In Remembrance: Dennis Upper ’64 Died on September 18 2018

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Early Monday morning, September 17, Dr. Dennis Upper suffered an accidental fall down 13 stairs and hit his head against the wall at the bottom. The blow broke multiple bones in his neck, tore neck arteries, caused cranial bleeding, and briefly stopped his heart. He died at 7:12 p.m. on Tuesday, September 18, 2018.

Upper’s brilliant career as a clinician, program director, and operations executive spanned 50 years. He excelled at the full range of psychological services, including individual treatment, group therapy, couples therapy, outpatient clinics, substance abuse treatment programs, PTSD programs, program development, and behavioral medicine. 

Born and raised in Cleveland, Ohio, he worked as a deckhand and professional musician while attending high school and college. After graduating valedictorian of his high school class, he earned his BA in English from Yale University, his MA in clinical psychology from the University of Cincinnati, his PhD in clinical psychology from Case Western Reserve University, and the prestigious diplomate in clinical psychology from the American Board of Professional Psychology.

In addition to his clinical, management, and executive successes, Upper held adjunct teaching and supervisory positions at Harvard and Northeastern Universities and at Harvard Medical School.

Upper was an equally brilliant writer and poet. He edited 12 professional books, wrote more than 30 professional articles, and had his poems and short stories published in more than 50 literary journals. His 2007 memoir Long Story Short—a collection of one hundred vivid, thoughtful, funny, sad, and profound stories from his life—continues to captivate readers.

Upper is survived by Winchester, Massachusetts, resident Nancy Upper, his wife of 51 years; and his son, Jason Upper, a resident of Aspen, Colorado. 

Long Story Short probes how memories shape our lives, and how writing about them leads to personal growth. Please write your memories of Dr. Dennis Upper and e-mail them to Nancy. Please include photos if you have them. Your memories and photos may appear in the Long Story Short sequel that Nancy and Jason will write.  

Thank you from the heart.

—Submitted by the family.

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