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: