Dr. Maria ('Mieke') Linn Moulton-Barrett
Binghamton - Dr. Maria ('Mieke') Linn Moulton-Barrett of Binghamton, New York, age 98, passed away peacefully, at her home on June 29th 2021.
Born on May 26th, 1923 in Antwerpen, Belgium, to Rose and Emmanuel Limkowski, Mieke was the youngest of 4 sisters. As a young girl, Mieke was known for her independence and social curiosity. Even at age 6, she disappeared from a hotel in Knokke, a Belgian seaside town, to spend the entire day on the bow of a fishing boat at sea. Mieke was educated at The Royal Atheneum School of Antwerp. At the age of 17, unaccompanied and during WWII, she travelled by train to Spain and then to the United States to continue her studies at NYU Columbia and New School for Social Research from 1940-1942, with an equivalent master's degree in Philosophy. During this time, she received individual tutelage under Karen Horney, in Psychotherapy and was encouraged to pursue medical education. At age 22, Mieke entered a brief marriage to Robert Norman Berryman, an Academic Psychologist In New York City. From1945-53 Mieke attended pre-medical education at Columbia University followed by successful completion of Medical School at the University of Geneva, Switzerland and specialty training in Psychiatry including analytic training in Geneva under Prof Charles Beauduin. Mieke then returned to the United States to a rotating internship at The French Hospital of New York from 1953-1954 during which time she met Gordon Moulton-Barrett, an airline pilot, on a tram in Montreal, Canada. Shortly thereafter they married, and 2 children were born: Ariele and Rex. Ariele would not complete a full life.
In 1955 Maria accepted a position as Psychiatrist at Central Islip Mental Hospital in Long Island for 2 years and then moved with Gordon to Cupertino, California for just under 2 years. She then returned to New York for a promoted position as Psychiatrist at Binghamton State Mental Hospital for a period of 5 years. Disillusioned by the prison like over-crowding, minimal resources, such as one toilet for 60 'inmates' and the bureaucracy of the New York State run Mental Hospital culture, Mieke took the brave choice towards private practice. Her office on Front Street in Binghamton was an immediate success and over time, with a young family to care for, she moved her office to the front of her home on the west side of Binghamton. She holds claim to having been the first woman psychiatrist in the Tri-Cities. Now there are over 20 psychiatrists and she was the only Psychoanalyst in the area for over 15 years. The testimony to this is that following retirement in 1998, after 34 years in private practice, wherever she went in the Binghamton area, people would approach her who not only remembered her but wished to update her on their life's problems.
Mieke often stated to troubled individuals " when you have your nose against the blackboard you can't see what you are writing ". As a humorous individual she was of the belief that humor could be used as a means of therapy. For several years Mieke was a clinical instructor of psychoanalysis and self - help which included the use a technique she developed called 'Graphotherapy' at SUNY Women's Study Department. This work led her to publish a book on Amazon entitled " Graphotherapy: Write to Find Your Truer Self ".
Mieke's was known by family and friends for her sharp - quick - wit and street smarts. Witnessed experiences as a WWII child survivor must have helped her develop these skills. In kind with many war survivors, Mieke found joy in simply being alive, self - reliance, independence and she developed a yearning to help others. She remembered the moment when the Gestapo came from compartment to compartment on the train in Spain. Sitting in front of her was a fear stricken Hasidic teenager. Suddenly, he lunged across and gave her a piece of paper with an address on it and in the paper was a large diamond and he said, "take this stone to my family in NY- please" . Mieke immediately pushed the packet back and said "no - this stone will keep you alive, keep it". Some 20 years later there was a cry from a man's voice in New York Times Square " Mieke it is you!!' It was the voice from the same man, who in fact survived because of that stone.
Mieke's life long best friend was Edith Klein of Antwerp who passed away several years ago and her most amorous love was Claude Shannon, the late brilliant mathematician, cryptographer and inventor of electronic information coding still used for computers and faxes. They both met in New York City during WWII and nearly married.
The independence that Mieke so cherished followed her to the end. She wished to remain in her home until her death and so it was that a bed was placed her office consultation room where she remained until her demise. In common with very elderly persons, Mieke developed a significant memory loss and paradoxically she exhibited a perplexing negative transference towards those who were closest to her and who loved her most. Sadly, her last days were spent in home hospice enforced by a court appointed Guardian akin to a Kafka tragedy which explores incomprehensive socio-bureaucratic powers.
Maria Moulton-Barrett is survived by her son Rex, her daughter - in - law: Annette and her only grandchild: Zoe. From her 3 deceased sisters remain 1 nephew: Michel Goldschneider and 2 nieces: Liliane Kretz and Mari Blaska and from her niece's children Mieke kept in contact with Olivier Minkowski and was particularly close to Aline Lambert and her 2 daughters. Through the years, Mieke developed many new long term friendships. Within the Binghamton University Arts social circle, Mieke was regarded as an 'always to be included to the party' person. In addition, she was both loyal and remained friends with her helpers and care givers including Nicole Rought, Julie Mott, Dr Phil Goodman and neighbors Pat, Armond and Donna. Mieke both appreciated and respected these people for their kindness and their unquestioning attentiveness.
Mieke requested cremation at Hopler & Eschbach Funeral Home, in Binghamton New York. She also requested that her daughter Ariele be exhumed, cremated and that they both be buried together. Both urns will be brought to California for a formal ceremony to be held at Mountain View Cemetery, plot 13 Lot 174, 5000 Piedmont Avenue, Oakland, CA 94611 at the end of October 2021.
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