Cover photo for Karl Fossum's Obituary
Karl Fossum Profile Photo
1931 Karl 2017

Karl Fossum

September 21, 1931 — February 1, 2017

Obituary Image

Dr. Karl Georg Fossum; Psychiatrist, 85, passed away peacefully on February 1st, surrounded by loving family and friends in the beautiful home he loved, and that he and his wife, Martina, had had built in the lovely Hudson Valley. The area reminded Karl of Norway, where he was born to parents, Georg and Ragnhild (Saeby) Fossum in 1931. Karl graduated from Grorud Hoyere Skole (1950) with plans to attend medical school in the U.S. He graduated Wagner College, then SUNY College of Medicine at Syracuse, where he earned his M.D. in 1958. Karl continued post-graduate work in psychiatry at Meadowbrook Hospital ('58-59), Payne-Whitney Clinic of New York Hospital ('59-60), Albert Einstein College of Medicine ('60-63). He was Clinical Instructor in Psychiatry at Bronx Municipal Hospital ('63-65), and went into private practice in Manhattan in 1963 until retirement in 2011. Karl was founder and president of Park Madison Laboratories, and of women's health services clinics in Boston, MA, Overland Park, KS, and two in New York City, including Eastern Women's Center. He was a conscientious board member of organizations whose missions he was passionate about: The Rainforest Alliance, the League of Conservation Voters, the Center for War/Peace Studies, Citizens for Global Solutions, Avanta/IHLRN (an organization of mental health professionals), The National Abortion Federation, NARAL, and The American College of Orgonomy. Karl loved living in Manhattan and on Tyson Lane in Amagansett for 55 years before retiring to the Hudson Valley. He enjoyed occasional winter vacations in the Caribbean, where he would bask in the sun's energy. But, he particularly looked forward to frequent trips home to Norway to reconnect with family and to be reenergized by hikes in the beautiful mountains of Valdres, where he and Martina built a lovely "hytte" or cabin. When not reading, reading, reading, Karl could be found jogging around Central Park or down the beach in Amagansett, or swimming. The building of their home began with the indoor pool; the rest of the home was built around it. Karl's intellect, kindness, generosity, and joy of life touched the hearts of all who knew him from loving family, loyal friends, appreciative patients, to his excellent doctors and caregivers. All were captivated by an infectious smile that was as broad as Karl was tall, and he will live forever in their hearts. He is especially missed in Norway by his sister, Gunhild Lauritzsen, her children Lars, Grete, Halvor and Even and their families; and his sister, Grethe Dorum and her daughters Sissel, Anne and Bente and their families. Karl took special joy and pride in the accomplishments of his sisters and each of his nieces and nephews, and they were all devoted to him. Beloved wife and best friend Martina (Leonard) will be ever grateful for the gift of the 47 beautiful, loving years they were able to share together. Karl also is sadly missed by Martina's siblings, Brian, Michael (and Christy) of New Jersey, Ada Thom Thompson (and Mark) of Florida, and Hilary Oak (and Tem Noon) of New York, and their families. All did love him dearly. Memorial celebrations of Karl's life will be held in New York in the spring, and in Norway in the summer. Gifts to The Rainforest Alliance, The Center for War/ Peace Studies, The American College of Orgonomy, or The Virginia Satir Archive Fund are appreciated.


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