HILARY PUTNAM Ph.D.
FUNERAL HOME
Levine Chapels
470 Harvard Street
Brookline, MA
PUTNAM, Hilary, PhD. Age 89, of Arlington, Cogan University Professor Emeritus at Harvard University. Beloved husband of Ruth Anna (Hall) Putnam. Cherished father of Erika Chin and her husband Derrick Chin of Acton, Samuel Putnam and his wife Rebecca Steinitz of Arlington, Joshua Putnam and his wife Jennifer Putnam of Medford, and Maxima Kahn and her fianc? Don Williams of Grass Valley, California. Beloved grandfather of Tanisha Elliott, Lauren Chin, Mara Steinitz, and Eva Steinitz.

Funeral services will be on Monday, March 14, 2016 at 12:30 PM at the Levine Chapel, 470 Harvard Street, BROOKLINE. Burial will follow in Crawford Street Cemetery, 776 Baker Street, West Roxbury. Memorial observances will be held in his late residence on Monday from 4-7 PM and again on Tuesday from 5-7 PM and on Wednesday from 7-9 PM. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Southern Poverty Law Center, 400 Washington Avenue, Montgomery, AL, 36104.

Levine Chapels, Brookline

617-277-8300

www.levinechapel.com
Published by Boston Globe from Mar. 13 to Mar. 14, 2016.
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MEMORIAL EVENTS
Mar
14
Memorial Gathering
4:00p.m. - 7:00p.m.
in his late residence
MA
Mar
14
Funeral service
12:30p.m.
Levine Chapels
470 Harvard Street, Brookline, MA
Mar
14
Burial
Crawford Street Cemetery
776 Baker Street, West Roxbury, MA
Mar
15
Memorial Gathering
5:00p.m. - 7:00p.m.
in his late residence
MA
Mar
16
Memorial Gathering
7:00p.m. - 9:00p.m.
in his late residence
MA
Funeral services provided by:
Levine Chapels
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I don't know if you or your family are continuing to monitor this page, but I wanted to pass along my condolences from all of us at Menotomy Beer & Wine. Though I didn't even know Dr. Putnam's name until the "Legendary Locals of Arlington" book was released late last year, I want you to know that I always looked forward to having a brief conversation with him on the days he stopped by to pick up a bottle of wine or two. One of my favorite memories is when he purchased a bottle of Champagne for you on your birthday last year. He was giddy with excitement to share such a lovely bottle with you. I hope memories of those days will help you during this sad and difficult time. My thoughts are with you and your family. - Mary Parent, Menotomy Beer & Wine, Arlington, MA
April 2, 2016
A wise mensch, and a gitter nyszumah. I feel blessed by our conversations which will continue to unfold.

Harold J. Bursztajn, M.D.
[email protected]
Harold Bursztajn
March 21, 2016
Ruth Anna, I was so sad to hear of Hilary's passing. The Times had it right-- he was a giant of modern philosophy. But more than that he was an outstanding example of openness and warmth in a profession that did not always honor those values. He enjoyed engaging his younger colleagues with respect and good humor, and he was a great listener as well. I treasure my interactions with both of you, and I send my sincere condolences in this time of our sadness.
Larry Hickman
March 20, 2016
Blessed be the True Judge

Like so many others, my academic work (on thinking about a "definition" of death) was based much upon Putnam's own casual theory of reference. I heard him lecture in Israel several times and found him to be approachable with questions, warm, witty and profound all at once.

A wonderfully fruitful life has ended--but his work lives on.
Naftali Moses
March 17, 2016
I read the sad news in the 'Frankfurter Allgemeine.' My instant and predominant feeling was that of a deep gratitute - together with sadness that Hilary will not further be with his wife Ruth Anna, will not continue his work with always inspiring and eye-opening ideas and arguments. I was privledged to teach for a number of years together with him - an unforgettable time of intensive explorations in various domains of phiosophy. He was a mastermind, a intellectual with experiences and profound judgments in many fields and a warm, caring person and friend.
Dieter Henrich
March 16, 2016

March 14, 2016

Ruth Anna,

I remember the first day we met, amongst stacks and stacks of unpacked boxes. Hilary pulled a kettle from one, magically and miraculously, then found three teacups too and made tea.

I was a first-year student and had sent a note to Hilary asking for advice and he suggested I stop by.

I was writing a paper for a class on "A Priori Truth" on whether the proposition "Nothing is red (all over) and green (all over) at the same time" could be reduced to a truth of logic.

Hilary had written a paper on this very subject and I was in want of conversation.

I cannot remember the precise answer, although I do still have that paper - it's in the attic somewhere - and I could, in a pinch, look it up.

But I do remember that Hilary brought the question to life. He became more animated and enthusiastic than I had been about the variety of routes one might take to tackle the question, paths which were likely to lead to a cul de sac and paths which were likely to open up a world of insight and discovery.

it was the best lesson I ever had. And it could not have come at a more opportune time: there and then in my first year in college.

The following semester I enrolled in Hilary's "Logical Contradictions in Quantum Mechanics" even though I knew no physics. And I learned more philosophy (and physics) than I learned in any other course.

The love and care you and Hilary have given to me over the years matter more than I can say.

My life is better because you have been in it.

Andreas Teuber
[email protected]
March 14, 2016
RuthAnna, I am so happy you lived with the guy you fell in love with so many years ago. I remember he would sneak into Eugene to see you. I remember you with much fondness.

Sue Townsend Ebersole
[email protected]
March 14, 2016
I call Hilary Putnam, my Gurudev,i.e.a mentor whom his desciple can consider as God.
In the last eight years, we have more than 1000 lovely academic and personal email correspondences. We were never physically near, but we are mentally very close to each other and therefore he always remained as the biggest part of my life. Really, He is the man who proved the world that a wonderful relation not only depends on keenship, personal meeting, teaching etc, but on universal love and mental satisfaction that a good soul can exchange with anyone. He is my constant source of thoughts, works and life and always taught me how to live and how to love more and more to yourself and others!

My mentor did a lot and is now going to take some eternal rest in peace! He achieved peace in his mundane life, and it will remain continuing even after his life!

A person full of wisdom, loves and morality with always a smiling face and beautiful eyes told in his last few communication to me that 'I feel grateful that I had so many good years'. I, who is extremely fortunate for being showered by his gracious blessings and love not only to me but also to my nearests, pray from my heart that Hilary Putnam, my beloved Gurudev will always remain in the core of our hearts, whom he always loved'!!!

Yours,
Sanjit Chakraborty
Sanjit Chakraborty
March 14, 2016
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