William L. Peltz, M.D., Was Surgeon, Psychiatrist
William Learned Peltz, M.D. died at the North Shore Medical Center in Salem on Sept. 23.
William Peltz was born in Albany on Feb. 11, 1909 the son of Katherine Hun Peltz and William Law Learned Peltz. He attended Albany Academy from 1914 to 1926 and took a postgraduate year at Phillips Exeter Academy before entering Yale University. There, he served on the Yale Daily News and the freshman yearbook, was a member of Alpha Delta Phi and Skull and Bones, and participated in the Model League of Nations. As a junior, he organized and was elected president of the Undergraduate medical Society for students who were considering a future in medicine. In his senior year, he was editor of the 1931 Class Book, secretary of his class and a member of the board at Dwight Hall.
After spending a year traveling through Europe and the Middle East, he entered the Yale Medical School, transferring to the Harvard Medical School for his last two years. He was graduated in 1936, took his internship at the Boston City Hospital in internal medicine and at the Boston Mental Health Center for psychiatry, followed by six months at McLean Hospital in Waverly in psychiatry. He took his residency at the Presbyterian Hospital of Columbia University in New York city. He then spent a year as an assistant in medicine at Williams College prior to spending two years in private practice of internal medicine in New Haven, Conn., and as a clinical instructor of medicine at the Grace New Haven Hospital.
During World War II, Dr. Peltz served in the Yale Hospital Unit (which became the 39th General Hospital). After being posted to Walter Reed Hospital in Washington, D.C., and Camp Stoneman in California, he was appointed the station surgeon and the receiving and disposition officer, serving for two years in New Zealand and for one year in Saipan. While in New Zealand, he was transferred to the Psychiatric Service following an assignment on temporary duty to an Army mobile psychiatric hospital facility. He also wrote the history of psychiatry in the Central Pacific for the records of the U.S. Army Surgeon General before retiring from the service with the rank of major.
After the war, he continued working in the field of psychiatry. He and his family moved to the Philadelphia area, where he received further training in psychiatry and in psychoanalysis. During the Korean Conflict, he served for a month in the Far East, working in Korea and Okinawa as a civilian expert consultant in psychiatry to the U.S. Army Surgeon General. He practice psychiatry for 25 years at the Institute of Pennsylvania Hospital, taught psychiatry at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania and became professor of clinical psychiatry at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine. He was the psychiatric consultant to the Marriage Council of Philadelphia and to the area schools.
In 1970, he and his wife moved to Manchester, Vt., where he semi-retired and conducted a part-time practice of psychiatry until 1984. In that year, he retired completely and moved to his house at Lambert's Cove. He enjoyed painting pictures of skiing, ships and sailing, as well as scenes from Vermont and the Vineyard. He was represented in several Vineyard galleries.
Dr. Peltz and his wife, whose maiden name was Margaret Ruth Adams, were married at Exeter, N.H., on Jan. 29, 1938. She was the daughter of Mason Tyler Adams and Juliette Bulkeley Adams and the stepdaughter of Dr. Lewis Perry, headmaster of Phillips Exeter Academy. She was a professional monologuist, presenting her programs over a period of 50 years in the United States and Canada. She died on the Vineyard on Jan. 23, 1998.
Dr. Peltz is survived by his three sons, Mason (Toby), William and Thomas, and by his five grandchildren, Samantha, Kate, Daniel, Jennifer and Lauren.
A memorial service will be held at the First Congregational Church in West Tisbury on Nov. 8. Arrangements are by the Dyer-Lake Funeral Home, 161 Commonwealth avenue, Village of Attleboro Falls, North Attleboro, Mass., 508-695-0200.