Dr. Jerome Flagg Brodlie died peacefully at home in Weston on October 25, 2023, at the age of 85.
He is survived by his wife Lisa and three children: Matt, of Los Angeles; Sara Gray, of Middletown, RI; and Dr. Rachel Brodlie Corse and son-in-law Griffin Corse of Cambridge, VT. He is also survived by a sister, Barbara Scheinert of Park Ridge, NJ, and by four grandchildren: Maximus, Lola, Stella, and Benjamin.
Over six decades Dr. Brodlie worked as a child psychologist, both in private practice and at Greenwich Hospital, where he eventually served as chair of the psychology department. As a regular guest on CBS This Morning, he reached millions of American parents, and he worked to build mental health services in areas affected by natural disasters, both in the US and overseas. He helped hundreds of young people develop the skills necessary to deal with pain and be able to enjoy their lives.
Born in the Bronx on Flag Day, 1938, to Benjamin Brodlie and Leonore Mendelssohn Friedman, “Jerry” grew up in Englewood, NJ, and Queens, NY. After graduating from Forest Hills High School, where he was a keen baseball player, he attended the University of Illinois, Champaign on an athletic scholarship. After graduation in 1960, he set aside a chance to play professional baseball, and instead chose to get his doctorate in psychology at Columbia University.
After graduation he did post-doctoral work at the Alfred Adler Institute, while he taught at Brooklyn College. In New York, he met and married Lisa Evans, a nurse in pediatric oncology. In 1968 they moved to Weston, Connecticut. In addition to his work in private practice in Greenwich, he taught at Yale School of Medicine and at Southern Connecticut State University, while also serving as a consulting psychologist for Convent of the Sacred Heart, Greenwich Academy, and the Eagle Hill School, all in Greenwich.
As it had a great effect on his field, he was proud to have been a part of a statewide commission in Connecticut, in 2001, that advised on new laws and processes for child custody in divorce cases.
In 2005, Dr. Brodlie went to New Orleans to train nurses, doctors, and teachers who were helping children recover from the trauma caused by Hurricane Katrina. He also advised the school systems, students and teachers affected by Hurricane Ivan, which had struck the Cayman Islands, where the family vacationed frequently.
The State Department later recruited him to go to Burma to work with young people experiencing PTSD; there he met and counseled victims of torture, caregivers for people with terminal illness, former political prisoners, and others. Despite the country having little to no tradition of Western psychology, Dr. Brodlie found an eager audience, which he attributed to similarities between Buddhist meditation and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. He later returned to that country many times, sometimes with funding from George Soros’s Open Society Institute, to continue his work.
Dr. Brodlie served on the editorial advisory board of Child magazine, as well as hosting the radio program Growing Up and appearing on the cable TV show Our Children, Ourselves. For most of his career he kept an office on Sherwood Place in Greenwich.
He had a gift for putting people, not just his clients, at ease. He claimed this was because he was short, but that was just him downplaying his talent for getting people to open up, and to heal. He often gave good advice to anyone who asked, and sometimes those who didn’t.
Aside from his extensive list of accomplishments, he most enjoyed spending time with his family and friends, playing sports, traveling, and laughing. He enjoyed cooking, painting and telling jokes, although his paintings were usually more successful. He played pickleball and basketball, but he was most proud to have played 78 consecutive baseball seasons.
A memorial service will be held on Sunday, November 12th at 1:00 pm, at the Fairfield County Hunt Club in Westport, CT.
In keeping with his interests, donations in his memory may be made to LEVELING THE PLAYING FIELD at levelingtheplayingfield.org.