Jeffrey L. Lazarus, III, PhD, passed away Friday, April 24th in Oakland, CA. He was 66. Jeff was born and raised in Cincinnati, and had close and loving relationships with his parents, Ann Ballenberg and Jeffrey L. Lazarus, Jr, who predeceased him. Throughout his life he remained close to friends from Cincinnati.
While attending Beloit College, Jeff completed an internship in Palo Alto, CA and realized he wanted to return to Northern California to live. He knew from childhood that he wanted to be a psychotherapist and after obtaining his BA, Jeff moved to San Francisco to pursue his doctorate from the California School of Professional Psychology. During their first semester of graduate school, Jeff and Susan Kegeles met in the Psychology Library at the University of California, Berkeley, which she was attending. Jeff and Susan were together for 42 years, and married for 37 years. They made their home in Berkeley, CA, and had two children, Paul Lazarus, of Berkeley and Rebecca Lazarus, who is following in her father’s footsteps as she is pursuing her doctorate in Counseling Psychology in Miami, FL.
The family traveled extensively and were members of Kehilla Community Synagogue in Oakland. Jeff was a committed and involved father who loved his children dearly, and prioritized time with them such as going to basketball games with Paul and Rebecca.
Jeff had a private practice with Walnut Creek Counseling Associates, and saw children, teens, couples and families for 35 years. He loved being a therapist, and particularly adored working with children and adolescents. He also enjoyed being a clinical supervisor, and as Professor at John F. Kennedy University, he mentored hundreds of early career therapists there and at Highland Hospital, where he directed a clinic for children and adolescents. He enjoyed good food and wine, sports (especially the Golden State Warriors), hiking in the outdoors (especially backpacking in his younger years), and his dogs.
He supported Susan’s career, enabling her to do international research in HIV prevention for 35 years. Jeff was a committed friend and his friendships meant everything to him. He was a kind, caring, gentle and nurturing person, and was deeply loved by his family, friends, and supervisees. He was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in October, 2019, endured months of chemotherapy, and although he was in pain at diagnosis, he was pain-free when he passed away and did not suffer.
A public memorial service will be held at a later date. If you would like to attend, please write to JLazarusMemorial@gmail.com. In lieu of flowers, please make donations to the Crested Butte Land Trust (CBLandtrust.org) or) to the Free Store Food Bank (freestorefoodbank.org) in Cincinnati. Although Jeff left us too young, he felt very loved and that he had a very full and satisfying life.