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Hon. Jeffrey A. Abber

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,, 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.


It was with great sadness that I heard of Judge Abber’s passing.

I had the privilege of appearing as counsel before him in the Essex Probate and Family Court, and enjoying his company at various bar association functions.

Please accept my sincere condolences. His Honor will be missed.

-John Hanrahan
Haverhill, MA

My warmest thoughts and fondest memories go out to you. Jeff was so very special. He touched everyone who ever met him. I afford him. I grieve for you and have you all in my thoughts and in my heart.

-Pat Launer
Del y, CA    USS

I am so saddened to hear of Jeff’s passing and send prayers to Maureen, Annie, Zach and Caitlin. As you mourn Jeff’s loss, I’m sure you will also be celebrating his bountiful heart and zillions of shared memories.

-Sally Vaillancourt
West Hartford, CT

Maureen, Zach, Annie, Caitlin… The last time I saw you all, “the babies” were but a few months old. Far too long. I’m so sorry for your loss… a great man, husband, and father. Mosie, you and Jeff were born to be together, and he will always be by your side. Please accept our sincere condolences. Frank and Max.

-Frank & Max Papsadore
East Sandwich, MA    USA

Our heart goes out to you at this difficult time
Hugs, cousins Donna and Lee

-Donna and Lee Launer
Bayville, New York    US

I was unfortunate to meet Judge Abber but just happened upon his obituary. This was one of the most beautiful, loving, and kind stories I’ve ever read. The love for this man exudes as I read this. My deepest sympathies to his family. He seems to have been an extraordinarily exceptional person. Thank you.

-Judy Bygate
North Eastham, Mass    Usa

Jeff left a tremendous legacy, including and most important, his family. Jeff was a super nice man. We are thinking of you with love.

-Katherine Belisle and Erik Hansen
Maynard, MA    USA

Maureen, Zach, Annie, Caitlin, and of course Aunty Louise, we are all so sad to hear about Jeff , you are in our hearts and prayers, as we know how much you all loved and adored him! What a wonderful Man, father and husband. He will be missed. With love, Sheree, Jim, and Molly

-Sheree Brickman
Malden, Ma

Dear Maureen, my deepest sympathy to you and your children. You and Jeff are in my prayers.

-Peg Malpiede
Easton, Ma    USA

I will always remember the welcoming hospitality Jeff showed me the first time I came to Cape Cod with the Bells. He will be missed, my deepest condolences to the Abber family.

-Jimmy DeBoer
Englewood, CO    USA

My thoughts are with Maureen & family at this sad time x

-Ellen Coleman    Ireland

I am so very sorry to learn of Judge Abber’s passing. I had the honor of working with him several times as opposing counsel and had the pleasure of appearing before him as a judge. Upon learning of his illness I was truly inspired by the dignity, perseverance, grace and amazing positivity he demonstrated while continuing to perform his duties as a judge. He will be truly missed. My sincere condolences to his family.

-Susan Champa
Boston, MA    USA

To the Abber Family, my deepest condolences on the passing of your husband, father, uncle and all around great guy.

-Stephen F. McNamara IV
Lowell, MA    USA

I am so sorry to hear that Judge Abber has passed. He was a kind, intelligent, thoughtful judge and will be sincerely missed.

-Jennifer Gibbons
Norwood, MA    USA

I was so very sorry to hear of Jeff’s passing. I was fortunate to have first met Jeff approximately 27 years ago when I first began practicing in the area of Family Law. Jeff was an extraordinary individual, advocate and jurist, he will be sorely missed by all who had the pleasure of knowing him.

With Deepest Sympathy,

Kim-Marie Phelan

-Kim-Marie Phelan
Revere, MA    USA

We are so sorry to hear of Jeff’s passing away. Please accept our sincere condolences.
Liz Steel & Scott Miller

-Liz Steel
Waban, MA

What a great man! Jeff will be sorely missed by those of us who loved him. To Maureen and the rest of the Abber family, please accept our most sincere condolences.

-Don Sterner
Teaticket, MA    United States

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