Edmund C. Neuhaus, a Queens native who was one of the first clinical and school psychologists on Long Island and a pioneer in helping prepare the mentally ill for the workplace, died March 20 of acute leukemia. The North Bellmore resident was 89.
Neuhaus, the son of German immigrants, grew up in Astoria and attended Stuyvesant High School in Manhattan before being drafted into the Army during World War II, serving in counterintelligence in Europe.
After the war, Neuhaus graduated from Queens College and earned his doctorate in clinical psychology from New York University in 1954. He went on to become one of the first school psychologists on Long Island when he took the post of director of psychological services at the Baldwin school district in 1954.
“He learned from the people who started the field of clinical psychology in the ’40s and ’50s,” said his son, Edmund Neuhaus III, of Lincoln, Massachusetts.
In 1965, the elder Neuhaus and a colleague, Louise Friedman, co-founded The Rehabilitation Institute, a pioneering Mineola facility that provided vocational rehabilitation services to the mentally ill and developmentally disabled.
“It was the first of its kind in the country,” said his son, who worked at the institute during his college years and also went on to become a clinical psychologist. “The institute actually took people who would not otherwise become productive members of society and gave them opportunities.”
When Neuhaus retired from the institute in 2000, the nonprofit had placed more than 5,000 developmentally disabled individuals in competitive jobs.
While working at the institute, Neuhaus continued his Freeport psychotherapy practice, working 61 years with patients of all ages. He also co-authored a graduate and postgraduate textbook, “Practicing Psychotherapy,” in the early 1980s.
In his leisure time, Neuhaus loved to sail his boat, Namaste, on the Great South Bay, and was an avid skier and hiker. His son said he skied until he was 85.
Neuhaus and his wife Olga regularly attended ballet, theater and museums. In his late 50s, he fulfilled a dream of hiking the foothills of Mt. Everest, and wrote a memoir, “A Dream of Everest,” recounting the experience.
In addition to his son and wife of 66 years, Neuhaus is survived by a daughter, Suzanne L. Anderson, of Locust Valley; six grandchildren; and two great-grandchildren.
Funeral services were held at O’Shea Funeral Home in East Meadow. Burial was in Greenfield Cemetery in Uniondale.