Abram, John C. Former CEO of Southern California Gas Company
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John C. Abram, 83, a retired chairman and chief executive officer of Southern California Gas Company, died September 4 in Glendale, California. Abram, who joined Southern California Gas Company as a Sales Engineer in 1959, served as Chairman and President of SoCalGas from 1981 to 1985. Abram led the company during a tumultuous time in the natural gas industry-supplies were short and prices were high. The industry was on the verge of being deregulated. Abram ushered in an era of customer service. Called "Operation Cope," Abram refocused the firm's employees on working with customers to seek solutions to escalating natural gas prices. The outreach effort, the foundation of which is still in place today, educated Californians about Gas Company services like low-interest financing and rebates for home weatherization, free energy-saving audits, partial payment plans, appliance adjustments, safety reminders and conservation. Abram was born in Des Moines, Iowa in 1920 and graduated in 1948 from UCLA with a Bachelor's Degree in Electrical Engineering. He served in the Air Force during World War II. He is survived by Dorothy, his wife of 53 years, a son James of Placerville, CA, and a daughter Susan of Ventura, CA. A memorial service was held September 21 at 1:30 p.m. at the First Congregational Church of Glendale, 2001 Canada Boulevard, Glendale. Donations to: Parkinson Disease Foundation 1501 Northwest 9th Avenue Bob Hope Road Miami, FL 33136-1494.
Published in the Los Angeles Times on Oct. 6, 2002