Wolfgang Lederer died on January 3, 2015; just short of 96 years old. The passing of a great good man may go largely unremarked upon if he is not famous. However, never is it without a large sigh from quarters touched by the man. Though one cannot feel he was robbed with near 96 years, on can feel the loss of a great spirit – a humble spirit and wise.
I sigh and am especially proud (something he would not smile upon) to have known him in so many different roles. In the 1980s I was a well known therapist in the SF Bay area. I wanted a top notch clinician to speak with regarding my own concerns. Having great resources I tapped them all and came up with one name, repeatedly: Wolfgang Lederer.
We began what was to become many years of the wisest council one can ever hope for in life. The man was amazing. In his quiet, refined and impeccable way he could see into the soul, distill the meaning on so many levels and provide a perspective shifting interpretation that provided immediate and lasting emotionally corrective experience. And after 40 years as a psychologist, that seems to be what it is all about.
When “Dr. Lederer” retired we went from calling each other Dr. to calling each other friend and, everntually; by our given names. As friends, I was lucky enough to continue to bask in his wisdom through many lunches at Horizon’s in Sausalito. We laughed, we told of our stories both past and present.
Sadly, and with great appreciation for the honor bestowed; I was lucky enough to give a little back as the days passed and the frailties’ of human being started to win out.
He mattered. He gave selflessly. Fought courageously. Struggled gracefully. And I hope died peacefully.
I consider it an honor to have known him, called him my therapist, called him my clinical supervisor, called him my mentor, called him my friend. And I am most proud he called me his friend.
Wolf, I will carry on trying to elevate the spirit of each I meet with a wisdom worthy of calling myself your mentee. And,
as always I will quote (and give credit to) you.
A prayer in the wind to you. Your good works go on through me and I am sure every other person you ever touched when walking this earth.
Peace in the bones of all that sigh today; and,
Rest in peace, my dear friend.