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L. Arthur Warmoth ’59

A picture of Arthur Warmoth

Arthur Warmoth ’59 Eric Harbeson

L. Arthur Warmoth ’59, April 4, 2014, at home in Rohnert Park, California, from a heart attack. Art earned a BA from Reed in theatre and literature, and then went to Brandeis University for graduate work to study with psychologist Abraham Maslow. “This was the period just following the publication of Maslow’s groundbreaking Motivation and Personality,” Art stated. “At that time the use of the terms ‘humanistic’ and ‘existential’ were still being debated, and the idea of the ‘Third Force,’ which Maslow introduced in his 1962 book, Toward a Psychology of Being, was still being formed.” Art also studied with humanistic psychologists James Klee and Ulric Neisser and was named a NIMH predoctoral fellow. He completed a PhD in 1967, writing the dissertation “An Existential-Humanistic Study of Psychological Theories of Myth,” and then joined the psychology department at Sonoma State College, maintaining a focus on humanities and humanistic psychology and serving three times as department chair. He was staff psychologist at Mendocino State Hospital, president and board member of the Association for Humanistic Psychology, and cofounder of the Humanistic Psychology Institute (Saybrook University). He also was a visiting professor at Universidad Autonoma de la Laguna.

In the memorial for Art in the Press Democrat, we read that he was devoted to his family, a champion for social justice, and was always willing to help others. A colleague at Sonoma State, David Van Nuys, reported that Art possessed an ability to see people and issues within a larger context. “He championed, supported, mentored people that others wouldn’t, trusting a potential in them that may not have yet been evident to others.” An advocate for the rights of immigrants, Art served on the boards of the Family Connection (a transition services agency for volunteers mentoring homeless families), the Latino Commission on Alcohol & Drug Abuse Services of Sonoma County, and the Latino Democratic Club. From 2009 until the time of his death, he served as commissioner on the Sonoma County Commission on Human Rights. Art and his wife, Georgina A. Emery Gonzalez Warmoth, whom he married in 1970, raised three children, and journeyed by train throughout the United States. Art also collected and built model trains. He enjoyed theatre and musical performances, including broadcasts of the Metropolitan Opera. Survivors include Georgina, daughters Monica and Tonantzin, and son Art; grandchildren Liam, Isabel, and Alma; and a sister, Ann, and brother, Edward.

Appeared in Reed magazine: September 2014

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