Dr. Nancy Kalish

May 11, 1947July 27, 2019

SACRAMENTO – Dr. Nancy Kalish died Saturday, July 27, 2019 at Mercy General Hospital in Sacramento, CA. She was 72.

Born and raised in Long Branch, NJ, by the Jersey shore, she graduated from Douglas College in New Jersey, and then moved to NY to earn her doctorate from the Graduate Center of the City University of New York. She taught at Monmouth University in New Jersey and then at Loyola University in Chicago before settling in Sacramento, CA, although she was always a New Yorker at heart. Prior to retiring, she was a professor of Psychology at the California State University of Sacramento, where she taught for 38 years.

Along with her love for teaching, she was passionate about her research on rekindled romances, The Lost Love Project, which led her to write two books, create an online community, and travel internationally. She was interviewed for countless TV, radio shows and newspaper articles, but was most proud when her research was featured in the New York Times.

She always loved animals of all kinds, had recently rescued a tortoise and bunny, and had become very active in the community with her dog, Chou Chou, a present from her mother, who was certified as a therapy dog. She traveled to libraries and schools, and was active in organizations such as Love on a Leash and R.E.A.D. (Read Education Assistance Dogs Program), She also wrote a children’s book, Who Will Come To My Party?: A Chou Chou Briard Adventure.

She had been a member of Kenesset Israel Torah Center in Sacramento, CA. She was predeceased by her parents, Joseph Kalish in 2006 and Dorothy Kalish in 2014. Surviving are her daughter, Robin Kalish and her husband, David; her grandchildren: Lya and Josephine; and a brother, Alan Kalish.

A graveside service will be held at Beth Israel Cemetery in Woodbridge on Wednesday, July 31st at 2 pm. Interment will immediately follow. For more information, or to post a tribute online, please visit

Memorial contributions may be made in Nancy’s name to the Sacramento SPCA or Intermountain Therapy Animals.


  • Graveside Service

    Wednesday, July 31, 2019


Dr. Nancy Kalish

have a memory or condolence to add?

Tobias Hensel

December 26, 2019

She was the international luminary in things of rekindled romances and a great help during my emotional rollercoaster ride after visiting my teenage love in August 2016. Beside my christian belive in the eternal life she will live on in her works and be helpful for many future rekindlers.

T. Hensel, Berlin, Germany

Russell Genet

December 22, 2019

Nancy's two books have been prime material for my autobiographical novel about my secret teenage love, gone for four decades, but reunited and married for the best years of our life.

It was a pleasure to talk with Nancy on the phone, and I am sorry that she won't be able to see my completed novel or that I won't be able to meet her in person.

Dr. Russell M. Genet

Connie Chiechi

August 10, 2019

I was so sorry to hear of Nancy’s passing, and my condolences to Robin and her family. Over forty years ago, I met Nancy when she became a faculty member in the Psycholgy Department at Sac State where I worked. She arrived from the East Coast along with her pets. She was quite the animal lover. We worked together for over thirty years and subsequently lived in the same vicinity where I would occasionally see her out walking her dog. My last contact with her was on Halloween when I took my grandson up to her door trick or treating and she came out and hugged me. My only regret is that I did not follow up with getting together with her. Besides being an animal lover, she was a great professor and author. My heart goes out to her family.

No Name Given

July 30, 2019

Dr. Kalish made a profound difference in my life. Her guidance and professionalism helped me navigate a very difficult time. As much as she helped me one-on-one, I also benefited greatly from the compassion and non-judgment of the online community she started. She genuinely wanted to help so many of us. During a time when we were most vulnerable, she always had our best interests in mind. I duly echo what E.W.O. has eloquently stated. To all who have worked with Dr. K, I am thinking of you and sending my heartfelt condolences. I will miss her tremendously.

~Words Matter

No Name Given

July 30, 2019

Nancy was a beacon of light in the darkest moments of many. Her research, her knowledge, and most of all her compassion served as a guiding force and provided understanding and acceptance to an online community, a community that could only have been brought together by her. We are forever touched by her, and forever grateful. Thank you for everything, Dr. K.


Lynda Young-Alustiza

July 30, 2019

Nancy was treasured by hundreds of students at California State University, Sacramento as far more than their Psychology professor. She was, more significantly, a kind and loving friend who could always take time to listen to their personal issues and to share her very practical wisdom for their benefit. I worked with her there for twelve years and so enjoyed her friendship. Years after her retirement, as Nancy and I shared lunch in Sacramento restaurants, her past students would occasionally approach her to thank her for being their favorite professor and for having inspired their lives in various ways. She loved teaching and she loved her students. I will think of her often as I sip tea and indulge in a lovely dessert, our favorite shared past times.

Yvonne Telles

July 30, 2019

Nancy loved doing pet therapy with Chou Chou, her Briard. The duo participated in Read 2 a dog programs at both Carmichael and West Sacramento Libraries, Sacramento State studen de-stress events, Roseville Care facility, and read to kids at a Sacramento school near her home. They brought joy and smiles to everyone they visited. My thoughts and prayers go out to her family.

Joanne Matson

July 29, 2019


Learn more about the Kalish name