It is with great sadness that the family announces the death of Dr. Alexander Tolor of Danbury, CT. Dr. Tolor died on April 7, 2022, at the Regional Hospice Center in Danbury after a courageous battle with pancreatic cancer.
Alex Tolor was born in Vienna, Austria on October 21, 1928, to his parents Josephine and Dr. Stanley Tolor. To escape the Nazis, the family moved to the United States in 1939. He received his Bachelor's degree, Masters and Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from New York University. Alex served his adopted country in the U.S. Air Force as a psychologist.
Alex’s curiosity about the human condition led to research into a wide variety of studies encompassing areas such as self-image, the rigidity of functioning, insight, the mental hospital environment, body image, autism, organic brain injury, schizophrenic functioning, early memories, death anxiety, attitudes of teachers, parents and mental health professionals, the treatment of children with emotional problems, interpersonal closeness and distance, scholastic achievement, alienation, sensation-seeking, alcoholism, generational issues, altruism, quality of life, sexual issues, boredom, interview techniques, and more. These studies generated publications in various journals, books, and presentations at psychological conventions. Some of this research was accomplished while he served as the Director of the Institute of Human Development at Fairfield University.
Alex indicated that he reasoned one of the key determinants of human behavior was the degree of desired closeness of interpersonal relationships and he attempted to devise appropriate measures to assess this concept. Later in his career, Alex focused on the importance of loss and its variants on the quality of life. This interest was influenced by the traumatic loss of his beloved wife, Belle, in 2018. She was Alex’s life navigator, both literally and metaphorically.
In addition to Alex’s love of human research, he enjoyed interacting with the clinical psychology interns while serving as Director of the Psychology Department at Fairfield Hills Hospital. While there Alex was fortunate to grow a one-person service into a fully developed staff within a brief time period, culminating in a full APA accreditation of the intern training program.
Alex also took great pleasure in his graduate students and assistants at Fairfield University where he directed the School and Applied Psychology Program. Many of his students achieved high distinctions in the field of education and other professions. Moreover, Alex spent many years consulting with area school systems, businesses, and the VA Hospital. Alex also touched numerous people in his private clinical psychology practice.
After retirement from his psychology activities, Alex became an arbitrator for NASDAQ. He was equally as passionate about this new endeavor.
Of most importance to Alex was his beloved family. He was predeceased by his wife and love of his life for 67 years, Belle Tolor. Family members include daughters Karen Stern (Michael); Lori Wilson (Tom) and Diana Guertin, and three grandchildren, Joshua Stern (Julie), Rachel Stern (Chad Aboe), and Jonathan Wilson. He was also blessed with four great-grandchildren; Alex Stern, Andrew Stern, Annabelle Aboe, and Sasha Aboe.
Graveside funeral services and burial will take place on Sunday, April 10, 2022, at 2 PM at the United Jewish Center Cemetery, 124 Gray’s Bridge Rd., Brookfield.
All are requested to wear a mask or facial covering.
Contributions in Dr. Tolor’s memory may be made to the Yiddish Book Center (yiddishbookcenter.org) or to a charity of one’s own choosing.
Charity of One's Choice
Yiddish Book Center
1021 West Street, Amherst MA 01002