Burton Ailes Fleming, 89, of Chestnut Hill, a psychiatrist who had maintained a practice in Chestnut Hill for more than five decades, died May 11 of complications of surgery at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania.
In addition to his private practice, from which he retired in 2010, Dr. Fleming was the founder, president and medical director of the Horsham Clinic. He also was the first medical director of Northwestern Mental Health Service.
He was an officer and director of the National Association of Psychiatric Hospitals and was a former president of the Philadelphia Psychiatric Society.
“He was a wonderful, involved, caring father,” Dr. Fleming’s daughter Karen said, “helping to create the strong family that he leaves behind. His sharp wit and intellect, along with his generous sense of humor, were a hallmark appreciated by all his friends.”
Born in Reading, he attended West Reading High School and graduated from Mercersberg Academy and the University Virginia, where he was a varsity swimmer and editor of the school newspaper. While at Virginia, he started his own jazz band and continued throughout his life to form and play in bands.
He earned his medical degree from Temple University’s School of Medicine and was board certified in psychiatry and neurology. After graduating from the Philadelphia Psychoanalytic Institute, he served in the Air Force medical corps.
Pursuing many interests, he was a water skier, ice hockey player, ice dancer, snow skier and pilot who earned his license with multi-engine and instrument ratings. He also enjoyed sailing, fishing and woodworking, becoming a a prize-winning bird carver in his later years.
In Edgartown, Mass., where he had a vacation home, he founded the Great Pond Foundation, an environmental organization.
He was a member of the Union League and numerous other societies.
In addition to his daughter Karen, of Guilford Conn., Dr. Fleming is survived by his wife of 62 years, the former Lynn F. Otter; daughters Cynthia Fleming, Tricia Fleming and Christine Fleming, all of Wyndmoor; sons Randy Fleming, of Kauai, Hawaii, and Carter Fleming, of Douglas City, Calif.; eight grandchildren, and two step-grandchildren.
A memorial gathering will be held at 4 p.m. Thursday, June 4, at the Fleming home, 214 Sunrise Lane in Chestnut Hill. – WF