David Myerson, 99
David John Myerson, 99, of Dartmouth, a prominent psychiatrist, artist and avid sailor, died peacefully at home on Nov. 8. Born in Boston Jan. 29, 1919, he was a World War II veteran, graduate of Harvard University and Tuft’s Medical School.
As a psychiatrist, he was one of the first to promote treatment rather than punishment for people struggling with addictions. Although he had a small private practice, he dedicated most of his time and energy to public service. He recognized the humanity of those who suffered from problems beyond their control. He valued their autonomy and taught them to live with dignity.
David developed and directed addiction treatment programs at a number of Boston hospitals, including Boston State, Brigham and Women’s and the Washingtonian. Later, he was appointed superintendent at Worcester State Hospital where he was at the forefront of creating programs to deinstitutionalize people. He held the David John Myerson Chair of Community Psychiatry at University of Massachusetts Medical School. After his retirement, he worked at Taunton State Hospital, and at St. Luke’s in New Bedford doing what he loved most, providing direct hands-on psychiatric care.
David also was an accomplished artist. He painted, and made intricate wood carvings of owls and birds of all sizes. After retiring from St. Luke’s, he earned a degree in fine arts from Florida Atlantic University at the age of 90.
David leaves his wife Alfreda, her son, Steven and his wife Denise. He leaves three daughters from his earlier marriage to Edith Myerson (deceased): Nan Evans and her husband David of Onset, Alice S. Myerson of the Bronx, and Rachel Kuklinski of Wareham, as well as seven grandchildren and six great-grandchildren.
We have all been blessed by the passion for life which he shared with us. A celebration memorial for David Myerson will be held on Dec. 2 at 2 p.m. at the New Bedford Whaling Museum. In lieu of flowers, please make donations to Doctors Without Borders or the New Bedford Art Museum/Art Works in his name.