Memory Eternal! + Abe Abraham


Abe Abraham, age 101, fell peacefully asleep in the Lord at his home on Wednesday, January 29, 2014. He is preceded in death by his parents, Sleyman and Zahia Abraham, brother, James and wife, Georgette, sister-in-law, Margaret, and brother-in-law, Dr. Thomas Bander.

Abe was an officer in the United States Army serving as a lieutenant in India during World War II. He was an active member of the Variety Club of Grand Rapids and a life member of St. Nicholas Antiochian Orthodox Church, Grand Rapids, MI, serving in several leadership roles. He has served on the Board of Trustees of the Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America since 1955, its longest serving member. Metropolitan Philip presented him with the Antonian Gold Medal for this dedication and leadership to the church. He is also a life member of the Order of St. Ignatius of Antioch.

Abe was born in Rashaya, Lebanon on August 21, 1912. His family migrated to Kansas in 1921 and moved to Grand Rapids in 1925. He and his father established S. Abraham and Sons (SAS) in 1927 and for 85 years he worked alongside his brothers, James and Wade, to make SAS become one of the largest distributors of convenience store products in the country.

On November 2, 1947, Abe married Adele Helen Kaleel of Spring Valley, IL, and they raised a family of four children. In addition to his wife, Abe is survived by his son, Alan (Debbie), and daughters, Cheryl (Sam) Barkett, Carol (Peter) Assaly, and Kaye (Mike) Powell; ten very special grandchildren, Kristen (Fadi) Baradihi, Philip (Mindy) Abraham, Jeffrey (Nicole) Abraham, Brittany Abraham, Lauren Barkett, David (Kate) Barkett, Allison Assaly, Meredith Assaly, Melissa Powell, and Rick Powell; five adorable great grand-daughters, Elise Abraham, Rita Barkett, Lea Abraham, Maya and Natalie Baradihi; brother, Wade Abraham, sister, Dolores Bander, brother in law, Thomas (Eva Kaleel) and many godchildren, nieces and nephews.

Visitation will be Sunday, February 2, 2014, from 2-4 and 6-8 pm at St. Nicholas Antiochian Orthodox Church, 2250 East Paris. Trisagion Prayers will be offered in memory of Abe at 7 pm that evening. There will be a one hour visitation on Monday, February 3 at 10 am, followed by the Funeral Service at 11 am, The Very Rev. Daniel Daly officiating. Internment will be at Woodlawn Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions to St. Nicholas Orthodox Church are appreciated.