David VanBuskirk, M.D., psychiatrist and professor emeritus

David VanBuskirk, M.D., Professor Emeritus of Psychiatry at the University of VT College of Medicine, and Shelburne, VT resident, passed away at age 87, November 4.  Dr. VanBuskirk served as Director of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at the University of VT, previously Director of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at Harvard’s psychiatry Cambridge teaching hospital.

Dr. VanBuskirk graduated from Exeter Academy, Yale University and Harvard Medical School, with an internship and residency in Internal Medicine at MA General Hospital in Boston. He completed an additional residency in psychiatry, then a child psychiatry residency at the MA Mental Health Center and graduated from the Boston Psychoanalytic Institute in 1971. He enjoyed serving for ten years as Director of South Shore Mental Health Center, Quincy, MA. He was especially committed to community outreach.

After retiring from UVM, Dr. VanBuskirk consulted to VT community health centers and served on the Dartmouth Medical School clinical faculty.  He was an active member of the VT Association of Psychoanalytic Studies, recently working with colleagues to establish the VT Psychoanalytic Institute.

David VanBuskirk and his wife, Elizabeth, founded, with a notable Inca weaver, the large and now-thriving Center for Traditional Textiles of Cusco, Peru, working to preserve the great Inca weaving traditions before loss in this generation. He travelled there frequently, documenting today’s Andean weavers and helping to develop international outreach. He exhibited his photography widely in the United States, including “Weaving the Patterns of the Land,” an exhibition at the UVM Fleming Museum of Art.

Donations in his memory can be sent to Spectrum Youth and Family Services, 31 Elmwood Ave., Burlington, VT 05401.

Family Information

Dr. VanBuskirk is survived by his wife, Elizabeth Conrad VanBuskirk of Shelburne, and his daughters Katharine VanBuskirk of Somerville, MA; Lisa VanBarter of Felton, CA; and his son Eric VanBuskirk, currently living in Vietnam.  Also, his brother George of Baltimore and three grandchildren.  He is predeceased by his brother Joseph.

Submitted by:

Eric Van Buskirk
[email protected]