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Reflections on Lemuel Mial

Phenomenal Family Man, Friend, Musician, Artist, Sage, Advocate for the People

Mr. Lemuel Mial will be remembered for his brilliance, creativity, and his dedication to the transformation of the Von King Cultural Arts Center into a Sanctuary for the Neighborhood. I am happy to have had the opportunity to work alongside him to make Von King a park for all ages. Under his leadership, I learned so much. He was not just a man behind the desk; you also had to join him. He was willing to work with anyone to provide programs for the community. “No was unacceptable!”
I will always remember the fun times when Mial and I would dress up as Mr. & Mrs. Santa Claus, Mr. & Mrs. Easter Bunny, and The Monsters for Halloween. Before we dressed up, Mial would have detailed designs and blueprints for each stage program. Everyone would have a hammer; no details could be missed.
He wanted the best for the community he served. And thousands of children and families, hundreds of thousands of residents received the best from him. He was a man of excellence.

KAREN GRIPPER/ Friend and Former Co-worker

A friend was listening to some classic tunes the other day, and my mind instantly ran to Mr. Mial. I knew of Mr. Mial for many years before I began working for and with him at Von King. That experience confirmed everything that I had heard of him and more. He was a joy to be around.
He was professional, he was fair, he was kind, and he was exceptionally creative. He and his wife were the epitome of the now-trending term “Black love.”
I loved him and appreciated every moment, every project, and every event. I know his heavenly wings are genuinely majestic and fit for a king.

DEIRDRA LACY/Friend and Former Co-Worker

Mr. Mial’s was warm like an old shoe that fits exactly right. From the time he walked into my life (or I came into his), he was a friend who was more like a brother.
Conversations with him from the onset were fluid and notable. We composed songs together; we created music for schoolchildren. Mial’s had that way about him; the ability to bring out the best and take the best to higher ground; Even now, several months after his passing, I pick up the phone to call him, forgetting that Mr. Mial has finally found a better home.

LARRY BANKS/Friend, Former Co-worker, Co-Composer, “Like an Oak Tree” (First ecology song dedicated to the children of Brooklyn)

Lemuel Mial was an amazing leader who positively affected thousands of lives during his 30-career with NYC Parks. He made a considerable mark in improving the quality of life in Brooklyn. That spirit will continue in the thousands of lives he has touched.
The love and enthusiasm he had were contagious to all who got involved with Herbert Von King Park, both youth and adults. A great example is the “Von King Dinner Theater” series. From singing to composing and recording original music to his performances to theatrical lighting, set design, and sound to the culinary arts and community service, Lem inspired so many to do their absolute best and to strive towards perfection.

MARTIN “Marty” MAHER/NYC PARKS Brooklyn Borough Commissioner

Mr. Mial was my second father. A man of great wisdom, a sage, my counselor. We built sets together for every production at the Von King Cultural Arts Center. He was a man of wisdom, a man who could shape a whole new world from scraps of wood.
If you could think it, you could create it. And we always did because, like a good father, he always found a way. I loved working with him. I loved the man.”


BERRIS ALSTON/Former-Co-worker and job son

My dad was an extraordinary man; he always could make you laugh no matter what.


My dad was an amazing man of very few words who loved you unconditionally in his amazing way.


My father was fearless, full of faith, and unique to a fault because he was unafraid to be himself. What others believed or thought made no difference to him. He was consistent. He spoke truth to power. And, yet, he was humble.


My granddad always motivated me to ‘Never Give Up!’ ‘The Sky’s the Limit! ‘ he would tell me. And he was right. He inspires me, still.

OLIVIA CROSBY/Granddaughter

Mial was an awesome mentor and supporter to me for 17 years at NYC Parks. He and I executed the first Special Olympics at BRC in Brownsville when he was the manager. He put his trust and confidence in me, and under his leadership, I nailed it – just as he said I would.
“Boss man, I know you are bidding adieu to all of us; just know that your legacy will remain deeply inscribed in our hearts.”


NEVERSEE DAVIS/Friend and Ex-Coworker

My dad wasn’t a man of many words, but when he spoke…you could always count on it being honest and quick. It may not have been what you wanted to hear, but it was always what you needed to know.


My grandfather was very talented, especially in music and writing. He was also inspiring to me because of his acts of everyday kindness.

RENEE CAVINESS/Granddaughter

Hey Mial’s, we love you. Being friends with a brother like you was easy. But losing you was hard. And of all the love songs we sang, your notes on good living, and how you lifted your voice on behalf of the people are the soundtracks for life and living we will never forget.
U4RIA agrees that though our harmonies were tight, our friendship was tighter. We are still four singers with one sound: Boo, Lee, and Don. And Mial … Love for Eternity.

EDMOND BADY/ U4RIA vocal group

Lem and I loved playing golf. We both were highly competitive, but we always had a great time. We would not just play; we also had good conversations. He taught me a lot about life, and I appreciated his advice. I miss those days, and, more importantly, I miss our friendship. Rest in peace, my brother; I’ll see you on the 19th hole.

RICHARD JARRELL/Brother-in-law

Mial was educated, talented, and a gentle soul. He was a loving man with a great spirit and a jack of all trades. You name it; he did it! He was a leader, songwriter, and teacher, to name a few of his unique attributes. We are all truly blessed to have shared those special times with him during our singing career! He will be deeply missed.



My grandfather was a cool, calm, collected, loving, and caring man. He respected his grandchildren’s opinions and accomplishments and encouraged us. To do our best at all times. Grandfather, you are the best.


My ‘Pop’ was incredibly special to me in many ways; whenever I needed advice or attempted to solve a problem or seek alternatives, I went to him. Pop had a unique way of guiding me in the right direction. I will miss his wit, knowledge, and the love he showed us.


I knew Lem for over 50 years, and during that time, he was always a quiet/gentle person who never had a bad thought about, or a negative response, to any individual. My experiences with him started at a very young age; he was my basketball coach. His children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren adored him. Moreover, his wife Charlotte, my sister, loved him.

THOMAS E. JARRELL/Brother-in-law

I have been blessed with a man who was everything to me: a friend, a confidant, a teacher, and a kindred spirit. If I ever write a story about true love, it will be all about Lem – the love of my life.

Dynamic Duo, Charlotte R. Jarrell-Mial and Lemuel Mial


My grandfather lived his life without a care in the world, and I plan on continuing his legacy.

-Ishawn Owens

Our grandfather was an iconoclast, a true one of a kind.


-Maya Herdigein

My favorite quote of my grandfather’s was- “Is that a trick question.”

-Qwentyn Jarrell