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JAMES H. SPENCER

SPENCER--Dr. James H. Jr., MD, died peacefully on December 25, at his home in NYC, surrounded by family. Born in Pittsburgh, Dr. Spencer received his BA from Amherst College and an MA in Psychology from Stanford. He served in the Army for two years then attended Cornell Medical School. For over 30 years, Dr. Spencer was on the faculty of Cornell Medical College at New York Hospital's Payne Whitney Clinic while maintaining his own private psychiatric practice. He trained at the New York Psychoanalytic Institute and published over 20 scholarly articles. For seven years he served as the Psychiatric Consultant to the President of Hunter College and most recently spent 14 years consulting to the New York State Office of Mental Health, where he helped design systems for the careful and compassionate management of psychiatric services. Dr. Spencer touched many lives as a clinician, mentor, advisor, husband, father and grandfather. He was seen by many colleagues as an innovative thinker whose ideas were often ahead of their time. He is survived by Dao Nguyen Spencer, his wife of over 52 years, his children, Kim, Linh and Jim, their spouses Agenor Mafra-Neto, Thuyen Nguyen, and Meron Girma Tsige Spencer, and six grandchildren: Katia, Margot, Mai Li, Minh Khai, Yohannes, and Sabah. He is also survived by sister-in-law Judith Farber Spencer, wife of the late Robert Whittlesey Spencer, and their three children, Jane, Emily and Robert Jr. Dr. Spencer will be remembered with respect and affection. His family will celebrate his life in a private ceremony at a later date.


Published in The New York Times on Dec. 30, 2012
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