died at age 87 on Jan. 12, 2014, at Grace Manor in Oracle, AZ. He was born in Washington, D.C. in 1927. Known as Abe by family and friends alike, he is survived
Evaline, who continues to live in Oracle; son David, who lives and works in Boston; and by cousins in Capetown, South Africa, and York, England.
Abe was the only child of Russian immigrants Meyer Auerbach, from Orsha, now in Belarus, and Hanna Saks Auerbach from Libau/Liepaja, now in Lativa. Meyer worked as a grocery wholesaler in New York and then in Washington, DC. He “sent home” for a wife and Hanna arrived to marry him in 1926.
Abe grew up near the patent office in Washington, D.C. where his visits set off his desire to invent. He attended a technical school studying electronics following High School and set off to promote inventions and work at technical and other jobs in Basel, Switzerland and then Chicago. After working at radio stations as electrician, he switched to computer programming in the very early days of computers. He
programmed using punch cards for the Firestone tire company in Hawthorne, near Los Angeles, California. After his father died at their home in Miami, Florida in 1966, his mother moved in with him. She moved to Tucson in 1981 and passed from there in 1990.
Abe met Evaline, who has lived in Oracle since 1976, by answering her personal ad in the New York Review of Books. Their relationship grew by telephone for most of 1980, and in the late summer of that year he visited her in Oracle, where he fell in love with her and with the town — in that order, he insisted.
They were married in the Oracle Union Church in December 1980 and held their reception at the Acadia. They honeymooned in Mexico, where Abe fixed his old car with a rubber band. This repair which lasted long after the couple had returned home to Oracle; thus began the legend and reality of Abe the inventor and fix-it-cheap man.
When their son was born, Abe settled in to a role as caretaker and while Evaline continued to teach at Aravaipa Campus of Central Arizona College. Abe served as Evaline’s support in her work and community activities as well, and accompanied her to Iowa City in 1983-84 while she spent her sabbatical at the University of Iowa, earning a PhD in Instructional Design.
In pursuit of his own ideas, Abe travelled to various businesses across the US and even to Switzerland. However, his most successful ideas were those applied in his home and still used there. One of his ideas, the HandiVisor, is shortly going to be on Kickstarter so that people can buy it and back it. The device is handheld to protect the driver from glare – the sun or headlights. It will be saving lives for years once it is known to the world.
As a child, Abe was sickly and asthmatic, but he brought himself up through physical training. He continued to believe in healthy exercise and lifestyle, with a miniature gym on his back porch. However, in about 2009, failing eyesight and then heart failure began to incapacitate him. After a fall in 2012 for which he was hospitalized, he lived in three care homes before he came to Grace Manor in April of 2013, just as it opened.
His family and friends are grateful for those who cared for him, especially at Grace Manor. We believe he was as the best place he could be while still living, a “heaven away from heaven.” We mourn its closing.
Abe did not ever want a “fuss” made over him, so requested no services. Donations of flowers can be sent to the staff of Grace Manor Grace Manor is at 1205 Hunter Circle. Monetary donations can be sent to the Oracle Public Library, 565 E American Ave., in his name to recognize his lifelong love of libraries.
The home and mailing address is 2045 W. Paseo Redondo. All addresses: Oracle, AZ 85623. Both Evaline Auerbach and David Auerbach are on Facebook and evaline’s email is firstname.lastname@example.org.