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Guttman, S.A. (1969). Robert Waelder—1900–1967. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 50:269-273.

(1969). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 50:269-273

Robert Waelder—1900–1967

Samuel A. Guttman

Like Matthew Arnold, he performed two roles, one as conservator of what was valuable from the past and the other as a proponent of the free play of the critical intelligence on the present

On 28 September 1967, Dr Robert Waelder passed on most suddenly, in his 67th year. He died sooner than he might have wished, but under the best of all circumstances. He was at home with his wife Elsie, surrounded by the books and art treasures he loved the most. His death was most probably caused by a pulmonary vascular lesion. He is survived by two teenaged children, David and Cathy, and two daughters by a previous marriage, Drs Dorothea Waelder Hellman of Cambridge, Massachusetts, and Marianne Waelder Von Hippel, of Anchorage, Alaska.

For the past several years he strained as he tried to keep abreast of the rapidly changing sociological and political events, while he lived under a very real constant threat from his recurring episodes of cardiac decompensation. In spite of this, there had been very little erosion of his will, or weakening of his spirits. He was most productive in his last years of life perhaps not in spite of the albatross of ill health, but because of it.

On occasion he spoke of wanting to live to be eighty because by then he felt he would have written about all he had to say. He wanted to live as long as he could read, think and be able to write. If he became ill he did not want to be a burden to his family and friends. For him death was part of a process, and not a punishment.

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