November 8, 1942 – May 9, 2018
GLUCKSMAN, Stuart, Dr. On Wednesday, May 9, 2018, passed away peacefully, with family at his side, at NYU’s Tisch Hospital in Manhattan.
Beloved brother of Jane and brother-in-law of William Wasserstrom, uncle to Cara Wasserstrom and confidant of Ruth Laguerre, his caregiver. Devoted father to Ricky and Fletcher, his two American Curl cats, who provided him tremendous companionship and comfort.
Stuart was born November 8, 1942, in Newark, NJ. The first child of Martin (d. 1994) and Esther (née Koldorf) Glucksman (d. 1996), he demonstrated the courage of his convictions as early as primary school. When told that boys should spend part of their lunch period on the playground instead of staying indoors, he defiantly said, “There is a sign that says I can go outside or stay in the lunch room and read. That is my choice!” He was sent to the Principal’s office nonetheless; his mother obviously defended her son, and the principal relented.
After graduating high school, he left for Brandeis University, in Waltham, MA, where he earned a bachelor degree in political science. A proud, lifetime Democrat, he considered himself a political junkie, closely following races in important districts nationally and analyzing election data and polling maps to determine which candidates to support and advance the causes he held dear.
Stuart earned a Ph.D. in English Literature, at SUNY’s Stony Brook University, where he analyzed Jane Austen’s six major novels and published in 1973, “The Happy Ending in Jane Austen,” an unorthodox observation at the time for an author whose works were more known for their moral lessons and as commentaries on social standing in 18th century England. He would later draw on Austen’s storytelling, which “reflected her natural ear for speech and dialogue,” according to fellow scholar Mary Lascelles, to inform his work as a psychotherapist.
Making the connection between literature and psychology, Stuart said: “How people tell their personal stories and the order in which they reveal portions of their lives can indicate their mood and unconscious feelings, regardless of how they may appear or sound.”
Music was among Stuart’s lifelong passions, ranging from the American Songbook to early and contemporary Rock and Roll. While his musical taste spanned many artists and decades, he counted Peggy Lee and “Fever” among his favorites, as she was both an amazing song stylist and a prolific composer. Likewise, he was one of the earliest and longest-standing fans of early singer-songwriters, including Elvis Presley, Bob Dylan, Leonard Cohen and many others. For his 65th birthday, Stuart learned how to rip CDs into iTunes to painstakingly create a four-hour playlist of his favorite songs, concluding the evening with Noel Coward’s “The Party’s Over”; he counted that evening – combining intimate conversations with family and his closest friends with music that conjured memories of their lives together – among his fondest.
Stuart received his license to practice psychoanalytic psychotherapy from Washington Square Institute, and he worked closely with private patients over 25 years, including some whom he counseled for more than 20 years.
He was unlike stereotypical psychotherapists, who answer patient questions with “how does that make you feel?” Instead, he was confident enough in his craft to ask provocative questions or make similar observations to help patients break through resistance that obscured the clarity they sought. As a result, he profoundly affected many lives during his long career in psychotherapy.
When eulogizing his father in 1994, Stuart said: “To know to count our blessings is itself a blessing. It can point the way to happiness and healing.” His family, friends and patients all take comfort in knowing Stuart counted his blessings, and despite the physical challenges he endured, he remained fully engaged in the world and accepted the truth of his life.
In lieu of flowers, the family welcomes donations in Stuart’s name to The Humane Society of New York, 306 East 59th Street, New York, NY 10022.
- Funeral Service Monday, May 14, 2018
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Ron Van Cleef
May 15, 2018
I want to convey my heartfelt condolences to Stuart’s family, friends and patients. Stuart was not only my therapist, but a dear friend, mentor and a father figure. So, like so many others, I am feeling a sense of loss on many levels. When I first met Stuart twenty-five or more years ago, I was a troubled young man with no sense of direction and a lack of self-worth. Stuart encouraged me to face challenges and recognize my own strengths. More importantly, his resiliency in the face of adversity and illness was inspiring. He helped teach me the meaning of courage. We are all fortunate to have known him. He will remain in my heart and mind always.