Donald M. Isaac, Ph.D., passed away with his family at his side on Febrary 27, 2003, in Seattle, at the age of 70, after a series of illnesses. He is survived by his wife of 42 years, Sylvia, and his son Richard. Don was born in Yonkers, NY, on December 21, 1932, the only child of Helen (Markowitz) and Nicholas Isaac, and grew up in the Bronx. He attended Stuyvesant High School, City College of New York (where he graduated cum laude and was elected to Phi Beta Kappa), and Duke University. He received his Ph.D. in psychology from Clark University in Worcester, MA, where he lived until 1995, when he and Sylvia moved to Seattle, to be near their son, Richard.

Don maintained a private practice from 1963 to 1994, specializing in youth and abnormal psychology. He was a professor of psychology and human services at Assumption College (Worcester, MA) in the late 1960s and at Fitchburg State College (MA) from 1971 to 1994, where he developed and instituted a course on the psychology of captivity and the Holocaust, which greatly affected the lives of many of his students. He served as the editor of a newsletter for families of past and present prison inmates and as a psychologist at the Worcester Youth Guidance Center, St. Vincent's Hospital and Medfield State Hospital. Don was active in community service and was on numerous boards, including Children's Protective Services (Central MA) and Jewish Family Service of Worcester. He won numerous awards and patented a chess game of his own invention.

Don was an active advocate for equal rights for gays and lesbians. He was particularly concerned about gay youth self-esteem and suicide and planned to write a book on the subject after his retirement. After moving to Seattle, Don served for five years on the board of Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG)-Seattle, following five active years in Worcester's PFLAG. He marched in Worcester and Seattle Pride marches, contributed articles to the Seattle Gay News, and presented at the 1992 PFLAG National Convention in Seattle, as well as at various gay youth and diversity workshops in the Northeast. Don's other main interest was Jewish history and the Holocaust. He read voraciously on these subjects, amassing a large collection of related books and videos, and he travelled to Israel twice. He had wide musical interests including a particular fondness for klezmer music, and collected a large number of varied klezmer recordings.

Cremation has taken place but, at Don's wish, a memorial party will be held in Seattle in the near future to celebrate his life in a festive fashion. Donations in Don's memory can be made to a chapter of Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG), to Congregation Tikvah Chadashah (Seattle's gay and lesbian synagogue) or to the Northwest Kidney Center.

[Published in the Seattle Gay News, the Worcester Telegram & Gazette, the (Seattle) PFLAG Banner, and the alumni magazines of City College of New York, Clark University, and Stuyvesant High School.]