Peter D. Houghteling

January 30, 1946June 14, 2013

Peter Delano Houghteling, a psychologist, died at home in Boston on June 14th from Parkinson’s disease. He was 67 years old.

Dr. Houghteling worked for three decades in the Dedham, Brookline, and Boston schools as a child psychologist, and later with the Suffolk County Juvenile Court Clinic as a forensic psychologist. He graduated from Harvard College in 1967, served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in El Salvador, and received his Ph.D. from UC Berkeley in 1978.

Born in Waltham, Mass. in 1946, Houghteling lived in Paris, France as a young child. Houghteling was raised in Pittsburgh, attended Taylor Allderdice High School, and graduated from Newton High. Houghteling and his wife Susan Waisbren were married for 38 years and raised their four daughters in Brookline, MA. Houghteling was an enthusiastic and active participant in the Boston music and musical theatre community.

He is survived by his wife, Dr. Susan Waisbren, and their daughters and their families: Sara of Palo Alto, CA; Charlotte of London, England; Sylvia, of Los Angeles, CA; and Pearl, of Worcester, Mass. He is also survived by his mother, Fiora Houghteling, of Newtonville, Mass., his siblings Lawrence of Hastings-on-Hudson, NY; Robert of Oakland, CA; and Nan of Myrtle Beach, SC. His memory lives on in grandsons Raphael Mason and Jasper Smallwood and numerous nieces and nephews.

Burial services will be held at Chatham Synagogue in Chatham, NY. The family will receive visitors at their home in Boston from 7-9 on Saturday and 2-4 on Sunday. Donations in Houghteling’s memory will fund a fellowship at The Family Center, Inc. 366 Somerville Ave., Somerville, MA 02143.


  • Memorial Observance Saturday, June 15, 2013
  • Memorial Observance Sunday, June 16, 2013

Peter D. Houghteling

have a memory or condolence to add?


receive updates when new memories are posted

Sally Hayman

September 20, 2014

Dear Susan and family,
I was reading the NY Times wedding announcements and saw that your daughter got married. I was shocked and saddened to see "the late Peter Houghteling".
I knew Peter when we were both interns on the Family Study Unit at the Palo Alto VA Hospital. It was a small and intimate group, and we shared a lot during that amazing year. I had so much respect for Peter and really enjoyed him as a person - so kind and caring and smart. I remember meeting you, Susan, as well, and I will never forget that you had hand-sewn a shirt for him, which was incomprehensible to most of us. We all saw Peter as exceptionally intelligent and a special person, and clearly he had met his match with you. I am so sorry to hear of his passing. My heart goes out to all of you. My sincerest condolences.

Ann Greenberger

May 5, 2014

Dear Fiora and Susan and family, I am very saddened and shocked to hear of Peter's passing. I am grateful to have spent time with your exceptional family. I remember very fondly the few occasions I met and spoke with Peter. I wish you the peace and continued comfort of family and friends.

jo ann neusner

October 1, 2013

so sorry! I just heard through a friend.

Lisa Redding

July 31, 2013

Dear Pearl,
I am just learning of your father's passing. I am so sorry to hear this. He was far too young. You and your family are in my thoughts.
Mrs. Redding

Stan Grayson

July 19, 2013

Dear Sara,
Obviously, you have no idea who I am. A couple weeks ago, I took out of the Marblehead library Pictures at an Exhibition. I was intrigued by the subject and also said to myself, "I wonder how many Houghtelings there are and could this Sara be related to the Peter I knew at Taylor Allderdice in Pittsburgh?" Then, in the credits, I found the answer as apparently "Yes."

My class (1963) just had its 50th reunion, which I did not attend. When I got out my old Yearbook, I didn't find Peter's name. He must have been in the class just behind me. How many real, lasting memories does one have at age 68 of his high-school classmates? Well, Peter was someone I never forgot and we must have been friends despite that he was a class behind me. I remember a kind and smart young fellow.

After the reunion, I had a phone call from one of the three Jewish kids from Squirrel Hill who was drafted at the same time I was. Of that group, I was the only one who wound up in Vietnam (after getting my MA in English from Penn State) and he brought me up to date on many of our classmates. Oddly, Peter has been on my mind since then. What an irony to learn he was working in Boston.

I've been fortunate to have a career based on writing. Congratulations on your novel. Among other things, I was impressed that it didn't have a female voice. You evoked the immediate post-war era beautifully and told a many-layered story with skill.

Best wishes,
Stan Grayson

Nan Houghteling Wicker

July 2, 2013

Nan Houghteling Wicker

July 2, 2013

Nan Houghteling Wicker

July 2, 2013

Reuben Snipper

June 21, 2013

Dear Susan and all of Peter's family,
I met Peter in Puerto Rico where we were training for the Peace Corps in El Salvador. What a warm, intelligent, perceptive, engaged, sweet, funny, and giant of a man! We visited him a number of times in "his" barrio in San Salvador, one of the poorest. Everyone there adored him. I especially remember his living quarters -- a one room place with a metal roof. When it rained, which was every day in the 6-month raining season, the rain on that roof made such a racket it was impossible to talk. In fact, it was impossible to think! He also visited Ann Stanton and I in Cojutepeque quite a few times, too, and we had lovely talks about everything -- Peter could talk about almost anything and was so easy to talk to.

My heart goes out to his family and I know they miss him terribly. Please know that there are many people in El Salvador who still remember him with great fondness.

Anita Robboy

June 19, 2013

Dear Susan, Sarah, Charlotte, Sylvia, Pearl and Fiona,
What a splendid, loving, kind and luminously intelligent husband, father and son Peter was with all of you! How difficult and sad it is for you to move forward without the love and the intimacy of your relationship with him. One is never ready to let go of such a relationship even as one knows that the quality of his life was dwindling. I can only hope that with time you will find great comfort and strength from the multitude of memories you carry within yourselves of the marvelous human being that Peter always was -- in every context and setting. In my mind, he is forever etched as the King in the musical performance of the 'King and I' at your temple. With love and great sympathy, Anita