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Judianne Densen-Gerber

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DENSEN-GERBER Judianne Densen-Gerber psychiatrist, lawyer, educator, daughter of Gustave Gerber and Beatrice Densen died on Sunday, May 11, 2003 in her sleep from complications of cancer. She was graduated from Bryn Mawr College (1956) and received her JD (1959) from Columbia University, MD (1963) from New York University, and D.Sc. (Hon., 1983) Lebanon Valley College. She dedicated her professional life to fighting substance abuse, child abuse, battery of women and pornography. She pioneered the therapeutic community concept, which was embodied by Odyssey House, which she founded. Through her tireless work Odyssey House expanded to have facilities in over a dozen states and 3 continents. Through the hands-on work that she did and her prolific writings (including 3 books: Drugs, Sex, Parents and You; We Maineline Dreams; and Walk in My Shoes), she influenced societies conception of addiction and in many ways formulated its approach to treatment. She was appointed to numerous local, state and federal bodies to address these issues and served as personal advisor to several members of congress. She received innumerable awards for her work including a Congressional Certificate of Merit, Nobless Order of the White Cross (from the government of Australia), Dame Commander of the Knights of Malta, and appointed an Honorary New York State Fire Chief. She was on the faculty and lectured at several medical and law schools. She directly touched the lives of tens of thousands of drug-addicts and abused children and women and developed an approach which helped hundreds of thousands more. She is predeceased by her son, Jud; and her infant daughter, Julianne. She is survived by her three children, Trissa, Lindsey and Sarah; daughter-in-law, Carolyn Lasar; two grandchildren, Eli and Ruby; and ex-husband, Michael Baden. Funeral services will be held at All Souls Church, 80th Street and Lexington Avenue at 3:30 p.m. on Tuesday, May 13, 2003. Family will receive friends at Frank E. Campbell, 1076 Madison Avenue at 81st Street, New York, New York, before church services 1:30-2:30 p.m. In lieu of flowers, please make contributions to Flint Odyssey Michigan or any Breast Cancer Research Foundation in memory of Judianne Densen-Gerber, 645 Madison Avenue, Suite 1209, New York, N.Y. 10021.
Published in Connecticut Post on May 13, 2003
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