ALBANY – R. David (Dave) Kissinger, Ph.D., FAClinP, of Delmar, New York, passed away peacefully on Tuesday, January 3, 2023, surrounded by his three children. Born May 12, 1935, in Chicago, Illinois, Dave was the son of the late Doris (Winegar) Kissinger and Richard D. Kissinger. His wife of 62 years, Martha Rasch Kissinger, died in 2019. He is survived by his three children, Lisa Kissinger of Albany, NY, Paul Kissinger of Dexter, Michigan, and Mark (Karen) Kissinger and their sons Jack and Peter Kissinger of Delmar. He was also predeceased by his daughter-in-law Susan Kissinger. He is survived by three nieces, a grand niece and nephew and many loving friends.
Dave earned a B.A. from the University of Michigan in 1957 with an Honors in Psychology and a Doctorate in Clinical Psychology from Adelphi University in 1961. Dave was the Director of Psychological and Counseling Services at Binghamton University for over 31 years. He also had an extensive private practice for forty years and helped thousands of people. Dave was a steady, calming presence in the life of many people, helping them to develop strength and self-acceptance.
Dave began his career as a Staff Psychologist at Fairfield Hills Hospital in Newtown, Connecticut in 1961. In 1965, he was named Director of the Counseling Center at SUNY Binghamton. Dave also held an adjunct professor position in Clinical Psychology at Binghamton. As Director, he pioneered the use of simulations and video in training peer counselors, collaborating with the theater department and Residence Life. Dave was always ahead of the curve with technology – designing an intake database and note-taking system in the 1980s. He retired from Binghamton University in 1997.
Dave was a lifelong learner and a man of many talents. Dave was a 1954 graduate of Roslyn High School on Long Island, NY and while at the University of Michigan was a member of the Beta Theta Pi Fraternity. He met Martha in 1954 while playing trumpet at a party at the U of M. Martha and Dave were engaged in 1956, and were married the day after their graduation in 1957. He was a loyal Michigan alumni, always wearing maize and blue. Dave’s love for jazz began in his young adulthood, and he continued to play the trumpet throughout his life, organizing impromptu jam sessions with his children (on the piano, sax and trombone) and with friends. Most recently, Dave played with and arranged music for the Pacemakers. Dave was a writer, winning the prestigious Avery and Julie Hopwood Award for Fiction at the University of Michigan in 1954. Dave was a photographer, and loved taking photographs of sunsets, flowers in Martha’s garden and Martha. Later in life, he discovered the joys of digital art which he published on Instagram (@r.davidkissinger). Dave also discovered an interest and talent for painting – creating abstract images and portraits. His creative pursuits through the years included stained glass making, mobiles, antiquing and teaching classes on the history of jazz.
Dave was involved in the Binghamton community as President of the Board of Directors of Planned Parenthood of Broome and Chenango Counties and chaired the Broome County Task Force to Study Mental Health Resources in Broome County. He served as the Director of the Primary Mental Health program for the Binghamton City Schools for seven years. In Delmar, New York, Dave served as President of the Walden Fields Homeowners Association from 2019-2020 and created the Walden Puddle during the early days of the pandemic to entertain neighbors. Dave and Martha enjoyed many Albany Symphony concerts, jazz concerts, adult education courses, movies, plays at Cap Rep, trips to museums, reunions in Ann Arbor, Niagara on the Lake, Michigan football games, and international travel to many countries, including a 50th wedding anniversary trip to France with the family. He was also a fan of sandcastle design and construction and a good book on a Cape Hatteras beach.
A memorial gathering and celebration of Dave’s life will be held Sunday, January 29, 2023 from 1:30-4:30 PM at 60 State Place, located at 60 State Street, Albany NY.
In lieu of flowers, memorial tributes for Dave Kissinger are kindly suggested to Sandy Hook Promise (https://www.sandyhookpromise.org/) or to the Jazz Foundation of America www.JazzFoundation.org/donate/.
To leave a message of condolence for the family, please visit www.HansFuneralHome.com .
Here is a video tribute to Dave:
Lisa, Paul & Mark –
Your Mom and Dad are together again. May your fond memories over the years provide you peace and comfort during this difficult time. You all are in my thoughts and prayers.
Carla and Kevin Williams
Dear Kissinger Family,
We send our deepest sympathies for your loss. Hoping the wonderful memories of your time together will bring you comfort today and for years to come.
What a well lived life! May we all follow his lead. Sending each of you love during this difficult time. May Dave’s memory be eternal.
With heartfelt condolences,
Ed and Betsy Cambridge
Ed and I are sending our sincere condolences at the loss of your Dad. We have great memories of spending time with him and all of you in Cape Cod several summers ago. He was such a delight with a great sense of humor. He and your Mom leave a great legacy in all of you. Sending you all so much love.
Sorry for your loss – what an impressive obituary – certainly a life well and fully lived. Helps me understand the Michigan devotion. My thoughts and prayers are with you guys. I am sure he was and is very proud of his family.
Carol and John Hartman
What an impressive and well lived life. Your dad, and mom, were wonderful people and we were privileged to count them as friends. May fond memories sustain you in the days ahead.
Deepest sympathy from John and. Carol Hartman
Kristian M. Lou
Dave and Martha are wonderful people. Everyone blessed by counting them as friends is universally
in agreement that it was an honor and privilege to be exposed to their charm and wit. May their talents
persist by way of their children. GOD BLESS the KISSINGER FAMILY.
Kristian ( Ted ) Lou
Dear Lisa ,Paul and Mark:
Your father was a friend, and mentor to me and one of the great people in my life. He kept in touch and I treasure our correspondence. We shared a love for music and the healing arts, and he taught me much about both.
Please accept my condolences and count me among the many who will miss David and Martha.
arthur &ruth levy
Sad to learn that David has died. David and Martha were good friends to us. David was so effective as a counselor that he was my consultant of choice when a patient referral was needed. And he educated us on jazz history. Miss him. Miss her.
I was sorry to read about the loss of your father. I’m sure he took great comfort in the care you showed him during his illness. He seemed like a remarkable man and I’m sure he will be missed by his family and all those who knew him.
David L. Anderson
Dear Kissinger Family,
Dave served Binghamton University for over 30 years. I had the good fortune to be a colleague for much of that time. Together we sometimes faced the especially difficult task of deciding whether a student’s physical and psychological well-being would best be served in the University environment. Dave always provided good counsel.
Please accept my condolences.
David L. Anderson
I am so sorry to learn of Dave’s death. He and Martha were the first friends Bud and I made at Walden Fields, and we spent many pleasant times together.
Dr. Kissinger helped me launch my career as a psychotherapist when I was psychology undergraduate at SUNY Binghamton. I still use the Rogerian techniques he taught me. I am sure I am not the only student who has experienced his loving and effective teaching. Rest in Peace, Dr. K.
George and Resa Tanner
Dear Lisa, Mark and Paul,
We are so sorry for the loss of your Dad and our friend and band mate.
While we knew Dad had some health issues, we really hoped he would come back to the Pacemakers when we resume rehearsals in the Spring. He contributed in so many ways. Not only as a fine trumpet player, but as a music arranger, treasurer and booking agent. He will be sorely missed, not only for his talents, but for his enthusiasm, ready smile and great humor. We loved playing music with Dave.
We are sorry we can’t be with you on January 29th when you gather to honor a life so well lived. We are away but we’ll be with you in spirit.
Wishing the Kissinger family the comfort of beautiful memories and to Dave, until we meet again.
George and Resa Tanner