spring 1977-1979)
Russ credits his work at Greystone as the starting off point in his life long career as a landscaper.

Dr. Thomas Craig, Medical Director (1977-1988)
Dr. Ilana Lev-El,, Clinical Psychologist (1973-74, late 1975-1991)

Dr. Craig and his wife, Dr. Lev-El describe the post- Doe v. Klein changes that Dr. Craig introduced including a strong emphasis on family participation, an interdisciplinary treatment approach, and extensive outreach to other service providers.

Father Bob Diachek, Catholic Chaplain (1980-1998)
Father Bob recounts his focus on providing spiritual comfort to patients, staff, and family members as well as organizing the local churches to engage with Greystone patients.

Morris Foye III, CEO Greystone Hospital  (1971-1974)
Morris provides a candid view of his unique tenure as Greystone’s first non-medical CEO.

Henry Howerton, Assistant Administrator to 2 CEOs, President of Greystone’s local AFSCME union. 30 years tenure.
Henry provides a unique perspective, both as a union officer and then as an administrator, into staffing concerns including racial inequity.

Grover Kemble,  Music Therapist, Recreation Supervisor,
Summers (1967-1970), Full-Time (1985-2010)

Grover offers an extensive range of experiences at Greystone:
His father worked there as a psychiatrist, Grover worked in the Recreation Therapy Dept. for many years and retired as its Director.  He was very active in the Preserve Greystone movement and was the author/performer of  the “They’re Trying to Tear Ol’ Greystone  Down” song.

Richard Maizell, Psychology Intern (9/85-6/86)
Dr. Maizell shares his experience working in the Dormitory and the Krol Ward (patients found not guilty by reason of insanity). His responsibilities included providing therapy to patients, conducting evaluations, and supporting family members.

Gary Makus
NJ State Health Inspector (REHS), Greystone Hospital (1976-2008)

Gary provides detailed descriptions of Greystone’s various public health issues and his recommendations for corrective action.

Karl Marx, H.R. Director, Business Manager (1952-1988)
Karl was highly regarded by many employees as the steady hand that guided Greystone through many years of change. He shares his recollections of successfully performing his extensive responsibilities and the institutional changes during his tenure.

Viollett McGee, Assistant Hospital Administrator (1964-1999)
Viollett discusses her role as a nursing and then general hospital administrator as well as the staff education activities which she oversaw.

Peggy Mesinger, Director of Pastoral Services (1976-2001)
Peggy describes the uplifting impact her 25 years of pastoral care had on patients who actively participated in the creation of a spiritual community.

Greg Roberts, CEO, Greystone Hospital (2000-2003)
Greg describes Greystone’s challenges, the importance of a committed team and accomplishments during his tenure.

Michael Sclafani, Supervising Program Development Specialist (1962-1977)
Michael documents his influential role in introducing innovative treatment approaches such as the concept of “normalization” and the establishment of the very first free standing group of residence cottages for inpatient treatment on the grounds of a state psychiatric hospital in the United States.

Doug Scherzer, Patrolman, Greystone Park Police Dept. (1978-1982)
Doug describes unique aspects of Greystone’s Police Dept. and his wide range of duties including interacting with criminally insane patients and patrolling Greystone’s fabled ducts.

Geri Silk, Dance Therapist (1980-1985)
Geri’s recollections of her employment at Greystone, reflect her free spirit and originality when creatively engaging patients. She also describes her participation in the various advocacy efforts to save Greystone’s last standing building.

Norma Stanton, R.N., Student Nurse (1954-1955)
Norma describes her very positive experience as a nurse in training and provides a glimpse into the nursing profession in the 1950’s.

Bill Ulrich,  ACSW, Director, Social Services Dept., Volunteer – Post Retirement (1958-1991)
Bill’s touching stories of preparing patients for their discharges and taking them to the opera as a connection to the outside world, speaks to his upbeat belief in the potential of Greystone residents.

Growing Up at Greystone

Butch Acker – Growing Up At Greystone (1944-1961)
Butch reflects on his father’s position as Greystone’s Fire Chief and the unique experience of living on the Greystone campus during his childhood and teen years.

Susan Fechtmann, Family Member
Susan (nee Koch) Fechtmann’s grandfather and father played prominent roles as the heads of Greystone’s Groundskeeping Dept. and Greystone’s current address is 59 Koch Ave. Susan (center of photo) reminisces about her idyllic childhood growing up on Greystone’s campus.

Harry Noble, Three Generations at Greystone 
Harry recalls the pleasures of growing up at Greystone, along with other WWII veterans’ children. Harry also gives vivid descriptions of being employed at Greystone, as were his parents and son. He shares his supportive perspective of individuals with mental illness.

Jim Zeis, Greystone Was His Home, Infancy-Marriage 
Jim’s father was Greystone’s head gardener and Jim shares his fond memories of growing up on the campus, which he says “was a great way of life”.