April 21, 1938 ~ February 12, 2022

Born in: Bronx, NY
Resided in: Asheville, NC

A remarkable person, died in Asheville, NC, February 12, 2022. Michael Friedlander, age 83, was a Renaissance man. He had graduate degrees in three distinctly different disciplines. He was a psychotherapist, a recognized professional photographer, a serious student of the historical origins of religious thought, and a long time teacher of art history. He worked decades ago with Drs. Vincent Dole and Marie Nyswander of Rockefeller University and the Beth Israel Hospital of New York City, helping to initiate outpatient methadone maintenance therapy in the United States.
For years he was a photographer for Dance Magazine, Christies Auction House, and Mr. Rogers Television series. His clinical practice of thirty years in Pittsburgh, PA focused on the treatment of substance abuse and its family impacts. He was widely acknowledged by clinical colleagues and patients. He maintained salon-type, multi-disciplinary gatherings in Asheville, addressing scientific, spiritual and philosophical topics.
Michael is survived by his partner of thirty one years (Dorothy Рa psychotherapist), Dorothy’s brother (Michael), two previous wives, three sons (Joshua, Dovid and Avi Рconcert musicians and entrepreneurs), a daughter (Rochel Рentrepreneur), six grandchildren (Jordana, Ariella, Rafi, Anshel, Violet, Elan), a brother (Barry), sister-in-law (Sandy), cousin (Marvin Fein), as well as
a niece (Anne), nephew (Xander), and other family members. A private virtual family remembrance will be held.
Donations may be made to Asheville Cat Weirdos in lieu of flowers.
Groce Funeral Home on Tunnel Road is assisting the family.

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  1. Michael was an outstanding and compassionate person- a teacher, a mentor, an inspiration to both family and friends. Through his immense curiosity and love of learning, Michael was a great source of knowledge and enlightenment. We will really miss his fun-loving demeanor and all the great insightful conversations. With love,
    the Astle Family (Gail, Brian, Alex, Elysia, and David) send our sincerest condolences to both family and friends.

  2. Knew Michael personally and professionally for many years, while in Pittsburgh. A most gracious, thoughtful, and “listening” man. Looked forward to our Friday afternoon talks! So sorry to hear of his passing. I will miss him greatly.

  3. Michael was a good friend when I needed one. I was working for the City of Pittsburgh and he was presented to me as my exec’s preferred photographer. We hit it off from our first meeting, and spent many happy hours shooting city projects, working in his darkroom, talking about life. He even joined our nickel-and-dime poker game! One highlight: a drive to NYC looking for work, fame, and fortune — and sleeping on a friend’s floor! It was a good time. I will always miss him.


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