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In memoriam: Klaus Minde

In memoriam: Klaus Minde

Klaus Minde, former head of Child Psychiatry at Queen’s, died July 6, surrounded by his loving family.

He suffered a stroke while sailing his Laser with his son Thomas on the St. Lawrence River. Following his stroke, he was well cared for at the Montreal Neurological Institute, where he died 10 days later.

Son of Ilse and Karl Minde, Klaus grew up in Leipzig, Germany and was a member of the elite St. Thomas Choir from the age of 9 until he graduated from high school. There he strived for excellence, developing his sense of discipline as well as his love for the music of Bach.

After fleeing East Germany he studied medicine at the University of Munich, where he met his future wife, Nina. He spent two years in New York City on a Fulbright Scholarship, training in pediatrics at Bellevue Hospital. He completed a master's degree in psychology at Columbia University. He then pursued training in child psychiatry and psychoanalysis.

Klaus Minde was chair of Child Psychiatry at McGill University from 1989 to 2000. Prior to that he was director of research at the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto and chair of psychiatry at Queen’s University. He was a leader in developing the field of infant psychiatry in Canada and beyond.

Klaus had a passion for learning and research. He contributed in major ways to the understanding of hyperactivity, prematurity, sleep, and attachment theory. He also made important contributions to cross-cultural psychiatry, inspired by his love of Africa. He lived with his young family in Uganda for two years in the 1970s and later he and Nina spent a sabbatical year in South Africa.

Klaus was the author of many publications and active in various international academic associations. He inspired many colleagues and worked tirelessly to redress many of the social injustices he encountered, striving to make this world a better place. In his later years, his greatest joy was to mentor younger clinicians and researchers. He also remained active in the admissions committee at McGill Medical School. He continued seeing patients until the week before his final illness.

He leaves Nina, his wife of 55 years, sons Thomas, Hendrik and Nicholas, and daughters-in-law Astrid and Elke. He took particular pride in his grandchildren Svenja, Kaia, Liv and Ove, and was loved by his large extended family.

[cover graphic of Queen's Alumni Review, issue 4-2016]