Lower Merion High class of 1965-Guestbook

Lower Merion High School

Class of 1965

(contributions of memorial obituaries for other class members are welcome)

Richard Marshall Abrams

February 1948–February 2016

Richard Marshall Abrams died in February, 2016. Legally blind from birth he was so good at negotiating the world it was easy to forget his blindness. He nevertheless graduated from Lower Merion High School (youngest in his class), from Bucknell University, and from Harvard Law School; he later went on to obtain a Master of Laws degree from Temple.

He and I first met in 10th grade geometry class. He sat in the first row and I typically sat behind him.

We would talk with the teacher (Mr. Robinson) after class discussing fine points of geometry and mathematical proofs. I recall one conversation involving the question of whether or not a hand could actually touch a wall because each moment it had to cross half the distance between it and the wall, the next moment it had again half the new distance between it and the wall to go, the next again it had to go half again and so on and so on and would never get there. He knew the answer was that the hand would actually get to the wall and that the question was more about problem formulation and whether we were considering the right assumptions.

He was interested in the kind of geeky things that also fascinated me. We were both in the high school computer club, both learning to program the LGP-30 and remembering some of its operation codes well into adulthood.

We were friends for a very long time. His legal advice was a significant help to me at a couple of points in my career.

In his later years he had had significant health problems in addition to his blindness, and was virtually shut in except for doctor and personal trainer visits.  In the last few years I had been visiting him every month or so, greatly enjoying his conversation and camaraderie.

He was divorced in the mid 1990s.

Surviving are his sister Janet, his two daughters, and his two grandchildren.

William R. Patterson

May 25, 2016