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William Hamilton Abraham (1929-2016)


Posted By: Mark Christian
Date: 1/1/2017 at 14:29:25

From Grandon Funeral and Cremation Care obituary, Ames, Story County, Iowa:

William Hamilton Abraham, May 20, 1929 - December 28, 2016

William (Bill) Hamilton Abraham passed away on December 28, 2016, following a long battle with multiple sclerosis. A memorial service is planned for Saturday, January 28, 2017 at 11:00 a.m. at Collegiate Presbyterian Church 159 N. Sheldon Ames, Iowa. The family will receive friends at a reception afterwards.

Bill was born May 20, 1929 in Englewood, New Jersey, to Ruth and Leonard G. Abraham. He graduated from Cornell University with a B.S. in Chemical Engineering, served for two years as a Lieutenant in the U.S. Air Force, and then earned a Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering from Purdue University. Following a five-year stint with DuPont in Wilmington, Delaware, he spent the remainder of his engineering career as a member of the faculty in the Department of Chemical Engineering at Iowa State University, where he was known as a tough but effective teacher. On retirement, he pursued his long-standing interest in legal issues by earning a law degree from Drake University. He passed the Iowa Bar and volunteered for eight years with the Legal Aid Society of Story County. During his years in Ames, he served as an elder and in other roles as a member of Collegiate Presbyterian Church.

The love of Bill's life was his wife Roberta, to whom he was a devoted husband. They met as undergraduates at Cornell University; were married on June 27, 1953; and enjoyed a long and happy life together. In 1967, they relocated with their five children to spend two years in the Philippines, where Bill worked on a project funded by the Ford Foundation to develop the Chemical Engineering program at the University of the Philippines. While there, Bill took flying lessons and earned his pilot's license. Bill and Roberta traveled widely throughout his life, visiting Russia (after Bill spent several years studying Russian), China, Australia, New Zealand, Egypt, Morocco, Peru, and a host of other destinations. In later years, Bill especially enjoyed spending time with his children and grandchildren, of whom he was very proud.

He is survived by Roberta, his wife of 63 years; his children Katharine (Graham Horkley), David (Carol), Jon (Loida), Molly (Dave Walz) and Sarah (Greg Buelt); his twelve grandchildren Ian, Ben, William, Allison, Justin, Paulina, Katie (Joe), Elise (Madison), Tessa, Abraham, Eliza and Evan; one brother, Leonard; and two sisters, Barbara Shrauner and Betty Dowd.

In lieu of flowers memorial contributions may be made in Bill's name to the Legal Aid Society of Story County, 937 Sixth Street, Suite 101, Nevada, IA 50201 or to the Northcrest Foundation, 1801-20th St., Ames, IA 50010.


Story Obituaries maintained by Mark Christian.
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