Donald David Pet, 86, passed away at his home in East Hartford, CT on December 26, 2022, after a long struggle with kidney disease.
Don was born in Baltimore, MD to Morris and Shirley Petrushansky. He graduated high school from City College in 1954 and majored in psychology and philosophy at Johns Hopkins University, during which time he met and married Marilyn, his beloved wife of 65+ years. He received his medical degree from the University of Maryland and completed a residency in psychiatry at Johns Hopkins University.
Along with his wife Marilyn, Don will be missed and remembered by three sons and their spouses: Obbie and Su Lin, Pacey and Sue, and Russell and Karen; grandchildren: Mitchell (Gillian), Douglas, Steven (Rachel), Jacob, Anna (Zach), Kaitlin, and Nikki; and great grandchildren: Theo, Lydia, Mira, Elina, Isadore, and Ida Kay. Don and Marilyn always encouraged and supported education and creativity for all generations inspiring their offspring to fulfill passions in the health professions, engineering, law, music, and art.
Don started his career in the Public Health Service in Lexington, KY developing his expertise in treatments for alcohol and substance abuse. He brought his skills to Connecticut, where he worked with the State of CT to start DARTEC for residential substance abuse treatment. This program successfully pioneered the training of ex-addicts to become rehabilitation treatment counselors. Don entered private psychiatry practice and developed a community center to provide individual and group counselling, called the Educational Community.
Don developed a therapeutic approach to personal happiness which patients found extremely effective. His process emphasized listening and the role of word choice in shaping a framework for stress management and conflict resolution. Over the last 20 years, he extended this therapeutic strategy to world stage problems such as nuclear threats, pollution, and climate change. He wrote several books and created organizations teaching strategies to address these global issues. See https://peace.academy/
Don developed a second career in real estate ownership and management. He thought fondly of the tenants to whom he provided housing. He also enjoyed playing the organ and collecting art in the form of wood, glass, rugs, and minerals.
Don’s passion for life and attitude of gratitude will be missed by all he has touched.
In lieu of flowers, please make contributions to his 501c3 non profit for world peace:
235 East River Drive #1107
East Hartford, CT 06108