ARTHUR LEO PETERSON, MD, FACP, FAPA, formerly of Haverford, PA, passed away on January 31, 2014 at his residence in Waverly Heights, Gladwyne, PA.
Beloved husband of the late Anne Marie Peterson (nee: Horan). He is survived by children Arthur G. (Chong Ok) & Walter B. Peterson, Beverly A. Cyrulik (Robert); grandfather of Anna E. Henderson (John), James (Anastasia Kim), Andrew & Steven C. Peterson; great-grandfather of Dominic Ventura, Matthew & Jazlynn Henderson and Xavier & Xenni Peterson.
Born on October 21, 1917 in Brooklyn, NY., Dr. Peterson was a 1943 graduate of Columbia University, also receiving his medical degree there in 1945. He was a Major in the US Air Force Medical Corps from 1944-1947. In 1951, he joined the staff of Pennsylvania Hospital, whose renowned psychiatric institute was founded by Dr. Benjamin Rush and was the oldest hospital for the care of the mentally ill and intellectually challenged. He rose quickly to become the Chief Executive Medical Officer of the Institute and by 1960 was president of the American Psychiatric Association, of which he remained a Distinguished Life Fellow. In his numerous visiting professorships, he stressed compassion for the mentally ill and respect for their human dignity. He was a kind and generous man, often treating patients for years who could not afford to pay. He finally retired from medical practice in 2011 after more than 66 years.
In private, he was devoted to his wife and family. Possessed of a quiet demeanor, he maintained several intellectual pursuits and was an avid reader with an insatiable thirst for knowledge about many subjects. He was happily married to his closest friend for 61 years until her sudden death in 2004. Devastated by the loss, he soldiered on independently, forging a certain solace in his work with patients and his family and friendships. He had a ready smile and a warm, firm handshake for all he met. Last evening, he died peacefully in his sleep.
Relatives and friends are invited to a Memorial Funeral Service on Saturday April 26, 1:00 PM at St. Christopher's Church, 226 Righters Mill Rd., Gladwyne, PA 19035. Interment will be private.
Memorial donations may be made to: The Johns Hopkins Children's Center, Division of Allergy & Immunology, 1800 Orleans Street, Baltimore, MD 21287.