Obituary: William Strathmann

Grandfather, psychiatrist, educator, Pomona grad, lover of nature

Dr. William Danford Strathmann, 79, died from cancer at 10 a.m. on Sunday, February 11, 2018 while overlooking Pleasant Lake at his home in Casco, Maine, with loved ones by his side.

Born in Pomona and raised in Claremont, California, he attended The Webb School before graduating from Pomona College in 1960. He went on to Harvard Medical School in Boston, where he met his first wife, Leslie. They married in 1963, and had two sons, Bill and Joe.

After graduating from medical school in 1964 and completing his training in the Northeastern US, Dr. Strathmann served in the United States Air Force, stationed in El Paso, Texas. 

With their two young boys in tow, the family moved to the Washington, DC area in 1970, where Dr. Strathmann started his private practice as a psychiatrist. He completed his psychoanalytic training in 1980 and joined the Baltimore Washington Institute for Psychoanalysis in 1983. There, he was appointed an associate teaching analyst in 1995, and teaching analyst in 1999. He served as co-director of the BW Institute’s adult psychotherapy program for several years, and was added to its emeritus faculty in 2011.

An exceptionally devoted father and husband, he lived in Chevy Chase, Maryland, where he and Leslie raised their boys until she died 1996 after her own battle with cancer.

Dr. Strathmann met his second wife, Randi, through their common professional field and their shared commitment to mental health. They dated, and later lived together until they were married in 2005. With her encouragement, they bought a house in Maine together, where Dr. Strathmann retired in 2008 to begin his dream of living in a place with such natural beauty. The couple shared more than 20 years together.

His love of nature and the outdoors began in childhood and continued throughout his life. He enjoyed few things more than “being outdoors, in motion under his own power,” his family shared. Known for this love of nature, his youthful spirit, bright-eyed smile, commitment to family, intellect, and encyclopedic memory (of anatomy, stories, limericks, literature, and lyrics), he will be dearly missed.

He is predeceased by Leslie Micali Strathmann, his first wife of 32 years; and his parents,  Ernest and Cynthia Strathmann of Claremont, who met at Pomona College, where Ernest taught from 1932 to 1970, was professor emeritus of English, and was dean of faculty for 11 years.

He leaves behind his wife of 12 years, Randi Finger Strathmann; brother Richard (Megumi) Strathmann, who also met at Pomona College; sons Bill (Katita) Strathmann, and Joe (Shannon) Strathmann;  five grandchildren, Cali, Kate, Riley, Rowan and John Strathmann; and many extended family members and dear friends.

Two memorial services will be planned for spring, one in Washington DC, and another in Casco, Maine, followed by private internment of his ashes. Donations in Dr. Strathmann’s name will be accepted in the spring


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