Longtime Q St. Resident, Dr. Cynthia Ray Putchat Dies

Dr. Cynthia Ray Putchat, 69, who practiced clinical psychology in Washington, D.C., for 39 years, died hours after the solar eclipse on April 9. Her death was announced by her children and followed a short, painful battle with a rare and aggressive form of uterine cancer.  

Dr. Putchat, whose decades-long private practice included clients ranging from the homeless to VIPs, was an ardent supporter of the arts, an involved member of Washington Hebrew Congregation, and renowned among friends for generous, elaborate dinner and birthday parties at her Georgetown home. Judaism played a significant role in her life. One Passover Seder saw her light so many candles in her large dining room that smoke trailing out the window scared a neighbor who called the fire department. Firefighters who responded were treated to her warmth and the meal.

Born in Bexley, Ohio to Bernice “Bunny” Garb and Sidney Putchat, Cynthia was an alumnus of Bexley High School Class of 1973 and earned a B.A. from Brandeis University and M.A. and PhD from Ohio State University by 1988. She married Jeff Kamen in 1994. The couple had two children and divorced in 2014.

Cynthia joyously embraced creativity. After studying the fine arts, she painted and sculpted most of her life. Other passions included her Newfoundland dogs, scuba diving, world travel, and raising two children who survive her. A daughter, Sydney Kamen, 27, of Washington, D.C., is a multi-lingual Diplomat with the U.S. Department of State Foreign Service. Gavi Kamen, 25, currently residing in Boston, is a songwriter and musician touring with their own band. Dr. Putchat is also survived by two sisters, Barbara Dalbey and Deborah Cantrell. 

In concert with her lifelong commitment to the service of others, Cynthia donated her body to cancer research. Her children ask that donations in her memory be made to https://rarecancer.org, which does medical research in rare cancers. 


2 comments on “Longtime Q St. Resident, Dr. Cynthia Ray Putchat Dies”

  • Aura and Fred Truslow says:

    Cynthia was a wonderful person, warm and exciting to be with. She was a proud, loving mother who looked after many other people as well. We were the beneficiaries of her kindness as her next door neighbors, always admiring her concern for others and the state of the world. We miss her profoundly

  • Amaya says:

    Ever since I was a child, she always welcomed me with the biggest of hugs and largest of smiles. I will miss her from the other side of the wall that separates our homes.

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