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Stuart Bartle

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Stuart Bartle Obituary
Stuart Bartle, M.D.

1924 - 2015 CAMBRIDGE, MA. Stuart Hall Bartle, 90, a longtime resident of Lee and a physician at the Berkshire Medical Center for 24 years, died March 26, 2015 peacefully at his home. Dr. Bartle was the son of Alice Hall Dowling of New York City, and William A. Bartle of Lakeville, CT and from 1930 onward he was the stepson of Robert W. Dowling. Born in New York City, Stuart was educated there, at Pomfret School ('43), Pomfret, CT, at Harvard College (A.B.'50) in Cambridge, and at New York University College of Medicine (M.D.'54) in New York City. Known as "Poppy" to his grandchildren, "The Splendid Splinter" to his high school friends, "Balding Stu Bartle" to the Harvard Crimson sports desk, "Dr. B" to his colleagues at the Berkshire Medical Center, and "Eltrab Trauts" (Stuart Bartle spelled backwards) to readers of the Berkshire Mental Health Journal, among other monikers, Dr. Bartle was especially fond of baseball, sailing, music, the harmonica, dancing, and the fastest way to do things. He was devoted to his wife, family, friends, colleagues and patients. A modest man, he rarely spoke of his many accomplishments. He was especially known for his gentleness, quick wit both trenchant and corny and his infectious enthusiasm for life. After high school, Dr. Bartle was drafted into the U.S. Army's 78th Infantry Division, serving from 1943-46 in a rifle unit of the 3rd Battalion, 310th Regiment. He was in continuous combat from December 13, 1944 through April 14, 1945, and later part of the occupation force in Berlin. He was awarded a Purple Heart and Bronze Star. Surviving World War II, he said, made him reluctant to speak of the war, so as not to dishonor the men he saw cut down so early in life, but also very grateful for his postwar life. For all who came into contact with him, Dr. Bartle showed his gratitude daily. Dr. Bartle met the love of his life, Barbara Bishop, in East Hampton, NY and they were married December 27, 1949 in New York City. After graduating medical school, taking residencies in Internal Medicine at Bellevue Hospital and a Fellowship in Cardiology at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City, he became associated with the University of Virginia School of Medicine in Charlottesville, VA, as both an Instructor and Assistant Professor of Medicine and Surgery from 1959-67. There he participated in pioneering cardiology research, assisting in some of the world's first cardiac catheterizations. At Barbara's instigation, Dr. Bartle was also an active participant in the fight for civil rights in Charlottesville in the 1960's. From 1967-68, Dr. Bartle was a resident in psychiatry at Massachusetts General Hospital and held an appointment at Harvard Medical School. From 1968-86, he practiced psychiatry in private practice in Manhattan, while also attending and teaching at Mt. Sinai Hospital. During those years, beginning in 1970, Stuart and his family began coming to the Berkshires, first to Stockbridge and later residing in Lee. From 1986-88, Dr. Bartle taught psychiatry in Harare, Zimbabwe, where he became interested in severe mental illness. He wrote that his experience there was especially powerful because mental illness is not stigmatized in the Shona tribal culture. He spent the rest of his professional life building on this principle. Upon his return from Africa he and Barbara moved permanently to Lee. From 1988-2012 he served on the staff at Berkshire Medical Center in Pittsfield, MA, in multiple positions. The second half of his exceptionally long career was dedicated to humane and effective medical care for the organically mentally ill in Berkshire County, and especially to treating them with respect and dignity. He often said his time in the Berkshires was the best time of his life, personally and professionally. From 1990-98 he was Medical Director of Berkshire Mental Health Center, now part of the Brien Center and at other times he was a staff psychiatrist. He was especially close to the staff at BMC, who he felt had a great deal of understanding of the patients. During this time he also founded the Berkshire Mental Health Review, which became his self-published Berkshire Mental Health Journal. Among his other professional activities, he consulted for Gould Farm, a residential therapeutic community in Monterey, and became convinced that its approach providing useful work for, and "unstinting kindness" to, the mentally ill was as effective as any he had yet seen. In May 2014, Dr. Bartle was inducted into the Berkshire Medical Center Honor Roll at a large dinner at the Pittsfield Country Club; it was an honor he treasured. Dr. Bartle reveled in his life in the Berkshires. He was a lifelong amateur athlete as a baseball/softball/touch football and squash player in college, skier, a runner, and an early proponent of isometric exercise. Known to compete on the tennis court with a squash player's love of the well-placed slice, he also avidly, though not always successfully, competed in sailboat races at the Mahkeenac Boat Club on the Stockbridge Bowl until he was 87. In addition to Gould Farm, his Board service included the Austen Riggs Center in Stockbridge, The Brien Center, and the Lower Eastside Service Center in New York City. He is survived by his beloved wife of 65 years, Barbara (Sinclair) Bishop Bartle, now living in Cambridge, his half-sister, Ruth Dowling Bruun of Remsenburg, NY, his children; Chris (Eva Gardner) of Dover, MA, Andrew (Mary Davidson) of New York, NY,, Elizabeth (David Boghossian) of Cambridge, Marion (John Packs) of Weston MA, 11 grandchildren, and many nieces and nephews, including, Robert A. Bartle, of Stockbridge. SERVICES: A memorial service will be held at 3p.m. Saturday, April 18, 2015 at Trinity Episcopal Church, Lenox, MA. Contributions may be made in his name to: Gould Farm, 100 Gould Rd, Monterey, MA 01245, http://www.gouldfarm.org/ Thoughts may be left at: http://www.forevermissed.com/stuart-hall-bartle/
Published in The Berkshire Eagle on Apr. 12, 2015
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