Ken Gottlieb died in the early morning hours of Aug. 5, 2009, when his Cessna 182 Skylane crashed into a hillside in Napa, Calif., shortly after taking off from the local airport. He was flying to Bakersfield and intended to go on to New Mexico to meet his wife, Gayle. He was alone in the plane.

Kenneth Ira Gottlieb, born in Brooklyn, studied philosophy and religious studies at Amherst before earning his M.D. from Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York City in 1967. The next year he married Gayle Kolker, who had just graduated from Sarah Lawrence. He completed his residency in psychiatry while studying law at Yale Law School in New Haven.

After a short time in the U.S. Public Health Service in Washington, D.C., and in San Francisco, he began a private practice in psychiatry in San Francisco. Ken taught at San Francisco Psychoanalytic Institute (where he had studied), the Univ. of California, San Francisco, School of Medicine and the Univ. of California, Berkeley, School of Law.

Ken was dedicated to his family. He and Gayle recently returned from a trip to visit their daughter, son-in-law and two granddaughters in Italy. The Gottliebs were scheduled to visit Seattle with their son and his husband, who reside in Washington, D.C.

Ken loved the arts, especially theatre and opera. Classmate Ralph Miller recalls that it was Ken who introduced him, during his first week at Amherst, to a phonograph recording of La Boheme, and later to live opera in New York, thereby awakening in Ralph a lifelong passion for opera. “I never attend a performance without thinking about Ken,” says Ralph.

Ken loved sailing (one reason he moved to the Bay area), tennis and squash in his youth, water skiing, snow skiing and scuba diving. Flying was a recently acquired passion.

Neale Adams ’63