Charles Brudo was a 40-year resident of the Palisades, together with his loving and devoted wife, Esther.
He died on May 5, 2021, at age 96 after leading a long life filled with adventure and many twists and turns, but always guided by his own basic values of decency and respect for others.
Raised in France, he was a young man in Paris when the Nazis invaded, and he witnessed firsthand Hitler’s oppression. After getting a visa to this country and learning some English, he volunteered for the Army Air Corps. Determined to fight as a Jew with a dog tag designating his identity, he returned back to danger as a gunner on a B17, flying missions dropping bombs on the Nazis.
His plane returned to base most times with holes from enemy fire. Finally, on one mission, his plane was shot down and he was blown out, coming down on a parachute with one strap. He was greeted by a group of armed and angry men. He was sent to a prisoner of war camp where he stayed for many months and was sent on forced marches. As the Allies were approaching, he planned and made a successful escape.
He rejected being called a hero, knowing that those who fought were all dealing with terrible circumstances. But he didn’t recall being afraid, because he was always focused on ways to survive.
Upon his return to the U.S., Charles used the GI bill to prepare for his chosen career in psychology, receiving his Ph.D. at Northwestern University.
He brought the same dedication to his work as a licensed clinical psychologist and was in private practice in Santa Monica for over 30 years. As a therapist he was innovative, dedicated and highly ethical.
A long-time friend and colleague said that when she hosted a party where he was a guest, people invariably asked who he was and said how much they enjoyed him. Charles was the consummate listener, taking great interest in others and they responded in kind.
He leaves his wife Esther, his children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren, all whom he wholeheartedly loved and always encouraged.
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