Dr. Christopher J. Allegra

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Born in Providence, RI on March 20, 1959

Departed on September 5, 2019 and resided in Chappaqua, NY

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On September 5, 2019, Christopher J. (“Chris”) Allegra, M.D. of Chappaqua, New York, beloved husband and father of three children, died peacefully after a courageous battle with cancer. He was 60.

Christopher was born on March 20, 1959, in Providence, Rhode Island, to Drs. Salvatore and Marisa (Calzolari) Allegra. He attended the Moses Brown School in Providence. Chris would forever cherish his wonderful summer adventures with his brothers and friends in Jamestown, RI, swimming, sailing, spearfishing, and catching lobsters.

He graduated from Tufts University in 1981 with a B.S. in Biology. From there Chris spent an exploratory year drawing and painting at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, and was then accepted to the Harvard Graduate School of Design, where he began his master’s degree in Architecture. However, his heart remained in the sciences and medicine, and after working in medical research at Massachusetts General Hospital, he decided to become a physician. He graduated from Tufts University School of Medicine in 1991 with an M.D. He completed his residency in Adult Psychiatry at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons in 1995, and training in Psychoanalysis at Columbia University Center for Psychoanalytic Training & Research in 1999. Christopher was awarded the Rodman Gilder Scholarship for Psychoanalytic Training, Columbia University Center for Psychoanalytic Training and Research, in 1994, and the Alumni Association Horowitz Award for Clinical Excellence, Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, in 1995.

As a clinical and academic psychiatrist and psychoanalyst, Christopher divided his time between his private practice and teaching. He taught at the Columbia Psychoanalytic Center, Psychotherapy Division, and the Columbia Psychiatry Residency Program. He served on the Columbia faculty starting in 1996. He taught psychoanalytic theory and technique, and was a clinical supervisor for fourth year psychiatry residents. His clinical practice was a source of great personal and professional joy to Chris, and he brought his intellect, warmth, kindness, and compassion to his work with his patients.

Chris had an abiding passion for music and played the piano throughout his life. He was a member of two bands, playing the keyboard. He organized annual musical events with family and friends at his beloved summer home in Jamestown, RI, where everyone sang and played instruments.

Chris loved nature and spent endless hours throughout his life studying and exploring animal behavior. He was an avid skier and sailor. Many fine summer afternoons found him sailing with his children on Narragansett Bay in their catamaran, flying across the bay to Newport.

Chris will be remembered for his openhearted warmth, his generosity of spirit, and his love of science, art, music, and nature. He had an authentic curiosity and appreciation of what makes us human. He brought out the best in people.

He is survived by his beloved wife of 35 years, MaryEllen; three children, who were the joy of his heart, Nicholas, Ryan, and Alessandra; his loving mother, Marisa (Calzolari) Allegra, M.D. (partner Edwin Ofgant); two cherished brothers, Ludwig Allegra, M.D. (Arlene), and David Allegra, M.D.; and much-loved niece Alexis Allegra (Daniel Carr). He was preceded in death by his father, Salvatore R. Allegra, M.D.

A memorial gathering will take place at Ballard-Durand Funeral Home in White Plains, NY on September 14, 2019 from 2 pm to 6 pm.

A Celebration of Life is planned for October 5, 2019.

Memorial donations may be made to:

Weill Cornell Medicine https://s010.med.cornell.edu/wcmc/make-a-donation.html?dept=Genitourinary%20Oncology%20Program

Natural Resources Defense Council https://act.nrdc.org/donate/force-for-nature

Guestbook Entries

  1. Alla Roytberg September 6, 2019 at 7:44 pm - Reply

    Dear MaryEllen and family, I am so sorry for your loss. Please accept my deepest condolences.

    Warmest regards,

  2. Aneil Shirke September 6, 2019 at 11:29 pm - Reply

    Chris was a great teacher and a good friend. I am so sorry he is no longer with us on the material plane. He is now only with us in other ways. God be with you, Chris.

  3. Micki McWade September 7, 2019 at 6:35 am - Reply

    MaryEllen,

    I am so sorry to hear about Chris and what you are going through. Saying prayers for strength and courage as you move ahead.

    Sending love to you,
    Micki

  4. Kriena Nederveen September 7, 2019 at 3:02 pm - Reply

    I am so very sorry for your loss. Dr Allegra meant more than I can say to my family. The best Dr ever. Caring and always going the extra mile. His words will be with me always.

  5. Joan Booth and Joan ODONNELL September 7, 2019 at 3:34 pm - Reply

    Maryellen and family mom and I are so sorry for your loss

  6. Elise September 7, 2019 at 6:37 pm - Reply

    Dr. Allegra was a wonderful doctor who helped me so much. I feel so lucky to have known him and am so sorry for his family’s loss.

  7. J. P. September 7, 2019 at 10:27 pm - Reply

    Very sad to hear the passing of Dr. Allegra. He was a caring, compassionate doctor and I feel privileged to have known him. My deepest condolences to his family. Please know he made a big difference in my life.

  8. Satish Reddy and Purnima Kapur September 8, 2019 at 11:14 am - Reply

    Dear MaryEllen and family,
    We are so very sorry to hear of dear Chris’s passing. Please accept our deepest condolences.
    Sending you our loving and warm prayers, thoughts and hugs at this difficult time.
    Purnima and Satish

  9. Michelle Lewis September 8, 2019 at 5:08 pm - Reply

    Dear MaryEllen,

    I am so sorry to learn of your terrible loss. My deepest condolences to you and your family.

