Dr. Friedy B. Heisler; Psychiatrist, Crusader
Dr. Friedy B. Heisler, 96, Carmel psychiatrist, pacifist and civil rights crusader. In 1983, UC Berkeley’s Bancroft Library detailed the lives of Heisler and her late attorney husband, Francis, in the oral history called “Francis Heisler and Friedy Heisler: Civil Liberties, Mental Health and the Pursuit of Peace.” Born in Switzerland, she graduated from the College of Neuchatel and married Zurich professor Francis Heisler in 1920. The couple lived in Berlin, where she studied music and dancing, and then moved to Chicago, where she earned a medical degree from the University of Illinois. They moved to Carmel in 1948 when their son entered Stanford Medical School. She practiced psychiatry, retiring in 1984, and revitalized the Monterey Peninsula Mental Health Society. She also taught mental health for educators at UC Berkeley and UC Santa Cruz, was president of the Monterey County Mental Health Society and was the first chairman of the Community Hospital of Monterey Peninsula Psychiatric Department. She was active in the Carmel Music Society, Chamber Music Society of the Monterey Peninsula and the Carmel Bach Festival. With her husband, Heisler pursued peace and civil rights causes and initiated innovative litigation such as a lawsuit to recover a “human depletion allowance”--akin to petroleum companies’ oil depletion allowance--after both Heislers turned 70. On July 28 in Carmel.
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