Celebrating the Life of

Pearl Appel

1925 - 2021

To honor Pearl, please wear an item of Red; it was her favorite color

May 23, 2021

2:00 PM Eastern Time | ​11:00 AM Pacific Time 

Thank you for participating in the upcoming memorial service.

This virtual event will use Zoom video conferencing, which requires an internet connected computer with a web camera, or a smart phone with the Zoom app installed.

 

When to connect

Since this is a virtual service, please plan on connecting at least 10 minutes before the service begins to minimize connectivity issues.

If You Are Using A Telephone

In the US dial +1 (646) 558-8656

Use Meeting ID 983 7918 3789

One click dialing here

​International phone numbers here

Biography

Pearl was a lifelong student both academically and of life. She received her Bachelor’s of Science from the University of Massachusetts in Biology, her Master’s in Chemistry from MIT, and her PhD from Berkeley in Biochemistry. Then in her 40’s she went back to school and became a Psychoanalyst. But Pearl didn’t need to be in school to learn- she always had a discerning curiosity, and had an indefatigable thirst for knowledge. She wisely used that knowledge to provide a respectful sounding board for others; Pearl was a consummate listener, and if you were fortunate enough to have her attention, she generously gave you her complete presence.

 

Pearl was able to remain consistent in being herself in her personal and professional life- giving thoughtful advice based on the individual, and putting one at ease with her ‘North Shore- soft “r”’ “dahrling”. All the modern worries could melt away in her presence- she had been there, done that, but one always felt her kind and humble presence as a welcome lantern, beaming out hope with her laughter, and confidence in her contagious  ‘small yet mighty’ demeanor.

 

Pearl touched many lives, and countless people thought of her as their second mother. We all just opened up to her without even realizing it and she just as seamlessly opened her heart. She listened without judgment and gave advice only when asked. Somehow she knew what we all needed before we even knew ourselves. 

 

Pearl drove erratically but walked everywhere and with purpose. We all told her to meet us 30 minutes before we really planned to get there otherwise we’d be standing there waiting for 30 minutes since she was never on time. Anyone who stayed over at her apartment and many did, always woke up to a nourishing breakfast such as bagels and lox. How she managed to sneak out to Zabars without any of us realizing will remain a mystery. 

 

Pearl loved to ski, especially in Park City Utah. She skied her entire life and even won gold medals into her 80’s with her 80+ ski club.

 

Pearl loved people and we all loved her. Her zest for celebration and loving life shined on many occasions. Her parties were legendary, such as the ones that took place the night before Thanksgiving. She was lucky enough to live on the block where Macy’s blew up the balloons on the eve of their annual parade. And every year both friends and family would flock to her wonderful apartment and felt as light as champagne bubbles while looking out of windows that framed the view of enormous floating characters, a testament to the surrealist and dream-like atmosphere a social endeavor with Pearl could entail. Pearl made the mundane feel magical, and that overcoming the impossible was just a matter of willpower. 

 

For all her joyous and light-hearted notions, Pearl remained grounded in sincerity. She had her brooding glass of merlot, and a sense of balance that would help the universe. She took time to reign in her intellect to address social justice issues and exercise her freedom of speech. Pearl was able to mix her early years of Americana Boston area roots, with her 1960’s Berkeley ambition, and brewed them delicately to the fine peak of perfection in her New York life of convergence, with an autonomous unwaivering of her convictions. She maybe added a dash of a wink in there, to let you know all was well. She had a spark that just kept going, firing on cylinders that most people do not even have. She was an admirable woman and a force.

 

Pearl fought for her beliefs, which included the psychoanalytic community.  Her tireless efforts for Psychoanalysis to be licensed in the State of New York, did not deter her from being knowledgeable of the logistics in all fifty states. In coordinating her efforts with her colleagues at the National Association for the Advancement of Psychoanalysis, and by making numerous trips to Albany to lobby Senators, the persistent dialogue led to legislative change. Pearl loved being involved and knew that change required commitment and communication. She lived and breathed it.

Finding that balance in life was something she preached, so while she toiled rigorously, she also celebrated fully, and remained healthy and active, which undoubtedly led to her living such a full and adventurous life. Her days of travel included Ghana, Israel, France, Scotland, Russia, Ukraine, Poland and all the smaller unofficial nations within the island of Manhattan.

 

Pearl would start her days with carefully measured portions of oats, blueberry, almonds, and yogurt. The scientific exactitude was always there. But she also knew how to unwind, and relax. She enjoyed a good laugh with Jack Benny and a nibble of dark chocolate.  Strolling through the park over the weekend after a long week with a friend, she could take in the moment. She would skip the crowded subway commute to enjoy the long way home after work, to clarify her thoughts amidst the placid backdrop known as “Midtown”. 

