Barry Greenwald, 82

Crisis interventionist, VMA activist

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Barry Greenwald, 82, died peacefully on June 13, 2020 surrounded by his family. The son of Claire Veronick and Edward Greenwald, he was born in Newark and raised in Irvington, New Jersey. He earned his bachelor's degree from Ohio University and his PhD from the University of Michigan. A clinical psychologist, Barry served as associate professor of Psychology at the Student Counseling Service, University of Illinois Chicago, where he taught classes, saw patients, and was director of Clinical Training, mentoring scores of young psychologists over his career. As founder and director of the In Touch Hotline, he taught generations of undergraduates the values of being present and compassionate for those in crisis. 

A popular teacher on campus, he was three times voted winner of the Silver Circle Award by his students. Off-campus, he launched Convening, a national conference for crisis intervention personnel, and nurtured the organization to support and train a generation of crisis providers. After retirement from the UIC, he continued to see patients in private practice, mentor fellow clinicians, and teach at the university he loved. 

A 50-year resident of Oak Park, he served his community, which he dearly loved, by organizing campaigns for the Village Managers Association with dedication to the concept of "good government." He also organized campaigns for District 200 and was elected to the D200 school board, serving 2003-2007, as a way to give back to the high school that had educated his children. As a member of the Oak Park Regional Housing Center board, he worked to further its mission of vibrant and stable integration in Oak Park. 

A wonderful cook and baker, he loved nothing more than throwing parties, large and small, especially at holidays, often cooking for weeks in preparation. 

Barry was devoted to Marjorie, his wife of 58 years; his children, Jessica Greenwald O'Brien (Garry O'Brien) and Jeffrey Greenwald (Suzanne Greenwald); and to his grandchildren, of whom he was especially proud, Alexeya and Nathaniel O'Brien and Gabriel and Aleksander Greenwald.

Barry Greenwald was laid to rest at Shalom Memorial Park on June 16 in a private service with family. 

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the American Civil Liberties Union ( or the charity of your choice. For information or to leave condolences: 847-255-3520 or

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