Clem Harold Abrams July 31, 1940 - December 12, 2018 La Jolla Clem Harold Abrams, 78, of La Jolla, died Wednesday, December 12, at Scripps Memorial Hospital, after a long illness. Born in La Jolla at the old Scripps Hospital on July 31, 1940, he was proud to be one of the "original" La Jollans. He lived in La Jolla Shores before there was mail service, spending part of his childhood in Poway. Clem was the son of Harold Abrams, AIA, a prominent La Jolla architect, and Jane Esther Underhill. Clem graduated from La Jolla High School (1958) and Cal Western University in Pt. Loma, with a degree in business administration. He had an interest in real estate development and shadowed his father during the development of Clairemont in 1950. He initially also worked for contractor, Carlos Tavares, on the San Carlos development. He proceeded to establish and expand his own long list of developments throughout San Diego County, starting with residential and retail spaces in Rancho Peasquitos and Mira Mesa. He developed several commercial corners in La Jolla, including Pearl Street Plaza, Hippo Citron, and Pannikin/D.G. Wills, plus many residential and small commercial shopping centers. In his later years, he built concrete tilt-up office buildings and entitled large residential subdivisions in Chula Vista, Mira Mesa, and Otay Mesa. His most recent major project was Candlelight (PUD) in Otay Mesa. Clem was part of La Jolla's historic local beach culture, playing volleyball at Marine Street during the 60's and 70's, and then La Jolla Shores in the 80's and 90's, with Jimmy Calendar, Jack Macpherson, Uncle Stevie Clarkson, Jimmy Welch, Dave Rearwin, Mike McCartney, and Ditch Andrews. He witnessed the founding and was a member of Mac Meda Destruction Company. In his twenties, he was an amateur race car driver competing in multi-state, open-wheel racing events at Pomona Speedway, Riverside, Phoenix, Holtville, and Santa Barbara. His favorite race car was a Lotus 19, powered by a Ford 289 Cobra engine with Weber 48 IDM carburetors, purchased from Fred Opert Racing in New York. He considered his best race the Tijuana Road Race; starting from the last row after hitting a curb in qualifying, he battled through the pack to win. He was a loyal San Diego sports fan; a Gulls season ticket holder since their inaugural 1966 season, he watched Padres and Chargers games religiously and attended training camp events. Clem regularly donated to charitable causes including Children's Hospital and local sports and civic organizations. He will be remembered fondly for his kindness and gentle heart.He is survived by his wife of 35 years, Dia (Kenshalo) Abrams and two children, Crisara B. Abrams and Clinton K. Abrams, of La Jolla; sisters, Alice and Mary, of La Jolla; niece, Sarah, of La Jolla; three nephews, Andrew, of Hawaii, and James (Patti) and Mike (Kelli) Larsen, of San Diego; and three grandnieces, Jessica, Hannah (Michael) and Amber, of Valley Center. Family and friends are invited to a Celebration of Life on Saturday, February 16, at noon. Please contact Crisara Abrams at ClemAbramsMemorial@gmail.com for information and location. A private burial at El Camino Cemetery will take place at a later date. Donations may be made to the National Kidney Foundation: www.kidney.org. Please sign the guest book online at legacy.com/obituaries/ lajollalight
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Published in Encinitas Advocate on Feb. 14, 2019.