Published in The Washington Post on Jan. 12, 2021
Leonard I. Abel
Leonard I. Abel, 96, of Chevy Chase, MD,
died peacefully at his home on January 8, 2021.
Leonard was born on October 12,1924 in Washington,
DC. He was the second youngest of six children. He
was raised in Georgetown on M Street above the
family store, graduated from Western High School
(1942), and went on to the University of Pennsylvania.
College was interrupted by World War II where he and
his four brothers all served.
Following the war, he returned to graduate from the
University of Pennsylvania. While attending the University he met Helen Shapiro, whom he
later married in 1952.
Leonard is survived by his wife, three children, Jack (Meryl), Joy (Matt Morley), and Susan
(Jim Dreggors), six grandchildren: Alex Abel, Brooke Abel, Eric Morley, Andrew Morley,
Caroline Thomoff, and Evan Thomoff, as well as two great-grandchildren: Emily and
The first half of his working career was spent at Giant Food. The next phase of his
working life was as a partner in Richmarr Construction, building thousands of houses and
developing many commercial properties.
Leonard loved to travel, play cards, was an avid, but admittedly bad golfer, and a die-hard
Washington sports fan.
He was dedicated to the city of Washington and its Jewish community. Leonard worked
tirelessly for many charitable organizations, including serving as President of the
Washington Hebrew Congregation and of the Charles E. Smith Life Communities.
He took great pleasure in being with people and spending time with his family. In light of
the pandemic, a private family service will be held.
Donations may be made to Washington Hebrew Congregation or Charles E. Smith Life
Services entrusted to Sagel Bloomfield Danzansky Goldberg Funeral Care.