Hugh Frederick Kamen
1944 - 2016
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Hugh Frederick Kamen January 20, 1944 - May 9, 2016 San Diego Age 72, died peacefully at home on May 9th, 2016, surrounded by family and close friends. Hugh was born in Detroit, MI, in 1944 and graduated from Mumford High School in 1961. He moved to Los Angeles in 1963, completing his undergraduate studies at UCLA in 1967. He worked as a caseworker in South Central LA for a few years, and afterward spent a year teaching English in Italy, living on a Kibbutz, and traveling in Western Europe. In 1973, he moved to San Diego and obtained his M.S.W. from San Diego State University in 1975. He subsequently worked with a number of mental health organizations, including UCSD's Gifford Mental Health Clinic and, in 1978, he participated in the crisis intervention response team following the PSA airliner crash. He obtained a Ph.D. from Alliant International University in 1987, then worked as a Staff Psychologist at the Springall Academy, a non-public special education program for children and adolescents. Simultaneously, he established a private practice in Clinical Psychology in La Mesa, CA, treating adults, children, couples and families, which he continued until his death. Hugh and his wife, Frances, were married in 1989 and have one daughter, Emily. His family, though small, was the main focus of his love, devotion, and support. His diverse interests reflected his life experiences and his deep appreciation of the people (and animals) he met along the way. He liked to travel - always trying to speak the native tongue - loved music, literature, the arts, being in nature and good food. He found creative outlets in taking photographs, writing poetry, and maintaining his beloved home, built in 1930, and his cars. The love and admiration of his family, friends, and many clients is an affirmation of his kind, generous, patient, and loving spirit. Donations may be made in his honor to any charity supporting mental health, animal rescue, or prostate cancer.

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Published in San Diego Union-Tribune on May 22, 2016.
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23 entries
February 5, 2021
Hugh was my supervisor while I was doing a pre-doc internship at Springall Academy. I remember how soft spoken he was, his gentleness and I really appreciated his wisdom. He was a lovely man with a true appreciation of the human condition. He was patient and kind and was generous with his time. I felt luck to have learned from him.
Amy Kaufman
December 16, 2019
He was a very kind man. He saved my daughters life. He would be proud to see what a beautiful woman she became because of him.
Karen Worthen
May 16, 2019
He was a kind sincere gentle soul and I miss his presence in this life.
Wilson Prichett
November 3, 2017
Perhaps the reason you found out so late was to give us all on this notification list a really nice, warm reminder of the love we received from Hugh Kamen. This also helps remind us of the good that is in the world and the good that can come to the world when people are genuinely caring about each other.
Scott Reich
November 2, 2017
I met Dr. Kamen when I was a junior in highschool. I had many problems with family, school, and myself at the time. Dr. Kamen helped me put an end to the many problems I dwelled on and faced. He taught me how to think rationally and realize the impact of my actions. There are so many things I could say, but I want to say that Dr. Kamen honestly changed my life for the better. I wish I hadnt found out so late that he passed. I wish I could have said goodbye and thanked him for everything. I hope to be as good as a man as Hugh Kamen is. I will never forget him.
Alex Hernani
August 20, 2016
I met Hugh many years back while living at the Upas Street apartments. He was kind, friendly, and he always took a genuine interest in the well-being of those around him. Although he was working and going to school, he still took the time to say hello and ask me about my interests or my repair project of the day. During these impromptu chats, I came to appreciate his knowledge of language, culture and the arts.

Hugh was generous as a listener and sparing with questions, perfect qualities for a friendship. Over the years, when I turned to Hugh for input on an issue, he mostly just listened. When he did ask a question, it was thoughtful and it often gently guided me toward an answer or at least at least a new insight.

As a family, we send our condolences and well wishes to Francie and Emily. We are very grateful to have known Hugh and shall miss him greatly.

Sincerely, The Motts
July 1, 2016
I have been so fortunate to have had him in my life, always an energy of compassion. I am very saddened by his death, but i hope to find some way of using the energy he shared with me for the good, for the good of the world. I hope that i will be able to find a way to bring more love into the world. If so, it will be in his merit. May it be that you will always feel the presence of the love and kindness that he shared.
Scott Reich
June 22, 2016
I am so very sorry for your loss. I worked down the hall from Hugh in La Mesa and often sat with him at lunch in the deli. Hugh was a gentle, quite man. He was a very fascinating soul and I will miss our time together.. Cherish your memories.
jodi troussel
June 9, 2016
Emily and family,

I am so sorry for your loss. I am a fellow Mumford classmate of Hughey. I always called him that. I will always remember his smile.

