August 8, 1939 – October 4, 2019
Dr. Lionel “Len” Traubman passed away on October 4, 2019 after a brief illness. Born in Duluth, MN August 8, 1939, Len celebrated 80 years of a meaningful, balanced and productive life professionally, with family and friends and doing local and worldwide service. At age five, Len moved to Los Angeles with his parents where he spent his early years before moving north to attend the University of California, Berkeley before receiving his DDS at UCSF. He completed his Pediatric specialty training and clinical research at Indiana University, then returned to San Francisco to begin his dental practice with his wife, Libby, whom he met while studying in Indiana. They raised their two children in San Francisco before moving to San Mateo where they have lived for 42 years. In August they celebrated 52 years of marriage.
Traubman was a lecturer in Pediatric Dentistry at UCSF for 15 years. He was Editor of the California Society of Dentistry for Children and of the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry. He was a Diplomate of the American Board of Pediatric Dentistry and a Fellow of the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry. Dr. Traubman was a contributing author of dental journals and textbooks, and was the 1998 Distinguished Alumnus of the UCSF School of Dentistry.
Len depended on the outdoors to “decompress” from his busy life, finding deeper meaning in nature. He was an avid surfer and fisherman for most of his life, and loved swimming at the San Mateo Y. His large vegetable garden was his pride and joy, even composting!
In August 2000, he retired from his San Francisco practice after having treated children since the early 1960s. Before retiring Len also participated in volunteer activities believing it is “all one life”. Upon his retirement from a profession he loved, he simply moved full time to the numerous service-related endeavors. Believing that we are ONE and all of life is interconnected, interdependent, and interrelated, his focus was on bringing people together in relationships based on mutual respect and a strong belief that “an enemy is one whose story you have not heard”. Helping to found the Beyond War Movement, Len and wife, Libby, became preoccupied with the threat of nuclear war during the 1980s. In 1984, a three-week trip to the Soviet Union confirmed that meeting the “other” face-to-face is the key to building a more peaceful world. That experience led to working with Armenians and Azerbaijanis and then Jews and Palestinians. In 1992, they co-founded the Jewish-Palestinian Living Room Dialogue, now in its 28th year. The Traubman web site and Wikipedia tell the full Dialogue story.
On a daily basis, Len also mentored and encouraged through the magic of zoom, people all over the world, including Nigeria, DR Congo, Ivory Coast, Cameroon, Korea, Japan, India, and Myanmar. Materials, curriculum, and DVDs designed to help people engage in Dialogue, listening to learn, experiencing that All Is One remain on the Traubman web site for personal and professional use.
Len is survived by wife, Libby; son Adam (Raychel) Traubman, Natalie Fay (11), Tyler (14), Niko (21) Traubman, of Cardiff, CA and daughter Eleanor Traubman (Mike Sorgatz) Brooklyn, NY.
Service for Len Traubman will be October 27, 2 PM, First Congregational Church of Palo Alto, 1985 Louis Road. In lieu of flowers, donations to Peninsula Conflict Resolution Center for “Middle East Dialogue” or Elders Action Network would be greatly appreciated.