Her time spent as a grandmother, ‘Bubbe’, was a chapter in her life she loved and thoroughly enjoyed. She had a special place in her heart for her sweet grandchildren. She was the perfect playmate to explore all the curiosity and wonder that never ceases with the young at heart. Her family and close familial bonds extended well beyond her immediate relatives, as Pearl’s giant ocean of a heart was one that reached the shores of many kindred spirits.

 

She continued to keep learning and loving to the very end. Painting, exercising and enjoying friends and family. She was so very loved and will be missed dearly.

 
 

Photo Gallery

Biography

Pearl was a lifelong student both academically and of life. She received her Bachelor’s of Science from the University of Massachusetts in Biology, her Master’s in Chemistry from MIT, and her PhD from Berkeley in Biochemistry. Then in her 40’s she went back to school and became a Psychoanalyst. But Pearl didn’t need to be in school to learn- she always had a discerning curiosity, and had an indefatigable thirst for knowledge. She wisely used that knowledge to provide a respectful sounding board for others; Pearl was a consummate listener, and if you were fortunate enough to have her attention, she generously gave you her complete presence.

 

Pearl was able to remain consistent in being herself in her personal and professional life- giving thoughtful advice based on the individual, and putting one at ease with her ‘North Shore- soft “r”’ “dahrling”. All the modern worries could melt away in her presence- she had been there, done that, but one always felt her kind and humble presence as a welcome lantern, beaming out hope with her laughter, and confidence in her contagious  ‘small yet mighty’ demeanor.

 

Pearl touched many lives, and countless people thought of her as their second mother. We all just opened up to her without even realizing it and she just as seamlessly opened her heart. She listened without judgment and gave advice only when asked. Somehow she knew what we all needed before we even knew ourselves. 

 

Pearl drove erratically but walked everywhere and with purpose. We all told her to meet us 30 minutes before we really planned to get there otherwise we’d be standing there waiting for 30 minutes since she was never on time. Anyone who stayed over at her apartment and many did, always woke up to a nourishing breakfast such as bagels and lox. How she managed to sneak out to Zabars without any of us realizing will remain a mystery. 

 

Pearl loved to ski, especially in Park City Utah. She skied her entire life and even won gold medals into her 80’s with her 80+ ski club.

 

Pearl loved people and we all loved her. Her zest for celebration and loving life shined on many occasions. Her parties were legendary, such as the ones that took place the night before Thanksgiving. She was lucky enough to live on the block where Macy’s blew up the balloons on the eve of their annual parade. And every year both friends and family would flock to her wonderful apartment and felt as light as champagne bubbles while looking out of windows that framed the view of enormous floating characters, a testament to the surrealist and dream-like atmosphere a social endeavor with Pearl could entail. Pearl made the mundane feel magical, and that overcoming the impossible was just a matter of willpower. 

 

For all her joyous and light-hearted notions, Pearl remained grounded in sincerity. She had her brooding glass of merlot, and a sense of balance that would help the universe. She took time to reign in her intellect to address social justice issues and exercise her freedom of speech. Pearl was able to mix her early years of Americana Boston area roots, with her 1960’s Berkeley ambition, and brewed them delicately to the fine peak of perfection in her New York life of convergence, with an autonomous unwaivering of her convictions. She maybe added a dash of a wink in there, to let you know all was well. She had a spark that just kept going, firing on cylinders that most people do not even have. She was an admirable woman and a force.

 

Pearl fought for her beliefs, which included the psychoanalytic community.  Her tireless efforts for Psychoanalysis to be licensed in the State of New York, did not deter her from being knowledgeable of the logistics in all fifty states. In coordinating her efforts with her colleagues at the National Association for the Advancement of Psychoanalysis, and by making numerous trips to Albany to lobby Senators, the persistent dialogue led to legislative change. Pearl loved being involved and knew that change required commitment and communication. She lived and breathed it.

Finding that balance in life was something she preached, so while she toiled rigorously, she also celebrated fully, and remained healthy and active, which undoubtedly led to her living such a full and adventurous life. Her days of travel included Ghana, Israel, France, Scotland, Russia, Ukraine, Poland and all the smaller unofficial nations within the island of Manhattan.

 

Pearl would start her days with carefully measured portions of oats, blueberry, almonds, and yogurt. The scientific exactitude was always there. But she also knew how to unwind, and relax. She enjoyed a good laugh with Jack Benny and a nibble of dark chocolate.  Strolling through the park over the weekend after a long week with a friend, she could take in the moment. She would skip the crowded subway commute to enjoy the long way home after work, to clarify her thoughts amidst the placid backdrop known as “Midtown”. 

Her time spent as a grandmother, ‘Bubbe’, was a chapter in her life she loved and thoroughly enjoyed. She had a special place in her heart for her sweet grandchildren. She was the perfect playmate to explore all the curiosity and wonder that never ceases with the young at heart. Her family and close familial bonds extended well beyond her immediate relatives, as Pearl’s giant ocean of a heart was one that reached the shores of many kindred spirits.

