Philip Abrams of Brookline, MA, passed away peacefully on Wednesday, April 26 at the age of 83. Philip was a devoted father, grandfather, brother, and friend to many.
Philip was born in Brighton, in 1939, the son of Julius and Eva (Hodes) Abrams. He was the youngest brother of Fay Wilgoren, who currently resides in Brookline, MA, and the late Benjamin Abrams of Newton, who passed away in 2011. Philip worked at his father’s construction company as a teenager. After graduating from Williams College in 1961, he served for four years in the U.S. Navy aboard the USS Enterprise. Later, he and his friend Larry Green started and ran a successful construction company, and in 1981, he served in Washington D.C. as a presidential appointee in the Reagan Administration, rising to the position of Undersecretary of Housing and Urban Development. President Reagan also named Philip to the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Council. Philip later worked as a real estate developer, a mortgage originator, and, after earning his law degree from the University of Denver, as a lawyer.
Philip married Rosalyn Merle Heifetz, from Lowell in 1970. They divorced in 1992. Together they were the proud parents of Mark Abrams, of Jamaica Plain, Jonathan Abrams and his wife Jenny Nathans of Jamaica Plain, and Daniel Abrams and his wife Megan Michelson of Lake Tahoe, CA. Philip was the happy grandfather of Nora Eva Abrams, age 8, and Otis Abrams, age 6. In 1995, Philip married Susan Jay Sherman, from Newton, who died in 2001. Philip had many close friends, all of whom he considered extended family. In his final years, he was fortunate to spend much of his time with his longtime friend Carole Seigel and her family. Phil’s son Mark provided care for him in his home along with Bianka Lara, his caretaker whom Phil thought of as a daughter.
Philip was passionate in his belief in the U.S. political system, the importance of being an engaged citizen, protecting individual liberty, the benefits of a free market, and cordial discussion about U.S. politics. He was admired by all, even those on the other side of the political spectrum, for his integrity and intellect.
Funeral services will be held at Temple Emeth, 194 Grove Street, Chestnut Hill on Friday, April 28 at 2:00pm. Burial will follow at Temple Emeth Cemetery, 776 Baker St., West Roxbury. After the burial, shiva will be observed at the home of Rosalyn Abrams, continuing Saturday, and Sunday evenings at 6:00pm. In lieu of flowers, donations in Philip’s name may be made to The Parkinson’s Foundation, 1359 Broadway, Suite 1509, New York, NY 10018. (parkinson.org)