Graeme Hanson, 79: Distinguished psychiatrist loved family, music, Clam Festival

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YARMOUTH — Graeme Hanson, 79, died Dec. 4 in San Francisco from complications of pulmonary disease.

Hanson was born March 26, 1935, in Augusta, to Elliott C. Hanson and Margarey B. Hanson. Raised in Bath, he served for four years as president of his class at Morse High School, and graduated as valedictorian in 1953. He earned an undergraduate degree from Yale University in 1958 with a major in German literature, after spending one of his college years studying at the University of Heidelberg.

Hanson earned an M.D. from Harvard Medical School in 1962, completed an internship at Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City, and then received training in general psychiatry and child and adolescent psychiatry at the Massachusetts Mental Health Center. He went on to serve as chief of psychiatry at Randolph Air Force Base in Texas and at U-Tapao Air Force Base in Thailand.

After working in child psychiatry in the Boston area and holding a faculty position at Harvard Medical School for 10 years, Hanson moved to San Francisco in 1980. There, he worked for 24 years at the University of California, San Francisco, rising to become clinical professor of psychiatry and pediatrics, a position he held until his death.

He also held numerous other positions at UCSF, including child and adolescent psychiatry training director, psychiatric consultant for the nascent infant-parent program at San Francisco General Hospital and director of Langley Porter Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Inpatient Services. In addition, Hanson served as medical director, board member and director emeritus of the Edgewood Center for Children and Families in San Francisco.

A nationally respected leader in his field, Hanson played crucial roles in the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, where he helped develop mental health policies affecting schools and systems of care. He was best known by his colleagues for his role as a mentor who shaped the careers of generations of child and adolescent psychiatrists, and who approached his work with kindness, passion and humility.

Hanson was an avid collector of ancient Chinese ceramics, a lover of classical music and opera, and an accomplished painter and pianist. His presence will be missed at lobster bakes and at the Yarmouth Clam Festival, where he taught relatives everything they needed to know about love, family and cooking lobster.

He is survived by his mother, Margarey B. Hanson, of Yarmouth, and his five siblings: Peggy Carmichael and husband, Robert, of Bucksport, James Hanson and wife, Joni, of Whitsett, North Carolina, Pamelia Barry, of Cumberland, Cynthia Loomis, of Yarmouth, and Deborah Roux and husband, Thomas, of Yarmouth. He is also survived by many nieces, nephews, grand-nieces, grand-nephews, friends, colleagues and students from Maine to California.

A reception will be held Saturday, Jan. 10, 2015, from 1-2 p.m. at Lindquist Funeral Home, 1 Mayberry Lane, Yarmouth, with a memorial service immediately afterward. Burial will be at Riverside Cemetery in Yarmouth during the spring.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Edgewood Center for Children and Families, 1801 Vicente St., San Francisco, CA 94116, or at edgewood.org.

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