Madison - Dr. Leonard Irving Stein MD, age 88, of Madison, WI passed Tuesday 7/10/18
Len Stein was born in Hartford, CT to William and Rachael Stein and grew up in Chicago. He then moved to Madison, WI which would become his home for the next 70+ years. He graduated from Madison West High School in 1947. As an undergraduate at the University of Wisconsin Len spent many enjoyable hours at the Memorial Union RathSkeller perfecting his Billiards game which led him to become a national collegiate champion, a passion he continued through the rest of his life. Len then proudly served his country in the Korean War returning to Madison as a Captain and entering Medical School on the GI Bill. Len was set up on a blind date with Karen Sessler on New Year's Eve 1958 and they were married 8 months later. Together they raised three children (Laura, Alan, Julia) as well as Karen's younger brother Gregory Sessler following the death of his father in 1963 and mother in 1969. Len loved playing tennis, sailing on lake Mendota and Green Bay while vacationing in Sister Bay Wi with his family, skiing and playing poker.
Dr. Stein was a highly respected psychiatrist and professor in the department of psychiatry at the University of Wisconsin medical center. Len played a key role in the area known as Community Psychiatry and literally "wrote the book" on treating patients with mental illness in a community based setting rather than inside of an institution. His work was recognized internationally.
Above all Leonard Stein was an exceptional person. He was generous, kind, smart, respected and liked by all who knew him - both personally and professionally. He will be missed and most of all he will be remembered lovingly by all who knew him.
A Jewish Service is scheduled for 7/12, 11am at Temple Beth EL. A meal of condolence will be at Temple Beth EL following the grave side ceremony. The Ceremony will be officiated by Rabbi Jonathan Biatch, accompanied by Len's sister in-law Dale Kaufman.
The family requests that In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to the following two non-profit organizations serving people with serious mental illness in Dane County:
NAMI Dane County
2059 Atwood Ave.
Madison, WI 53704
1110 Ruskin St.
Madison, WI 53704
Len is survived by his Wife of 59 years Karen, daughter Laura (Patrick Farrell), Son Alan (Romelyn Stein), daughter Julia (Steven Barnes) and his grandchildren Aidan, Deklan Farrell, Eli, Haya Stein, Rachel Barnes and brother in law Gregory Sessler (Dale Ann Kaufman) and their children Benjamin and Ana Sessler.
Cress Funeral & Cremation Service
3610 Speedway Road, Madison
Len Stein was one of the most important people in establishing community treatment for persons with serious mental illness. His work enabled individuals worldwide to live independent productive lives outside of institutional settings. He was also kind and willing to stand up for what was right. I remember him going with me to visit one of the named plaintiffs, Joan S., in our lawsuit against the Milwaukee County mental health system. We went to her trailer in West Allis where Len interviewed her about her life in the institution and at home - she clearly did not need to spend four wasted years in an institution. He was so kind and respectful and wrote up a wonderful report.
It was a real privilege to have known and worked with Len Stein.
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