Bradford L Abele

Posted on Tuesday 13 May 2008


Brad, our middle brother has for several years had a neurological condition called Progressive Supranuclear Palsy . He passed away on May 4th.

Brad played a major part in the Search for the Grunion having done the research and written the Jim Book.

The obituary follows:

Bradford Lincoln Abele, formerly of Lincoln, Massachusetts, died at Respite House in Williston, Vermont on May 4, 2008, surrounded by his family.

Born in Hawaii in 1933, he was the son of Lt. Commander Mannert L. Abele and Catherine (Eaton) Abele. The family moved to Newton, Mass. in 1942, shortly after the wartime loss of the USS Grunion, a submarine commanded by his father. Brad attended Newton schools, the Mt. Hermon School in Northfield, Mass. and graduated from Yale University in 1954. After college he served in the Navy and flew carrier-based jets.
He owned the executive search company, Management Recruiters-New England, with Walter McLaughlin for more than 25 years, and in retirement gave time to the Service Corps of Retired Executives.

Brad and his brothers, Bruce and John, shared a special bond. In recent years they came together to tell their father’s story and to solve the mystery of the loss of the Grunion, which for 65 years was listed as “missing, cause unknown”. Brad’s carefully researched family reminiscence explored possible reasons for the loss, but it was not until 2002 that a chance posting on the Internet provided the first real clue. Five years later the brothers discovered the Grunion off Kiska Island in the Bering Sea.

He is survived by his beloved wife Rosemary McDonough Abele; his daughter Julie Abele Wetzell, her husband Kurt and their sons Benjamin and Fritz; his son Peter Abele, his wife Tara Hood Abele and their son Timothy; his brothers Bruce and John and a wide circle of family and friends.

A memorial service was held on Saturday May 10, at 10:30 a.m. at All Souls Interfaith Gathering, 291 Bostwick Farm Road, Shelburne, VT.

The family would like to extend their deepest gratitude to the superb staff of The Vermont Respite House. Sincere thanks also, to Dr. Dorothy Fisher of PACE, who was immensely supportive to Brad and his family. In lieu of flowers, donations in Brad’s memory may be made to Vermont Respite House, 99 Allen Brook Lane, Williston, Vt. 05495 or the Society for Progressive Supranuclear Palsy, 11350 McCormick Road, S-906, Hunt Valley, MD 210301-1002 or online at

4 Comments for 'Bradford L Abele'

    Pete & Barbara Stephens
    May 15, 2008 | 6:02 am

    The Abele Family
    Our thoughts and prayers are with you in your time of grief. May your memories of your brother Brad bring you comfort. Brad was a great contributor to the Grunion Story and will not be forgotten.

    May 16, 2008 | 7:17 pm

    My condolences on your loss.


    Chuck Cuthbertson
    May 19, 2008 | 4:37 pm

    My thoughts and prayers are with the Abele family. I’m so sorry to hear of your loss.

    October 4, 2008 | 1:48 pm

    My father and grandfather passed away from that illness. So did the actor Dudley Moore. I now live in Vermont, not far from Williston. My condoences.

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