Portland Press Herald / 9/6/2023 TOPSHAM – Diane Schetky passed away on Aug. 25 at the age of 83. She worked for nearly 40 years as a child, adolescent, and forensic psychiatrist, and for a time in the 1980s was Maine’s only child psychiatrist practicing north of Portland. Diane published six books and more than 60 articles that helped pioneer the field of child forensic psychiatry, in addition to a memoir and several books of poetry.
She grew up in Greenwich, Conn. and wanted to be a doctor at a time when medical schools were reluctant to admit women. She graduated from Sarah Lawrence College and went to medical school at Case Western Reserve University, where she met and married Charles Browning, a fellow student who would also become a psychiatrist. A second marriage to Mac Schetky, a metallurgist, brought her back to Connecticut where she established a thriving private practice and became a nationally renowned expert witness in cases of child sexual abuse.
After closing her Rockport practice in 2000, Dr. Diane began working in the Maine prison system, where she created first-of-their-kind programs for grief counseling and hospice care for dying prisoners.
She was an amateur opera singer and toured the Soviet Union with the Surrey Opera Company. She was a sailor, bird-lover, and avid environmentalist who helped pass bans on Maine towns using Styrofoam and plastic bags. She loved Scrabble and once played a triple-triple or nonuple word for more than 200 points.
Diane Schetky is survived by her brothers Peter Chapin and Spencer Chapin; her sons James Browning and Scott Browning; and two grandchildren.