Graeme Hanson

March 26, 1935December 4, 2014
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Graeme Hanson, MD, 79

Yarmouth, ME - Dr. Graeme Hanson, age 79, died on December 4, 2014 in San Francisco, CA from complications related to pulmonary disease.

He was born March 26, 1935 in Augusta, Maine to the late Elliott C. Hanson and to Margarey B. Hanson. Raised in Bath, Maine, Graeme was President of his class for four years at Morse High School, and graduated as Valedictorian of the Class of 1953. He graduated from Yale University in 1958 with a major in German Literature, having spent one of his undergraduate years studying at the University of Heidelberg. After graduating from Harvard Medical School in 1962, he completed his internship at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York, NY and his general psychiatry and child and adolescent psychiatry training at the Massachusetts Mental Health Center. He also served as Chief of Psychiatry at the Randolph Air Force Base in Texas and at the U-Tapao Air Force Base in Thailand.

After working in child psychiatry in the Boston area and holding a faculty position at Harvard Medical School for 10 years, Graeme moved to San Francisco in 1980 where he worked for 24 years at the University of California, San Francisco, rising to become Clinical Professor of Psychiatry and Pediatrics, the position he held at the time of his death. He was a nationally known and widely respected colleague in the field of child and adolescent psychiatry. He played crucial roles in the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, developing policy with respect to child mental health in schools and in systems of care. At UCSF, he held numerous positions, including psychiatric consultant for the nascent infant-parent program at the San Francisco General Hospital, Director of the Langley Porter Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Inpatient Services, and Director of Clinical Services in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at Langley Porter. Graeme also previously served as Medical Director and on the Board of Directors at the Edgewood Center for Children and Families in San Francisco, and was a Director Emeritus at the time of his passing. Graeme was best known by his colleagues for his role as a teacher and mentor. As Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Training Director at UCSF, he shaped the lives and careers of generations of child and adolescent psychiatrists and will be remembered as a masterful clinician who was dedicated to the highest standards of care for his patients, young and old. With his soft voice and kind nature, he approached his work with remarkable passion and humility. Graeme loved his students and they loved him. As one of his current students said on hearing of his passing, "Graeme was such a gem of a person with wisdom, compassion, thoughtfulness, curiosity and a sense of playfulness and joy."

Graeme was also a beloved son, brother, brother-in-law, uncle and friend who will be dearly missed by all those who were honored to be a part of his life. A lover of classical music and opera, he was also an accomplished painter and piano player. His presence will be missed for years to come at lobster bakes and at the Yarmouth Clam Festival, where he taught the Hanson family everything they need to know about love, family, and cooking lobster. One of his passions was also ancient Chinese ceramics, of which he was an avid collector.

He is survived by his mother, Margarey B. Hanson, of Yarmouth, ME and his five siblings: Peggy Carmichael and her husband Robert of Bucksport, ME; James Hanson and his wife Joni of Whitsett, NC; Pamelia Barry of Cumberland Foreside, ME; Cynthia Loomis of Yarmouth, ME; and Deborah Roux and her husband Thomas of Yarmouth, ME. He is also survived by numerous nieces, nephews, grand-nieces, and grand-nephews; and by all of his much-loved friends, colleagues and students from Maine to California.

A time of gathering and reception will be held Saturday January 10, 2015 from 1-2 PM at Lindquist Funeral Home, One Mayberry Lane, Yarmouth, ME with a memorial service beginning at 2:00 PM at the funeral home. Burial will be in Riverside Cemetery in Yarmouth in the spring. Please visit to view a video collage of Graeme’s life and to share condolences, memories and tributes with his family.

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to: Edgewood Center for Children and Families, 1801 Vicente Street, San Francisco, CA 94116 (


  • Gathering followed by Memorial Service Saturday, January 10, 2015
  • Memorial Service Saturday, January 10, 2015
  • Graveside Service Saturday, May 16, 2015

Graeme Hanson

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Terri Sergi

March 7, 2015

He was a beautiful person. I had the pleasure of working for him for a year at Langley Porter. He was always kind and warm. My condolences to his friends and family.

