Ron Krasner died, so unexpectedly, over the Christmas break. It was a shock to us all.

Ron was a former President of this Society. In that role he brought a rare level of administrative expertise that he had honed over the years. He helped us put a rather shaky house in order, and one testament to his work is that we’re still here.

I first met Ron almost 30 years ago when I began working at the Lakeside VA, which at that time was part of Northwestern, where Ron was residency director and later associate chair. Ron’s psychoanalytic acumen came across during our in person reviews for the residents I supervised. He always helped me to say more about the residents than I intended to say, which was helpful to me and to the residents, whose learning needs were paramount in his mind.

Ron was truly one of a kind, as at that point he was the only psychoanalyst in Chicago to have a major role in a major psychiatry department. This was all the more remarkable as the Chairman of Ron’s department was a major advocate of the managed care approach that was changing the shape of clinical practice.  Against that tide, Ron was a voice for psychoanalytic values. He held the line.

Being a defensive lineman was true to Ron’s stature. He was a big man, a natural leader, whose empathy and essential kindness came as something of a surprise, at least to me. He was a formal, dignified man, and a rather conservative one, not necessarily what you would expect from a man with a rather blue collar background and an inner city Chicago upbringing.

Ron leaves behind  many friends in our community, with whom he played poker, studied, shot baskets, and dined.  And there are countless others who he taught, mentored and inspired.  In other words, Ron was the kind of analyst who engaged. All of us will miss him.

-Neal Spira, MD, former President of the Chicago Psychoanalytic Society

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