    Warmly,
    Michelle Lewis

  10. Debra Hamilton September 8, 2019 at 7:56 pm - Reply

    Dearest Mary Ellen, Nicholas, Ryan and Alessandra,

    I am so very sorry to hear of the transition of your wonderful dad, Chris.
    This shift is enormous for all of you to navigate.

    I am praying you find the strength to feel your husband/dad’s guiding hand each and every day of your life.
    Like navigating in the catamaran, he will be there to steady your course.

    May we all support you during this time and send you all our love.
    Debra Hamilton and family

  11. Lisa Hotte Young September 9, 2019 at 9:25 am - Reply

    Dear Mary Ellen, I am simply heartbroken hearing this news. I think of Chris as such a part of our 81st Street family. And his kindness to my father in dad’s last years is something I will always carry with me. With love and healing prayers for you, Ryan, Nicholas, and Alessandra.

  12. John Ross September 9, 2019 at 2:48 pm - Reply

    Chris was a beautiful person in all ways. Compassionate, soulful, elegant, in his quiet and attentive way- he lit up our lives even as his was coming to an end. I loved you, Chris.

  13. John Ross September 9, 2019 at 3:02 pm - Reply

    Chris was a compassionate, soulful and elegant man. In his quiet and caring way, he lit up our lives even as his was coming to an end.

  14. Judy and Sam Pugliese September 9, 2019 at 10:00 pm - Reply

    Mary Ellen and Family,
    We are so sad to hear of the Chris’ death. What we will remember most about Chris was his incredible spirit- his laugh, his genuine, unabashed emotional presence. Always resonant and attuned. And funny. We will miss him. Our hearts go out to you and the kids.
    Love, Judy and Sam

  15. Daniel Schechter September 10, 2019 at 9:24 am - Reply

    Dear Mary Ellen and Family,

    Chris was one of the most generous and supportive, warm colleagues throughout my training (I was a year behind him at Columbia). I was struck silent, shocked and sad to hear of losing an opportunity to see him again. I can only imagine what that is like for you all and the many friends, colleagues, patients and students whose lives he touched. All I can say is that we are all blessed to have known him and carry his memory with us. My sincerest sympathy to you all. best, Daniel Schechter

  16. Mitch September 10, 2019 at 9:54 pm - Reply

    To Maryellen, and to Nicholas, Ryan, Alessandra,

    My deepest sympathies to your family. I know words cannot take away the loss, but I hope you can take comfort in the fact that your father to touched so many lives and had a material impact on so many people, that he left the world a better place than he found it.

    He was a special man with genuine care and respect for others, amazing judgement, and the highest integrity. I am a better person for having known him.

    I am confident that each of you will have the strength to persevere and continue to make your father proud by honoring his memory.

    Love,
    Mitch

  17. baltazar cuellar September 10, 2019 at 10:29 pm - Reply

    Since my mother was pregnant of me Chris has known me for 13 years and my family as well I will miss him so much but at least I know that he will now Rest In Peace for eternal life. I hope that his wife and family with get through this together as a family like they always have and always do in better or worse. Please always remember that you are never alone and that everybody that loves you and your children will always accompany you in your pain.

  18. Barbara Bel September 11, 2019 at 11:34 am - Reply

    Dear MaryEllen,

    I am so sorry for your loss – no words…..

  19. Martina Dr. Laifook September 12, 2019 at 8:50 am - Reply

    💝 Heartfelt Sadness at the loss of CHRIS
    MaryEllen and Chris and their wonderful families have been part of my extended family here in the US over the past 39years. We met at Tufts in Boston when I was 19 and for me they were always the Quintessential Couple
    Two wonderful people two beautiful Souls, each awesome in their own way
    But together 💫 AMAZING 💫
    I am forever grateful for their love kindness and ultimate friendship. They will always be part of
    My wonderful existence 💕 I love you Chris may our paths continue to cross through our spiritual evolution 😌🥰😌

  20. Kathy Brothers September 12, 2019 at 10:48 am - Reply

    Very sorry to hear this news . Prayers for family and friends.

  21. Sarah Talbot September 12, 2019 at 11:22 pm - Reply

    Dr. Allegra had so much humanity and his insights still guide me and always will.
    I was stunned and immeasurably sad when he told me was ill and now…
    My deepest sympathies go out to your family.

  22. Ellen Jankco-Baken September 13, 2019 at 10:01 am - Reply

    MaryEllen,

    Chris sounds like an incredible person. I am so sorry for your loss and I will keep you and your family in my prayers.

  23. Joel Bacon and Laura Hawboldt September 14, 2019 at 11:54 am - Reply

    MaryEllen and family,

    Chris was one in a million. We will miss him as a friend and neighbor. We have so many fond memories of the times we spent with you guys. Chris was a devoted dad, doctor and Red Sox fan. He was intelligent and humorous, warm and kind. The world is a lesser place without him.

    Love, Joel and Laura

  24. Hola and Adam Berner September 15, 2019 at 9:57 pm - Reply

    We are thinking of you during this very difficult time. Our hearts and thoughts are with you and your family. Sending love,

  25. Janet H Prystowsky,MD,PhD September 16, 2019 at 11:30 pm - Reply

    Chris was a wonderful doctor and colleague. He thoughtfully helped whenever I asked him for a referral for my patients or my family. A generous and pleasantly helpful physician. He directly or indirectly helped so many achieve successful balance in their lives. My heartfelt condolences to his family.

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