 

She continued to keep learning and loving to the very end. Painting, exercising and enjoying friends and family. She was so very loved and will be missed dearly.

In Memory of Pearl

Past-President, the National Association for the Advancement of Psychoanalysis,

2002-2004

 

by Jennifer R. Harper

 

To speak of Pearl is to speak of NAAP.. and to never forget the passage of the first-ever independent license for psychoanalysis in the United States, New York state (2002). 

 

Pearl was born and raised in Lynn, Massachusetts. “When I graduated from high school in 1943, I sent an application to the University of Massachusetts Amherst, very late, in the middle of August, with no expectation that I was ‘college material’.  I was shocked when I was accepted into the class of 1947 and almost didn’t take the plunge.  How would my family ever manage without me?  I shudder to think of the consequences had I not left home.  The family did fine right away but it took me all four years to even begin…  I am grateful to the administration for taking a chance on a high school student who applied late.” (Appel, 2007 NAAP Vision Award, interview with J. Harper)

 

From there Dr. Appel went on to achieve the Bachelors of Science degree in Chemistry from the University of Massachusetts, a Masters of Science degree in Biochemistry from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and a Ph.D. from the University of California, Berkeley, in Nutritional Science. During her career as a biochemist, she worked in laboratories at Harvard Medical School, MIT, and UC Berkeley, as well as NYU Medical School in New York City.

 

In the early 1970s, and following the death of her father, she decided, having already pursued a personal analysis that began in Berkeley (4X a week:), that analysis of people was far more interesting than that of molecules. Initially, she debated whether to obtain training in Social Work, in order to be licensed or to directly pursue psychoanalytic training, her first love.. As she looked into things she heard about a new licensing bill that had been brought to the NYS legislature to create a license for psychoanalysis in NY State – and that it should be passed in the very near future…    With confidence she would be able to obtain a license as a psychoanalyst upon graduation from psychoanalytic training, she matriculated at NPAP, in 1973. It was there, as a candidate in training, she first assumed the mantle for promoting the independence of psychoanalysis. 

 

In a letter of support to the NAAP Board from psychoanalyst Ira Landess (d. 2013) upon Dr. Appel’s nomination to receive the NAAP Vision Award 2007, he wrote, “Since receiving her certificate from NPAP in 1979, Pearl also completed further training in Family and Couples Therapy at the Institute for Contemporary Psychotherapy, as well as a certificate from the Center for the Study of Anorexia and Bulimia. She joined NAAP as a full member in 1982 and served for two terms (12 years) on the NAAP Board, and as its President from 2002-2004.  She was a Board member of NPAP where she also served as Chair of the Legislation Committee. She was the NAAP Liaison to the Joint Council for the Mental Health Coalition that advocated (1972-2002) to achieve independent licensing of psychoanalysis (with MHCs, MFTs, and CATs) in New York State. And she wrote a key chapter on the Politics of Licensing Psychoanalysis in NY for the book titled Who Owns Psychoanalysis, edited by Ann Casement and published (2004) by OtherPress.” 

 

In all, Dr. Appel carried the mantle for independent psychoanalysis for over 30 years.. She received the NAAP Vision Award in 2007 for her tireless work on behalf of NAAP with the Joint Council to achieve the license (2002) for psychoanalysis in New York state. Beyond NAAP, she was an active participant at the ABAP, Inc., (American Board for Accreditation in Psychoanalysis) never missing the semi-annual meetings. Her circle of friendships and colleagues ranged wide and deep within the psychoanalytic communities, in NYC, and around the United States. 

 

Quite personally, Pearl was my friend.. she was my mentor for all things about licensing and legislation, she was my ‘professional mother’.. yet always and first, she was my friend… our shared love for psychoanalysis and strategizing for its protection and future.. kept us talking and laughing on the phone into many late nights.. we had great adventures in our travels, whether for conferences, ABAP meetings, or going to Albany. In these immediate past weeks, as we (NAAP) face another legislative hurdle in Albany, I’ve heard her in my mind’s ear.. whispering and cheering us on.. I will never forget her! 

 

In 2014, Pearl left her beloved neighborhood on the Upper West Side of Manhattan to live closer to her daughter Bonnie, her son-in-law Peter and grandchildren, Jonah and Lulu, on the Eastern Shore of Maryland. 

 

Our very special Pearl, passed peacefully at the end of April, in Easton, Maryland. May she rest in peace.. May her memory be a blessing for NAAP and ABAP and for our beloved profession of psychoanalysis so that its a unique theory for human insight and technique for resurrection of soul, may live on, forever and more..

Guest Book

 
 
Image by Annie Spratt

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