Remembering Adam Duhan: Internist, social ‘super pollinator,’ artist

Adam, née Harold, Duhan, internist, social “super pollinator” and artist died unexpectedly June 21, surrounded by family and friends. He was just shy of his 69th birthday.

Born in New York City to Evelyn and Eliot Duhan, Adam grew up in Forest Hills, learning guitar from Tommy Ramone, and developing lifelong friendships with classmates who included Walter Becker of Steely Dan.

Adam attended SUNY Binghamton for a year, then followed his sister, Susan, to California, where Adam experienced the vibrant Summer of Love in San Francisco in 1967. He graduated from the University of California at Berkeley in 1977, and continued his higher education in the Philippines, graduating as a medical doctor from New York Medical College in 1981.

Adam’s life was filled with rich and varied experiences. He volunteered at the Haight Ashbury Free Clinic, with Rock Medicine, Burning Man’s Emergency Services Division, and for several population stabilization organizations, including the Sierra Club’s Global Population and Environment Program. He was always a participant, rather than spectator, in the human experiences that unfolded before him.

Adam was known as the glue that kept old friends in touch over the decades, and a matchmaker who created many new friendships within his expansive social circle. A founder of the the hiking group the Tilden Trailheads, he would happily greet hikers on the trail, welcome them to Tilden, and invite them to join the Trailheads. Adam gave away thousands of money origami shirts, rings and Stars of David over the years, ensuring that recipients would remember him and join his ever-expanding community of recipients.

Adam is survived by his wife, Deirdre, sons Jesse and Avi, step-daughters Gabriela and Rachel, and sisters Susan Duhan Felix and Nancy Travis. He will be lovingly remembered by his many close friends, including Steve Goldbart, Andy Condey, Jacob Rosenberg, Ira Fishman and Dave Kwinter, and the network of friendships he treasured and cultivated throughout his life.

Adam’s life will be celebrated with music and dancing at Chochmat Ha Lev (2215 Prince St., Berkeley), Sunday, Aug. 18 from 2:30 p.m. to 5 p.m. In lieu of flowers, please donate to the Sierra Club’s Global Population and Environment Program, or to the art gallery to be dedicated to him at Chochmat Ha Lev.