Grabel, Howard

Howard Grabel, 78, of Bridgewater, CT, died on July 2, 2017.  Howie was born on March 7, 1939, in Brooklyn, NY.  He was the son of the late Irving “Chick” Grabel and Anna Wexler Grabel.  He was raised in the shadow of Ebbets field and never quite forgave the Brooklyn Dodgers for moving to LA.  He graduated from Erasmus Hall High School and from Brooklyn College at the age of 20.  After serving in the army reserves, he received a Masters degree from Columbia Teachers College.  He continued his studies at the New School for Social Research and completed the course work for his doctorate at NYU.
He is survived by his wife and best friend of 50 years, Wendie Zerfoss Grabel, his two beloved sons, Deron G. Grabel, EdD, and his girlfriend, Jessica Underwood of Chester and Matthew J. Grabel and his wife, Jen, of Watertown, his cherished granddaughter Caitlyn Grabel and his adored grandsons Benjamin and Jacob Grabel. He also leaves his sister-in-law Linda Zerfoss Sherrick and her husband, Dr. David, his brother-in-law Frank Alan Zerfoss and his wife Janice, nieces Amy, Erica, Amanda and Rachel and many special cousins.  He was predeceased by his nephew, Brandon.
Howie was a compassionate Mental Health Professional for New York State and Rockland County, NY.  He was a gentleman, a kind and gentle man, with a dry sense of humor that caught many off guard; pretty sure that was his intention.  He had an encyclopedic knowledge of all sports and became an avid fan of the Mets once he accepted the fact the Dodgers were not coming back to Brooklyn.  He was an ardent fan of boxing, horse racing and baseball card collecting.  He loved watching his boys play sports though the stress of it often caused him to suffer in the stands.  His sock pulling was legendary.  He was a quietly intelligent man who was comfortable discussing a wide range of topics from current political discourse to the comedic importance of The Three Stooges.
The Grabel family thanks the caring staff at Brandywine, the Hospice of VNA NW, Christyna and especially Volodymyr (Vlad) who lovingly cared for him for two years.
Calling hours are scheduled at Lillis Funeral Home in New Milford on Thursday, July 6, from 4 – 7 p.m.  Private graveside services will be held on Friday, July 7.
In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to the Bridgewater Congregational  Church, P O Box 7, Bridgewater, CT, 06752,  memo: Book of Memorials, or to a charity of your choice.




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