Meli Cook

December 13, 2014

Graeme was a treasured friend of our family and we (Meli, Walter and Katherine Cook) will miss him incredibly. Our heart is broken over the news of his passing. He was a true friend and colleague of Jeanne Ames, our mother. We also knew him through Dorothy S. Huntington, Ph.D. We are so grateful for them having introduced Graeme to us and for his friendship. He was dedicated, smart, sweet, generous, and fun(Very Fun). I will miss meeting him for Happy Hour or for dinner to discuss current issues and events. I was just going to call him when I picked up the Chronicle and read his obituary . . . It is our hope that he has reunited with Jeanne and Dorothy and that they are clinking glasses together. Thank you for the beautiful video with the wonderful pictures. We celebrate his life with you.

Bill Higgins

December 13, 2014

Marge, Peggy, Jim, Pam, Cynthia & Debbie:

We are shocked and saddened to read of your loss. As Bedford Street kids we
clearly remember sitting on the lawn under your bow window to listen to Graeme's impassioned piano playing. We were spellbound. We both have fond memories of the Hanson family and send sincerest condolences to you all. Graeme was a very special human being and left this world a better place because of that. We send our love. Bedford neighbors Bill an Kathy Austin Higgins.

Robin Randall

December 11, 2014

To Graeme's family:
I want to express my heartfelt condolences for your loss. Graeme was a teacher, mentor, boss and friend to me. He shaped my career and professional identity in profound ways. His friendly smile and charming nature warmed the hearts of those lucky enough to know him. He freely shared his insight and intellect with his colleagues and helped to shape generations of psychiatrists and mental health professionals. Thousands of children live better lives today because of his teaching and influence. He had a way of connecting people that brought them together and made things happen, people wanted to be around him. One of the most common comments I heard since his passing is that people wished they had gotten to spend more time in his presence. To say that he will be missed is a vast understatement; he has left a hole in our community.

Ronel Lewis

December 10, 2014

Graeme was a friend and colleague in San Francisco, much loved and revered. His impact was great on many lives and institutions, here and elsewhere. He will be sorely missed and lovingly remembered.

Molly Burke

December 10, 2014

Dear Hanson family, I wanted to share with you my deep appreciation for Graeme, and send my sympathy for your loss. It is a loss which is very deep here in San Francisco. Graeme was a teacher and colleague, and in 1996 he inspired me to be a child psychiatrist, He was a doctor and teacher of great compassion, humility and wisdom. We will miss him terribly, as I know you will. I am sorry that I am too far away to attend his service but will be thinking of him. Yours sincerely, Molly Burke

December 10, 2014

My name is Marjorie (Cromwell) Bailey Pooler. I graduated with Graeme in the class of 1953. My sincerest sympathy to all the family on your great loss.

Bennett Leventhal

December 10, 2014

My name is Bennett Leventhal. I am a child psychiatrist who has known Graeme most of my 35 year career. It is hard to put in words what a lovely friend and colleague he has been to me. But, I recently moved to UCSF to take on the position of child psychiatry training director - Graeme's old job. I had so counted on working with him and was so pleased and comforted by his advice, guidance, mentoring and service as a role model. It was a joy to frequently see his warm smile and to have him explore the options for dealing with the many challenges we faced - and, even though it was my job, he was willing to face them with me. Graeme was inspiring not just to me but to the residents and fellows he taught and supervised - even after but a few months of working with Graeme, they felt that he belonged to him, and he to them. We all miss him greatly but we feel so honored to have been a part of his life. We are so thankful to his family who nurtured and supported this wonderful man throughout his life. We hope that you will be comforted in your sorrow and sadness by wondeful memories of his many accomplishments, love, affection and good humor. God speed, Graeme