The Honorable Jeffrey A. Abber, 55, of Malden and West Yarmouth and formerly of Brockton, passed away in the loving arms of his family after living life to the absolute fullest and showing his family how to accept death with peace and dignity. Jeff was the beloved husband of Maureen (Duffy) and adored and much loved father of Annie M. of South Boston, Zachary S. of Melrose and Caitlin R. of Somerville.
Despite a cancer diagnosis over 2 years ago, Jeff continued to live life as he always had with compassion, strength, empathy, the most amazing positive outlook and sense of humor. While undergoing treatment, Jeff continued to work, travel, and golf, cook gourmet meals, spend time with family and friends, enjoy Boston sports, tell comical stories, enjoy music and simply enjoy life. As he often said, he was not sick; he simply had cancer. Jeff loved so many and was loved by so many. Once Jeff met you, you were a friend for life and there was absolutely nothing that he would not do for a friend. His generosity and thoughtfulness knew no bounds.
Jeff grew up in Brockton, the devoted son of the late Herman and Charlotte (Baskin) Abber. He was a proud graduate of Brockton High School, Brandeis University and New England School of Law. After graduating law school, Jeff married his high school sweetheart, Maureen with whom he shared 38 years of love and 30 years of marriage. Jeff’s greatest joy was being a father to his triplets. He provided Annie, Zach and Cait with their moral compass and their appreciation that family matters most. He enjoyed coaching many of their sports team and served as a coach and mentor to many in the Malden Youth Sports program. Jeff thoroughly enjoyed spending time with his children at their Cape house; traveling; having family dinners; watching their sporting and dancing activities; watching Boston sports teams, engaging in lively discussions and simply basking in the happiness of a father who loved his three.
For over 20 years Jeff maintained a law practice in Malden, The Law Office of Jeffrey A. Abber, focusing on probate and family law. The highlight of Jeff’s career was when he was appointed an Associate Justice of the Probate and Family Court for the Middlesex County by Governor Deval Patrick. As an Associate Justice, Jeff presided initially in the Essex Probate and Family Court in Salem and more recently in the Middlesex Probate and Family Court in Cambridge. He served as a Judicial Mentor to new judges and served on the Education Committee for the Probate and Family Court where he developed and shaped judicial education programs for the entire bench. Jeff also advanced and taught many continuing legal education programs for the Massachusetts Bar Association and MCLE. Jeff’s judicial colleagues appreciated Jeff’s legal wisdom; compassion; humility; sense of grace; sense of humor; wit; and exuberance. In 2015, Jeff was recognized with the Jurist of the Year Award by the Middlesex County Bar Association. We are eternally grateful to all of his colleagues over the years who provided a tremendous community of support to Jeff and our family.
Jeff was a past member of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, the Family and Probate Innes of Court, the Malden Redevelopment Authority Board of Directors, the Lions Club International and the Cape Cod Synagogue.
Jeff has left behind a legacy of love, family and friends will forever live on in the hearts of his wife, children and all who loved him. Family meant everything to Jeff and there was nothing that he enjoyed more than spending time with his extended family. In addition to his wife and children, Jeff is survived by his brother Russell, his sister and brother-in-law Carol and Jonathan Braverman, his brother and sister-in-law Scott and Kim and his sister-in-law Louise Duffy; his adoring nieces and nephews Allison and Jared Braverman and Brittany, Ben and Sophie Abber; his “second son”, Michael Sullivan; his “third daughter”, Jennifer DeLacey, whom he loved dearly; his beloved “little buddy” Rolo, as well as numerous aunts, uncles, cousins, friends and colleagues. In addition to his parents, Jeff was pre-deceased by his mother and father in-law James and Anne (Donovan) Duffy; his brother-in-law James Duffy; his close friend Jonathan Shostack and his loyal dog Rudi.
Our family will be forever grateful for the amazing and compassionate care that Jeff received at Mass General Hospital and would like to thank Dr. Janet Murphy, Patricia Tammaro, NP, Robyn Farrell, John Opolski, Dr. Jennifer Shin; the staff on Yawkey 7 and 8 and “Jeff’s nurses” on Lunder 10 and Lunder 9 for the love and support that they gave to Jeff and our family, especially Jen Venuti, Natalia DeMatteo, Christine Weiand and Christine Shaughnessy along with so many other amazing nurses whom Jeff loved. Our lives are forever enriched by the friendship and compassion that you provided. We would also like to thank Diana Byomuhangi of Seasons Hospice for the care and compassion that she provided to all of us.
Services will be held at Temple Beth Avodah, 45 Puddingstone Lane, Newton Centre on Sunday, April 23, 2017 at 11:00 a.m. Memorial observance will be held at the Abber residence in Malden on Sunday 6:30-8:30 p.m. and Monday 2:00-4:00 p.m. and 6:30-8:30 p.m. and the Abber residence in West Yarmouth on Tuesday 3:00-7:00 p.m. Interment will be private.
In lieu of flowers, donations in Jeff’s memory may be made to Jeff’s Justice League Team, http://profile.pmc.org/TJ0082, which is riding in Jeff’s honor in the Pan Mass Challenge to raise funds for cancer research. Jeff was immensely proud of the team’s members: his daughters Annie and Caitlin, cousin Spencer and niece Brittany who are riding as superheroes to honor our Superman.