Stuart Hall Bartle, Psychiatrist and Advocate

Nov. 22, 1924 - March 26, 2015
Stuart Hall Bartle, Nov. 22, 1924 - March 26, 2015

Stuart Hall Bartle, a psychiatrist, advocate for the mentally ill, and summer visitor to East Hampton for many years, died at home in Cambridge, Mass., on March 26. He was 90 and had been ill for several months.

Mr. Bartle taught psychiatry in Harare, Zimbabwe, from 1986 to ’88, and there became interested in severe mental illness. He wrote that his experience there was “especially powerful,” his family said, “because mental illness is not stigmatized in the Shona tribal culture.” He spent the rest of his professional life, said his family, “building on this humane principle.”

Upon his return from Africa, he served until 2012 on the staff of Berkshire Medical Center in Pittsfield, Mass.

Born in New York City on Nov. 22, 1924, he was the son of the former Alice Reynolds Hall and William Alfred Bartle.

The stepson, as of 1930, of Robert W. Dowling, who lived in New York City and on Windmill Lane in East Hampton, he attended the Pomfret School in Connecticut, Harvard College, and the New York University School of Medicine.

In his youth, his family said, Mr. Bartle barely survived the Hurricane of 1938, when his family’s house in Quogue was blown away. The family then moved to East Hampton.

He was known as a lover of antique automobiles and, in the ’50s and ’60s, could be found on many an August afternoon repairing and driving his stepfather’s Stanley Steamer.

Mr. Bartle was drafted into the Army’s 78th Infantry Division, serving from 1943 to ’46 in Germany, and was awarded a Purple Heart and a Bronze Star.

Mr. Bartle married Barbara Sinclair Bishop, whose family spent summers in East Hampton, on Dec. 27, 1949. They had four children.

In the 1960s, the couple were active participants in the fight for civil rights in Charlottesville, Va., where Mr. Bartle was affiliated with the University of Virginia School of Medicine.

From 1967 to ’68 he was a resident in psychiatry at Massachusetts General Hospital, and from 1968 to ’86 he had a private practice in psychiatry in Manhattan.

The second half of his long career, after his work in Africa, was “dedicated to humane and effective medical care” for the mentally ill and to “treating them with respect and dignity,” and was the most rewarding for him professionally, his family said.

Mr. Bartle was a lifelong athlete. He played baseball, softball, touch football, and squash in college, and was a skier, runner, and early proponent of isometric exercise. In East Hampton, he was a member of the Maidstone Mugwumps, an amateur baseball club, in the early ’50s.

Mr. Bartle is survived by his wife and four children, Chris Bartle of Dover, Mass., Andrew Bartle of Manhattan and East Hampton, Elizabeth Boghossian of Cambridge and East Hampton, and Marion Packs of Weston, Mass. A half-sister, Ruth Dowling Bruun of Remsenburg, and 11 grandchildren also survive.

Mr. Bartle was buried at Woodlawn Cemetery in the Bronx. A service will be held at 3 p.m. on Saturday at Trinity Episcopal Church in Lenox, Mass., the Rev. Tad Evans officiating.

Memorial contributions have been suggested to Gould Farm, 100 Gould Road, Monterey, Mass. 01245. Condolence comments can be left at forevermissed.com/stuart-hall-bartle.