Class of 61 classmate,

Carol Ross Plotnik
June 4, 2016
By the way, I was an employee of PSA, and J was not aware of his intervention as apart of the crisis team after the tragic crash we experienced here. I was working up in Burbank. We shared a kitbag common ground and got great comfort from his dynamic personality! He is sorely missed....
Steve Lachman
June 3, 2016
How wonderful to have known Hugh, and that our dear Friend Francie got to spend years with him.
Hildy Armour
June 1, 2016
Dear Francie: Beautiful obituary, grateful to Sandra for posting it on the class of 1969 Facebook page. Touched by the Hugh's participation in the crisis intervention team after the plane crash; Herb did this with survivors at the World Trade Center after 9/11. Another convergence! Perhaps it is time for us to drive to Nantucket again, just the two of us, with no money and no food except cans of tuna. Love, Peggy
Peggy Mandell
May 30, 2016
Dear Family of Dr. Hugh Kamen;

Words cannot adequately express the sadness for not only your loss, but for the loss of all of us that had the privilege to get to know Dr. Kamen, and to treasure our times together.

In the 10 years that I had known him, I developed a profound respect, and appreciation for his insights as well as the lively conversations that we had shared. I could not only call him a professional, but also a friend that will be sorely missed.

May you all hold close to your hearts the memories that you had shared, and may that be a source of 'Peace and Comfort' to you all at this very difficult time.

With profound sympathy, and condolences for your loss!

Steve J. Lachman
May 26, 2016
I'm so sorry to hear of the passing of Hugh. I work in the same building and everytime I saw him he would stop and say hello. The nicest man and so kind and gentle. I know he will be sorely missed by all those who knew him.
My sincerest regards,
May 26, 2016
He was my Brother in Law and was always very kind and dignified.
We miss him and offer our condolences his wife and daughter.
WIlson Prichett
May 25, 2016
My teenage son was a patient of Dr. Kamen.
Dr. Kamen was very good at his job, thoughtful, caring, sincere and a great listener. We received his letter and was also very sad to see the life tribute in the paper. Everyone dies but some are missed more than others. Dr. Kamen will be missed by our family.
We offer our sincere condolences to his family. He was a wonderful man.
May 23, 2016
I was a patient of Dr. Kamen and am very sad about the news. My adult daughter had committed suicide and my mother died seven months later so I found his counseling very helpful. He felt that when a person passes on, that person became one with nature. Dr. Kamen have me understanding, humor, and wise advice that really made a difference. We enjoyed our common heritage of being Jewish and we both graduated with Ph.Ds from United States International University, now known as Alliant University. He didn't want to discuss his health with me but I realized what happened when he retired in February and I sent him a letter showing my appreciation. I now send my condolences to his wife and his daughter. He was very special to me and as I said in another post, I lit a yarzeit candle and said the kaddish for him today, as soon as i saw the notice in the paper. I will never forget him and all he gave me. I will speak to him every night as I speak to my family in heaven. Someday I will see him there. Love, Dr. Nancy Reynolds
Nancy Reynolds
May 22, 2016
I have been a client of Dr. Kamens for several years. I always looked forward to my weekly sessions with him because I felt an extreme sense of well-being after leaving his office.

Dr. Kamen's kindness, empathy and wisdom helped me cope with some very dark and painful days in my life. I know your family, his clients and colleagues will forever feel a profound sense of loss in his passing. I know I will always feel grateful that I had the pleasure of knowing him.

I am truly sorry for your loss,
Janet Hart
Janet Hart
May 22, 2016
Janet Hart
May 22, 2016
Huge and I graduated from Mumford High School in a class of almost 1000 students. Although I knew who he was, I don't think we ever had a conversation.
However, I read his obituary. It sounds like he had great values and a wonderful family. What impressed me the most, and I hope it comforts his wife and daughter in this difficult time, is to know that he made a difference in this chaotic world of ours.

Sorry for your loss

Judy Ancell
Judy Schultz Ancell
May 22, 2016
I first met Hugh in the late 70's/early 80's when he was a counselor working out of (I think) Mid City Community Services- an exceedingly kind and gentle hearted man helped me then, and quite a few other times on and off over the last 30 years- we then became fellow travelers w/ prostate cancer, and I had seen him professionally again within the last few years---he came w/ his lovely wife to my art show a few years ago. Once I showed up late to an appointment w/ grease all over my hands from trying to figure out why my vehicle was bucking and jerking all the way to his office and he offered to accompany me down to my car in the parking lot to help diagnose the problem, which he did---although we saw each other in a professional manner, he always felt like more of a friend than a clinician. My heart was heavy today as I read the obituaries (which I never, ever do). All my condolences to his family. I know you all know how special he was. I will not forget him.
Mike Arata
May 22, 2016
I knew Hugh in mid 70s when he was a beginning professional Social Worker and an intern at DEFY where I worked. At least I think that is where I met him! Not sure why I lost contact but glad to know he married and had a child. Sorry for your loss ... he was one of the nicest and I am sure a wonderful therapist, husband & father.
Susan Ulevitch, MSW, LCSW
May 22, 2016
Sending prayers of peace to your family. I worked with Hugh for many years at Springall Academy. What a kind and gentle man. So sad to hear this news. His love for his family was always present in his stories shared. He made a difference in so many lives.
Lyndy Cuevas
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