R. Abel Garraghan of Burgevin St., Kingston died unexpectedly on Monday, August 24, 2015 at his West Hyannisport, MA residence. He was 72.
He was born in Kingston, a son of the late former city Mayor Raymond W. Garraghan and his wife Ruth Abernethy Garraghan.
He graduated from Kingston High School, attended Manhattan College and graduated from Syracuse University before completing the Small Company Management Program at Harvard Business School.
A recipient of many awards, Abel will be remembered for a lifelong history of commitment to the Hudson Valley; driven by his strong belief in civic responsibility to participate and contribute, always in order to do what is best for the community.
Abel has chaired or co-chaired the Benedictine Hospital Cancer Center Capital Campaign, the Kingston Waterfront Revitalization Commission, the Economic Development Zone Formation, and the Ulster County Development Corp.
Abel was a director of Hospice for Ulster and Dutchess Counties, the Kingston-Newburgh Enterprise Community, the Kingston / Ulster Development Corp. and Mid-Hudson Patterns for Progress.
He represented Ulster County on the Hudson Valley Greenway Council, and served as a board member of the Health Alliance of the Hudson Valley, the Hudson Valley Economic Development Corporation, the Commission on Health Care Facilities in the 21st Century, the Ulster County Planning Board and the Kingston Kiwanis Club.
He also presided over the Wiltwyck Golf Club, is a member of the Kingston Water Board and a Director of the Rhinebeck Bank. Professionally Abel was the President and CEO of Heritagenergy.
In addition to his professional achievements, Abel’s love of the Hudson Valley anchored the lifelong Kingston resident to his community, where he enjoyed golfing at Wiltwyck, hiking in the Catskills, skiing at Hunter Mountain and the polar plunge at Williams Lake.
You could always find Abel on his daily walks, cherishing a drive-by conversation and then picking up the litter along the way, and of course…pointing out the potholes to the Mayor! Abel’s greatest strength in his love for the area meant he was forever reaching across the politics of the day to “do the right thing” for the community.
An avid outdoorsman, Abel cherished summers on Cape Cod and his friendships with the beach circle at CBA and tennis in Craigville. He and Nancy loved their winter escapes to Boca Grande, Florida and Avon, Colorado, visits to the Grand Tetons and trips to the Final Four. Abel was tremendously proud of his Irish heritage and was a faithful member of the Ancient Order of Hibernians, yearly contributor to the Hooley on the Hudson celebration and in 2005 was the Grand Marshall of the Kingston St. Patrick’s Day parade. Above all else, Abel Garraghan’s greatest legacy will always be his family, his faith and his friends.
Loving husband of Nancy Lupton Garraghan, proud father of Patrick and Tanya Garraghan of Hurley, Kiley and Jim Shea of Loughton, England and Molly Garraghan of Denver, CO; brother of Julie G. Gavitt, Rumford, RI; grandfather of Gracie, Marin and Cian Shea, R. Gabriel Garraghan; step grandfather of Jordan Hulbert; and uncle to the Gavitt’s and Lupton’s.
Funeral arrangements are under the guidance of the Joseph V. Leahy Funeral Home, 27 Smith Avenue Kingston, NY. www.jvleahyfh.com. The Garraghan family will receive friends on Thursday August 27, 2015 from 4:00 to 8:00 p.m. A Funeral Mass will be celebrated at St. Joseph’s Church, Uptown Kingston on Friday at 10:00 a.m. The public is invited to join the family at church for mass. Interment will follow in Hurley Cemetery.
Memorial contributions may be made to Ulster County Community Foundation BANT Fund, the YMCA Endowment Fund or to The People’s Place.