Dr. Paul M. Lerner, 68, Distinguished Psychoanalyst, Owl & Turtle Bookshop Owner
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CAMDEN - Dr. Paul M. Lerner, considered the world's leading authority on the Rorschach Test and a figure about downtown Camden, died unexpectedly Wednesday, March 22, 2006 at Logan Airport in Boston. He was 68.
Born on Nov. 5, 1937, in Boston to second-generation Jewish immigrants, Dr. Lerner attended Brookline public schools. At the age of 14, his mother died of cancer, an event that would have a profound impact on his personal life and drive him to help heal thousands of patients throughout his professional career.
He earned his B.S., Ed.M. and Ed.D at the University of Illinois. Upon graduation, Dr. Lerner became the first Illinois student to receive a post-doctoral internship with Dr. Karl Menninger, the pioneering psychiatrist at the Menninger Clinic in Topeka, Kansas.
His life followed a series of professorships in many of the leading medical schools including the University of Detroit, University of Toronto and University of Tennessee. At the same time, Dr. Lerner built vibrant private practices in Detroit, Toronto, Asheville, N.C., and, for the past nine years, Camden.
He was the author or coauthor of five books dealing with aspects of the Rorschach Test and served as past president of the Society for Personality Assessment.
His work in analyzing talent for the NHL was viewed as an important component to the rise of the Dallas Stars, Florida Panthers and Philadelphia Flyers professional hockey teams. During his tenure, the Stars were division champions five times, championship finalists once and, in 1999, won the Stanley Cup.
Throughout his professional career, Dr. Lerner received countless awards including the Distinguished Psychology Award from the Ontario Psychological Association, the Bruno Klopfer Award from the Society for Personality Assessment, and the Hans H. Strupp Award. In April, 2005 he received the Distinguished Alumni Award from the University of Illinois, that school's highest honor.
Dr. Lerner was best known around Camden as the owner of the Owl & Turtle Bookshop, which the family has owned since 1998. He shaped the bookshop into a warm and inviting store, and helped to bring many of the nation's top authors to Camden. It stands today as being voted Maine's top independent bookstore.
Anyone who met Dr. Lerner quickly learned of his passion for the New York Yankees and compassion for Boxer dogs. He was one of the few Yankees fans in Red Sox Nation and would often find himself at the Bagel Cafe either buying rounds of coffee or receiving a cup depending on which team won the prior night's game.
Dr. Lerner is survived by his loving wife Carole, to whom he was married for 38 years; a son Brett, daughter-in-law Kristine and two granddaughters, Caroline and Claire, all of Camden; and a brother, Dr. Howard Lerner of Ann Arbor, Mich.
Visiting hours will be Thursday from 6-8 p.m. at Laite Funeral Home, 9 Mountain Street, Camden. A memorial service will be at 2 p.m., Friday, March 31, 2006 at the Camden Opera House.
If desired, contributions may be made to:
Second Chance Boxer Rescue
P.O. Box 525
Woolwich, Maine 04579
Animal Rescue League
P.O. Box 707
Rockport, Maine 04856
Paul M. Lerner
Long Funeral Home
9 Mountain Street
Camden, ME 04843
Published in Portland Press Herald/Maine Sunday Telegram on Mar. 28, 2006