San Francisco Chronicle

Asa John DeMatteo, Ph.D.

March 25, 1947 - July 11, 2021


Asa DeMatteo had an unexpected massive heart attack resulting in a deep coma at Eisenhower Medi-cal Center, Rancho Mirage, California and passed away 14 hours later on July 11, 2021, at the age of 74.

Asa was preceded in death by his father John DeMatteo, his mother Annie Irene Nebeker DeMatteo Clemence, his daughter Lori DeMatteo Jensen, and his sisters Delores DeMatteo Lee and Diane DeMatteo West. Asa is survived by his loving spouse of 45 years Thomas J. Brady, M.D. of Palm Springs, California, his first spouse Melinda Hutchings of Albuquerqu­e, New Mexico, his baby sister Dawn Nagler Bibeault of Grass Valley, California, and many nieces, nephews, grandniece­s, grandneph-ews, great grandniece­s, great grandnephe­ws, and cousins.

Asa was born in North Hollywood, California and grew up in Northridge and Nevada City, California. He was the first member of his family to graduate from high school and went on to earn a B.S. and M.S. in Psycholing­uistics from San Jose State University, all but dissertati­on in Linguistic­s from University of California at Berkeley, and a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa. Asa was Director of the Center on Deafness and a faculty member at the University of California at San Francisco Medical School Depart-ment of Psychiatry and had a private psychother­apy practice in San Francisco for 28 years.

Asa was a character, a force of nature whose im-pact will be remembered by Many. When his applicatio­n for graduate school in Ala-bama was rejected despite being exceedingl­y qualified, he confronted the dean whc said never in all his years had he been so challenged. The dean agreed to accept Ma the next year if he aced la couple of high-level math ''courses, which he did He was the first openly gay graduate student admitted to UA.

Typically, his decision to join the fight against LGBTC Discrimina­tory politics in Belize surprised no one who knew him well but surprised Belize itself when they suc-ceeded.

Asa was a lover of Miss Marple mysteries (the Joan Hickson versions), British comedies, new foods, dogs, and Oxford commas. He was larger than life, outra-geous, dramatic, someone who made grand entrances and was over the top excessive in every way. Asa has left this earth, but his spirit and legacy will live on forever.

Celebratio­ns of the life of Asa DeMatteo will be held in Palm Springs, California and San Francisco, Califor-nia at later dates pending COVID safety.

In his memory, please consider contributi­ng to the American Civil Liberties Union.

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