Dr. Joel M. Spiro

January 25, 1938


Joel Spiro, 83 of Slingerlands, NY, passed away peacefully on April 27th, 2021, the beloved husband of Kira Spiro. A physician, epicurean, and a lover of the arts, he met life with a special verve, enriching the social and cultural centers of Albany with his knowledge and enthusiasm. He treated thousands of patients in the greater capital area who remember fondly his friendly manner and medical expertise.


Joel was born in Brooklyn, NY, and raised in Queens, NY. He attended Brooklyn Technical High School, Hofstra University, and St. Louis University School of Medicine. His internship and fellowship positions were at Mt. Sinai Hospital in New York, and then at Barnes Jewish Hospital in St. Louis during which time he his first wife, Murle Grotsky.


Joel moved his wife and son Scott to Albany, NY in 1967, where he taught at Albany Medical College and then opened a private medical practice. He was a member of many professional societies including the American Society for Dermatologic Surgery, and the Noah Worcester Dermatological Society. He was a fellow of the American Academy of Dermatology, and Diplomate of the American Board of Dermatology. He was a founding member of the Space Dermatology Foundation, and he served as chairman of the Legislative Committee of the New York State Society of Dermatology and chairman of the Economics and Legislative Committees of the Albany County Medical Society. He was Chief of Dermatology at St. Peter's Hospital from 1972-1991.


Together Joel and Murle raised their two sons; Scott A. Spiro ( Helen)  of Slingerlands, NY and Jason Spiro of Albany, NY. 


Joel co-founded the Albany chapter of the Chaine des Rotisseurs as well as the Confrerie des Chevaliers du Tastevin. Joel’s passion for wine and the culinary arts helped birth the modern food movement in the Capital Region. He expressed some of his philanthropic efforts as a frequent attendee to events and auctions benefiting not-for-profits and public service oriented organizations. An avowed Francophile, he enjoyed the French language and Burgundy wines in particular. He was a member of Temple Israel and Ohav Shalom.


In 2011, he married Kira Spiro. In his later years he focused tremendous effort on the Culinary Institute of America as a fundraiser, fellow and board member, traveling the country to help expand the interests of that school. His youth and good humor were appreciated by all and he enriched many social functions with a great reserve of jokes. He and his friends "the boys" met for 40 plus years for weekly Monday night dinners, most often at the Fort Orange Club of which he was beloved long-time member. 


Joel worked at his medical practice until well into his late seventies. In his brief retirement he focused his love and care for his loving wife Kira, and his and her children, while maintaining his CIA obligations and his many friendships.


In addition to his children, he is survived by his stepchild Boris Kaplunovsky.  Joel was the loving grandfather of Sarah Spiro and Abigail Kaplunovsky; He is predeceased by his sister, Barbara Davis. 


In lieu of flowers, please make a donation to Living Resources in Albany, NY or the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, NY.


A private graveside service will be held for family only at the Temple Israel Cemetery on Friday, April 30th  at 10:30am, located at 1626 Western Avenue, Albany, NY 12203. For those that wish to attend remotely, a link has been provided: .Please note, masks and social distancing are required at the cemetery. 

Shiva will be observed starting Saturday night through Tuesday night 6pm to 8pm at 16 Devonshire Drive, Slingerlands, NY 12159 as well as Sunday night through Monday night from 6pm to 8pm at the home of Scott and Helen Spiro, 8 Empire Circle, Slingerlands, NY 12159


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