Vali Dagmar Kahn, loving mother, wife, daughter, sister, friend, artist, and therapist, died at home in the first hours of May 8, 2019 after living with gastric cancer for two years. She was 43.
Vali was born in Boston. She attended The Waldorf School in Lexington and the Cambridge School of Weston. She earned a B.A. from Bryn Mawr College. After working in Jerome Kagan’s lab at Harvard, she went on to get a Doctorate in Psychology from The University of Massachusetts, Boston. In her work, she explored the in-between spaces: life transitions, ambiguous and in-between identities, racial identity, and social justice. Vali saw and appreciated the gray, the nuanced, the complex. She thought and felt deeply, which made her an extraordinary and beloved therapist. She worked as a clinical psychologist at Cambridge Hospital and in a private practice in Cambridge, MA.
Vali was a talented painter whose paintings of nature were particularly beautiful. She was a fierce advocate for the underdog, from defending her elementary school classmates when they forgot their homework, to supporting anyone she encountered who needed help. One of her favorite places was the family log cabin in the White Mountains. She loved spending time in nature with her young family; a walk in the woods, a hike up a mountain, or a bike ride always made her happy. Her love of the wild outdoors will live on through her children and extended family.
Vali’s family, professional colleagues and many friends knew her as a courageous, honest, smart, strong, sensitive and compassionate person, with an infectious laugh and a beautiful smile. We will forever be inspired by her.
She is survived by her wife, Jeannie Seidler; her young children, Niels and Frankie Rose; her parents Richard Kahn (Sharon Blackburn) and Maianna von Hippel (Steve Samuel), her brother
Jonas Kahn (Nina Kahn), step-sister Ema Bravman, uncles, aunts, cousins, nephews, nieces, and her dog, Wiley.
Donations can be made in her memory to Debbie’s Dream Foundation, Mass Equality Education Fund, or The Conservation Fund.
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