Obituary for Richard Abrams Jr.
Rev. Richard James Abrams Jr. passed away at the age of 79 on April 4, 2017, in Lithia, FL after a valiant fight with cancer.
Richard was born on February 11, 1938 in Martindale, PA to Rev. Richard J. and Romaine Nyhart Abrams. He was the oldest of 5 siblings, and as their father was a pastor, they moved to several churches in Pennsylvania, and a church in Baltimore before they moved to San Diego at the end of WW2. He loved to play with his brothers in the wild areas around the parsonages. He had middle school in Salem, OR before the family moved to Whittier, CA where, in 1956, he graduated from high school. He loved Canby Camp in Canby, OR, and it was there he decided he wanted to become a missionary. He attended Simpson Bible College where he met a “lovely young lady named Elsie Ekstedt”. They were married on June 21, 1958 following her graduation. He graduated from Simpson in 1960. A few weeks later, he and Elsie were in a pastorate in Price, Utah where they served for two years.
Richard and Elsie and their daughters went to Costa Rica for Spanish language training in August 1962, and in 1963 they started their missionary career. They served in Peru for over 30 years and several years in Quito, Ecuador and Miami FL before retiring to Salem, OR. Richard had a second career in the translations department of the Salem-Kaizer school district where he worked for 12 years. In 2015, he and Elsie moved to Lithia, FL to live with daughter, Beth Boesenberg and her family. Richard was a man of integrity, honor, gentleness and humor, and well loved by the people in his life. He is fondly remembered as “Don Ricardo” to many, many people he served in Peru. He was used by God, and his ministry in Peru and other South American countries resulted in blessed and transformed lives.
Richard is survived by his wife, Elsie, children Linda Abrams Friesen (Ray), Lois Abrams Bruton (William), Richard James Abrams lll (Tina) and Elisabeth Abrams Boesenberg (Eric), grandchildren Alan Friesen, Jaclyn Barnes, Angela Wright, Colin Friesen, David Artieda, Miranda Wilson, Jared Abrams, Alexander Boesenberg, Elisa Boesenberg, Zane Abrams, Andrew Boesenberg and Angelica Boesenberg, and great grandchildren Trulee, Blake, Gabriel, Amy, Anna, Titus and Owen. His surviving siblings are Vance Abrams (Linda), Douglas Abrams (Joan), Rod Abrams and Susan Abrams Gibson (Wayne). He also leaves behind his beloved nieces and nephews, and cousins.
Richard was a passionate person, with a deep love for God, and great compassion for the people of Peru and the other South American countries he served as missionary. He loved music: played the organ, accordion and enjoyed thumping of the piano, singing in choirs, and singing duets with his wife. He had a life-long interest in collecting stamps and rare postmarks of Peru.
Please share your favorite memories, stories and photos of Richard in the Condolences and Tributes section of this page, and share this page with those who knew him.
Richard will be laid to rest on Saturday, April 8, 2017 at Serenity Meadows Memorial Park in Riverview, FL. Viewing at 1:30 p.m. will be followed by a funeral service at 2 pm, and burial to follow.
There will be a memorial service for Richard in Dallas, OR at 2 p.m. on April 15 at the Dallas Alliance Church.
In lieu of flowers, gifts may be given through the Christian and Missionary Alliance website
(https://secure.cmalliance.org/give/) for the financial support of the Ricardo Abrams School in Chiclayo Peru. Type “Ricardo Abrams School“ into the search section under “Give to International Workers and Special Projects”.