Abraham Elihu Auerbach

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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 evalineja@gmail.com.

Evaline Auerbach (13 Posts)

Born at the beginning of the just pre-baby-boom year of 1943, Evaline May Jones was a Kansan until she left, in1968, to teach at a community college campus in Centerville, IA. She grew up on a farm near Frankfort, finished a BA and MA in English education at Kansas State University and taught for a year at Washington, KS, High School and at Catholic high school in Manhattan, KS, the latter while finishing her MA. While in Iowa, she taught English and related courses (journalism, theater, photography). She also earned a Specialist degree in community college education at the University of Iowa (Iowa City) and had journalism courses at Iowa State (Ames). When arthritis in her spine became a real problem, she was advised to take a job in the Southwest, so when the first full-tiime English position at Aravaipa Campus, CAC, opened up, she applied. Although she had to convince them that she REALLY wanted to work at a campus literally on the edge of a wilderness area, she got the job. She began work at Aravaipa in the fall of 1975, moved from Kearney to Oracle in 1976 and has been in Oracle since. In Oracle, she began work with the Oracle Historical Society, was a founding member and President twice. Local history became her most-loved hobby, although she did not forget drama. She produced a play called Deadwood Dick, which became the first play for a theater troupe now known as SPATs: San Pedro Actors Troupe. It was a course taught under the auspices of CAC, but the group preferred to go ahead on their own - and are still going strong on their own. Meanwhile she married Abraham Auerbach in December 1980, in the historic Union Church, holding the reception in the Acadia Ranch Museum. She made sure they returned from their honeymoon in time to celebrate the centennial of the American Flag post office building and the installation of the history plaque (Dec. 28, 1980) They produced David in late 1982 and she took sabbatical to return to Iowa to complete a PhD (in instructional design) from May 1983 through summer of 1984. While back in Iowa City, with baby and husband in tow, she began to have more problems with the arthritis, Once back to Oracle, she was a little better, but eventually had three operations on the spine. She had to retire in 1995 on disability. Nevertheless, she continued to work at volunteer jobs: as a docent at Biosphere 2 (on her electric scooter), at the Oracle Library, at the Oracle Community Center, as a medicare counselor for the Pinal-Gila Council on Senior Citizens, and finally, back to the Oracle Historical Society. More recently she served at the Tri-Community Visitors’ Center and the Copper Corridor group, serving the Oracle through Superior area. Now, she is busy helping the Oracle Dark Skies Committee to nominate the Oracle State Park as a designated International Dark Skies Park. She has also taught some courses through CAC on local history, leading local and out-of-town people to see some of the historic places in and around Oracle. She started a small business selling books about local history which has expanded to be “Evaline’s Local Books, Oracle, etc.” Lately she has given talks on Oracle History and led groups on tours, such as a two-day tour for the Arizona Historical Society docents, coming up soon for the Arizona Historical Society Docent Council. She has written articles about history and done some reviews for local newspapers. David was off to China to work for a while and then to Boston, working in financial analysis at Boston Scientific. In March of 2011, Abe, whom she had been caring for at home for about four years as he became less able, had to enter a care home. In January of 2014, loyal and very supportive to the end - Abe passed away at Grace Manor in Oracle. Evaline plans to keep exploring history, Oracles and her own ancestry. She will continue to write and plans to travel as her own health improves.


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