As we gratefully continue our 12th year at The Ferentz Institute, I dedicate this semester of creative learning and personal and professional growth to the memory of my wonderful father, Burt Ettinger, who very recently passed away.

Burt Ettinger

Burton Ettinger: 1934 – 2018

My father was an incredibly loving, compassionate, and caring man. He was a pharmacist in our family’s drug store for 60 years and was dedicated to helping and healing his community. He was a brilliant photographer and took amazing pictures because he looked at nature, the world, and his family through a loving lens. And my father was a life-long learner. His thirst for knowledge never decreased, and he embraced new challenges, adventures, and ideas with a sense of excitement, enthusiasm, and wonder.

I was blessed to have my parents’ ever-present love, support, and encouragement.  It allowed me to take healthy risks and follow many different dreams with confidence and optimism. One of those dreams was the creation of The Institute and I am so grateful to all of you- your loyalty, support, and positive feedback are the reasons why we continue to grow and to thrive!

My Dad taught me the importance of making a difference in the world, and as mental health providers, you all do that every day. As you dedicate yourselves to expanding your professional horizons, inspire others with your kindness and compassion, and access the most creative parts of who you are, know that you are also honoring the memory of a very special and beloved man.

Lastly, I want to acknowledge the extraordinary outpouring of love and support that I continue to receive from cherished colleagues and the mental health community.  It is humbling and it is healing.

26 thoughts on "In Loving Memory of My Father"

  1. Debbie Bradley says:

    Lisa I am so sorry to hear of the loss of your father. Thank you for sharing his legacy with all of us. He sounds like he was a great man and father.

    1. Lisa says:

      Thank you for your kind words. They are greatly appreciated.

  2. Linda Shapiro says:

    Dear Lisa,
    I had not heard of your great loss until now. Please accept my heartfelt condolences. What a beautiful tribute to him that you are sharing this with all of us. He was and would be so proud and honored.
    Please take good care of yourself and time to heal.
    With great affection,
    Linda Shapiro

  3. Michelle Backe says:

    I am so saddened to hear of your Father’s passing. He sounds like a wonderful human being. He clearly passed that on to you.
    My deepest condolences for you and your family and for all those that he touched.
    Take good care.
    Michelle Backe

  4. Lesa Fichte says:

    Hi Lisa,
    Very sorry to hear of the passing of your father. Holding you and your family in healing thoughts.
    Lesa Fichte

  5. This is a beautiful tribute, Lisa. I am so sorry for your loss, and so grateful that you pass on his legacy!

  6. Denielle Randall says:

    Dear Lisa, so sorry for your loss. Sending my condolences. What a wonderful tribute to your father. Keep his legacy going.

  7. Mary C Burke says:

    Dear Lisa,
    I am so very sorry to hear about your Dad’s death. I know he must have had a heart full of pride at seeing his daughter become the wonderful person you are.
    Please know that my thoughts are with you. May your wonderful memories of him bring you some comfort at this difficult time.
    Sincere condolences and best wishes,
    Mary Burke

  8. Audrey Bergin says:

    I’m so sorry to hear about your loss. My father passed away on Tuesday. I got to NY in time to see him and talk to him. It has been so helpful for me to be with family and think about the many positive ways he shaped the person I am today. We are all so grateful that your parents encouraged and supported your dreams to help others.

  9. Janina Fisher says:

    His picture exudes his loving, caring presence—much like his daughter’s!
    What a huge loss for you and your family.

  10. This is a lovely tribute to your dad and I am so sorry for your loss. Be gentle as you move through the many layers of his passing.
    Jan Beauregard

    1. Lisa Ferentz says:

      Thank you for your kind and thoughtful message Jan. I do need to be as gentle on myself as we tell our clients. Thanks for the reminder! – Lisa

  11. Barbara Crawford & Ashley Farr says:


    Thank you for sharing this moment of loss with all of us who adore your compassion & dedication to others who have great loss and hurt. We are grateful to the amazing gift from your parents of their loving support and encouragement to you in your life/career.

  12. Benta Sims says:

    Lisa, I am so sorry to hear of your loss of your father. I am holding you and your family in my thoughts and heart. Thank you for sharing this beautiful dedication of him. He sounds and looks loving and wise…just like you.

    1. Lisa Ferentz says:

      Hello Benta, My father was very wise and loving. Thanks for your warm thoughts! – Lisa

  13. Ellen and Joel Goldwasser says:

    Dear Lisa,
    We send our sincere condolences on the loss of your beloved father. What a wonderful tribute. Please send our thoughts to the entire Ettinger Family!

    1. Lisa Ferentz says:

      Ellen and Joel, Thank you for your kind thoughts. I’ll most certainly pass them along to my family as well.

  14. Paul Timin says:

    Dear Lisa.I admire your memorial tribute to your dad.You truly emulate all the positive qualities you described about him as I have known you,especially the love of learning,repairing the world one person at a time,compassion and the many pictures you paint to us of our craft and it”s value both for our clients and ourselves. You have been blessed with a good father and I hope my children speak of me with such love when it is my time to leave this precious and fleeting life.Your father’s photo is very expressive of his passion for life and art.May your grief be comforted by many positive memories you and your family carry with you.Warmest wishes,Paul

    1. Lisa Ferentz says:

      Thank you for your thoughtful and kind response Paul. You are right. My family and I have many many beautiful memories of my father to keep his spirit alive within us.- Lisa

  15. Debra Rothar says:

    Dear Lisa,
    I was so saddened to hear of your father’s passing. I met your father at the Syosset Library Evening Book Club. I was usually the youngest of the group (48 years old, lol), and Burt always let me know how great it was to hear a “young person’s” point of view. He brought such insight and compassion into our discussions, book club will not be the same without him. I feel blessed to have known him.

    1. Lisa Ferentz says:

      Thank you , Debra, for taking the time to express your condolences. I am so glad you were a part of something that my Dad genuinely loved! I heard many wonderful anecdotes about this book club: he loved the books and he loved everyone involved in the group. Know that as you keep reading and learning, you are honoring his memory! – Lisa

  16. steven says:

    Bert, as i knew him on New Hyde Park Road…was a man of extraordinary character .
    As we all know business can reveal the worst in people..In this he was the opposite…
    Even after we lost the invitations..

    steven h schumsky…9178731462

    1. Gerri Baum says:

      Thank you so much for your kind words and memories. Wishing you a Happy and Healthy New Year as well.

  17. MB says:

    Dear Lisa,

    I just found this as my sister and I were reminiscing about your Mom and Dad and the pharmacy. We lived right behind the pharmacy when we were born and our family kept going back to the pharmacy for decades long after we moved out of the neighborhood. Your parents were extraordinary in every way. We’re so sorry for your loss and we are so grateful that we knew them.

  18. Robert Gelb says:

    Burt was a year ahead of me at Fordham. He was also a neighbor in Jericho. I am sorry to hear he passed away.

    1. Gerri Baum says:

      My apologies for the delayed response. Thank you so much for remembering my father!

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