Robert H. Abel Jr.
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HADLEY – Robert H. Abel, Jr. died Friday, April 14, 2017, at his home in Hadley.

He worked for many years as a writer and journalist. Beloved husband of Joyce K. Abel for 52 years, father to Charles R. Abel of Holyoke and Sarah Ardila of Westin.

A memorial gathering will be held Thursday, April 20, from 2 to 4 p.m. at the Williamsburg Funeral Home of Haydenville. 3 S. Main St., Haydenville, MA 01030.

Memorial donations may be made to the Cooley Dickinson VNA and Hospice 169 Industrial Dr. Northampton, MA.

To sign a Guest Book, express condolences, share memories and read other obituaries, go to

To Plant Memorial Trees in memory, please visit our Sympathy Store.
Published in Daily Hampshire Gazette on Apr. 18, 2017.
No memorial events are currently scheduled. To offer your sympathy during this difficult time, you can now have memorial trees planted in a National Forest in memory of your loved one.
Memories & Condolences
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14 entries
April 12, 2019
I am thankful to have his books to go back to in order to hear his voice and wonderfully insightful wit. Bob and I first met as freshmen roommates along with Dave Wright at the College of Wooster in Ohio. We became fast friends. Had I only followed his example in terms of hitting the books and getting to classes on a regular basis, the College of Wooster and I might have a longer relationship, but I often remember his enthusiasm for learning new things and making the best of the many opportunities offered by the 4 year college. I'm sure I tried to emulate him in many ways as I finally began to mature many years later. Miss you, Bob.
Michel spitzer
May 7, 2017
No one I've ever known had a more profound sense of the absurd, or a more life-affirming sense of humor. And like Li Po, he loved to fish! To lose him as the plums bloom and before the bluefish start to run robs both those spectacles of their majesty. The world is a smaller place without Bob. We will all try to expand it with his memory.
David Lyon
May 7, 2017
Without Bob's friendship over these more than forty-five years, my life would have been much different, and poorer. His intelligence, humanity, loyalty, and sense of fun were matchless, in my experience. It was a great privilege to share, as best I could, his time on earth.
Christopher Howell
April 30, 2017
I am deeply sorry for the loss of Robert. May God's loving kindness bring peace and comfort during this sad and difficult time. Psalms 29:11
April 25, 2017
Sorry I missed the memorial gathering. I will hold onto the memories of the lunches with Bob and Wally that continued up to Bob's passing. Bob was a rare combination of creative talent,gentleness, and humility, seasoned by a fierce conviction that human beings can, and should, do more to combat the injustices that cause pain and suffering to so many of the planet's inhabitants. I will miss Bob's friendship very much. Our world is better for having been graced with his presence.
My sympathies to Joyce and family. May the memory of Bob's strength and courage sustain you doing this difficult time. Peace.
John Bracey
April 24, 2017
Through a number of reunion lunches and Facebook, Bob and I got reacquainted and I'm so glad we did. I will always remember him for his fine wit, his writing, and his overall goodness as a human being. RIP, Bob and my condolences to Joyce and their family and friends.
Michel Spitzer
April 21, 2017
Bob was a professor at VCFA and a good friend. I appreciated him so much. He meant so much to me. I am so saddened by his passing. May his memory be a blessing to all of you and comfort to me.
Jewel Davis
April 21, 2017
Joyce and family, I was so sad to learn through the Mentor High School grape vine about Bob's (or as I first knew him, Robin's) death. He was my go to person when I wanted a suggestion for a great book to read. I've been following via FaceBook the brave fight he was putting up...almost always with his usual sense of humor. He will be sorely missed.
Much love and sympathy to you all. Anne
Anne Moodey
April 21, 2017
Sorry about your loss, I will miss my high school old friend
Lee Frisbie
April 21, 2017
Bob was a great friend since we first met in seventh grade, Mentor, Ohio. He was always an understanding listener. I will miss him.
Doug Frey
April 20, 2017
Deeply saddened to learn of Bob's passing. He was a good man and a splendid writer, and we shared lots of good times together.

Will miss him dearly.

Jay Neugeboren
Jay Neugeboren
April 20, 2017
Bob has been a constant presence in my life since we first met in 1973, even when I was living away from the Valley (which was most of the time). I still have nearly 100 letters from him and would easily have three times as many email messages if I'd saved them. He was a constant, engaged, and often hilarious correspondent. But more than that were the many, many hours we spent together -- always interesting, always a gentleman (except when railing about politicians or the spottsies in his bird boxes), and an unfailing friend. He will continue to be a presence in my life.
Bill Halainen
April 20, 2017
My sincere condolences for the loss of your loved one. I hope you and your family can find comfort in God's words at 1Cor 15:26.
April 19, 2017
May God continue to provide comfort during this difficult time
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