The Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution announces with deep sorrow the death on June 15, 2014 of former Corporation Member, Richard “Rick” D. Abrams. Rick and his wife, Susan M. Kenyon, became WHOI Associates in 1998. Rick was elected a Member of the Corporation that same year. He served as a member of the Ocean Marketing Task Force Committee, and he participated in the WHOI Science Partnership Program.
Rick was born June 26, 1956. He earned a BA degree, magna cum laude, in economics and mathematics from Colby College; he was a member of Phi Beta Kappa. Rick and Susan helped create the Sandy Maisel Student Research and Internship Fund at Colby College, to honor an inspirational professor.
Rick was one of three co-founders and served as President of Tom Snyder Productions (TSP), a leading developer and publisher of educational software and animated television shows. TSP was purchased in 2001 by Scholastic, and Rick served as its General Manager until late 2012. In 2008 he assisted in the development of the website www.scholastic.com/actgreen. The multi-media website was designed to provide kids, parents, and teachers with customized green plans, expert tips, inspiring green short films provided by Live Earth, and a “Greenroom” to share ideas with other kids. Prior to this, Rick was a consultant with Data Resources, Inc.
Rick was committed to both the environment and his community. He served on the boards of Wheelock College, the Concord Consortium, and Educators for Social Responsibility (ESR). Rick was a member of the Lexington Global Warming Action Coalition, the Lexington Greenway Corridor Committee, the Battle Road Historic Byway Committee, and Sustainable Lexington.
One lasting environmental legacy is a system of walking trails in Lexington. Rick was instrumental in developing ACROSS Lexington, a system connecting the historic town’s walking trails. Rick was an avid walker who helped plan the 30-mile Boston Greenbelt Walk and Lexington’s Bike Walk ‘n Bus Week, for which he led three walks just last month. Other interests included photography, cooking, sailing, skiing, and tai chi.
Rick also helped connect people within the thyroid cancer community. As one of only three non-physicians in the 65-member International Thyroid Oncology Group (ITOG), and the only patient, Rick was instrumental in helping the group of leading scientists and clinicians develop a plan for raising money for research and building awareness of advanced thyroid cancer.
In addition to his wife Susan, Rick is survived by sons Archie and Stanley; daughter Sydney; his father, Justin E. Abrams; two siblings, Mark Abrams and Rita (Abrams) Draper; and his father-in-law, Archibald Kenyon.
In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be sent to the International Thyroid Oncology Group (ITOG); ACROSS Lexington; and/or the Pan Mass Challenge (under the names of participants Archie and/or Stan Abrams).