Eli A Abssy

May 25, 1939April 8, 2018

Born in Beirut, Lebanon on May 25, 1939, Eli was raised in Beirut and Spring Valley Illinois and lived in Evanston (IL), Houston (TX), San Francisco (CA), Fort McMurray (Alberta, Canada), Kuwait City (Kuwait), Endicott (NY), Lincoln Park (NJ), Kincardine (Ontario, Canada), Scarborough (Ontario, Canada), Salwa (Kuwait), Jacksonville (FL), and Naples (FL) before settling in San Diego in 2009.

Eli studied chemical engineering at Northwestern University (Class of ’63) and worked in the petroleum industry building and maintaining oil refineries until returning to graduate school at the University of Toronto obtaining his M.B.A. with a concentration in Economics (Class of ’75). He continued to pursue higher education achieving his ABD (All But Dissertation) designation focusing on energy supply/demand dynamics. He returned to the petroleum industry working as a petroleum industry economist at consultants and oil companies in Toronto, Ontario (Canada) and the Kuwait National Petroleum Company (KNPC) in Kuwait. From KNPC he shifted to pure finance roles at the Kuwait Investment Authority and the Gulf Investment Corporation up until the 1991 invasion of Kuwait by Iraq. Post-war he launched a consulting firm that sought to bring corporate finance education to the petroleum industry in the Arabian Gulf which he ran until retiring.

While Eli was an academic a heart and enjoyed the pursuit of knowledge he balanced that pursuit with a good dose of physical activity, soccer and basketball in his younger years, sailing in middle age and tennis in the last few decades. He found groups in Jacksonville, FL and most notably the Coronado Cays Wheezers and Geezers Tennis Group causing mischief in Coronado, CA.

He is survived by his wife of 54 years, Alma Ruth Abssy (Hendrich); sister Labibe Khouery of Beirut, Lebanon; sister Alice Absi of Beirut, Lebanon; sister Samira Chahine of Beirut, Lebanon, son Michael Abssy of Pasadena (CA), son Mark Abssy, his wife Alexis Abssy and grandchildren Miles and Spencer Abssy of Oradell (NJ).

In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to Saint Ephrem Maronite Catholic Church in Eli’s name. Donations can be made by contacting the Parish office at (619) 337-1350.


Eli A Abssy

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Susan Schrader

April 19, 2018

I am Jody's cousin, and I visited Eli and Jody twice before his last illness. Eli always made sure I saw some of San Diego's sites, and we went on walks in the neighborhood. We had home-cooked meals together at the dining room table, and the food was always fresh and delicious. I'll remember Eli's courage and generosity.

mike priwer

April 16, 2018

Old Friends Never Die – They Just Bring Back Memories !

Our friendship with Jody and Eli began at Northwestern University, around 1958 or 1959. Gilu (Jody’s nickname for Joan) somehow met Jody, and they’ve remained close to this day. Some short time after that meeting, Gilu met Eli. When I went to graduate school there, I became friends with both Jody and Eli. Jody was Gilu’s Maid of Honor at our wedding in 1962, and we attended their wedding sometime around 1964.

Friends have commented on Eli’s love of good food. Some of them may not know that he was probably one of the early “ foodies .” Now, truth be told, Eli’s early interests were more on the level of “We’re more or less broke, and need a place to eat”. This led him to a bar in Chicago, that on certain evenings, offered a free table of what was probably supposed to be snacks, but to us, was dinner. Nothing very exotic; just salami, bologna, sliced cheese, and white bread. His “foodie” interest needed a bit more development.

This development occurred while we were still living and going to NU. One night, Eli had us over to dinner. He cooked Taboule, Hummus and a very delicious lamb and green bean stew that we don’t remember the name of. Subsequently he gave us expert instruction on making these dishes and we continue eating them to this day.—mostly in restaurantsSmile

As Gilu recalls, his apartment was across the street from a bakery that had a specialty of making cakes for Bar Mitsvahs. Congregations from Southern Illinois would order them and have them shipped. Having six brothers, this is something she was very familiar with. I recall picking up of of these cakes, and driving it to West Frankfort for brother number 4!

He enjoyed all kinds of food, including sushi. Gilu remembers one evening in the North Park area of San Diego when we went to a sushi restaurant and he emphatically claimed “ This is good stuff.” We had many wonderful meals at Italian restaurants in Little Italy

He enjoyed all kinds of food, including sushi. Gilu remembers one evening in the North Park area of San Diego when we went to a sushi restaurant and he emphatically claimed “ This is good stuff.” We had many wonderful meals at Italian restaurants in Little Italy ( San Diego .) One night he brougnt a great Lebanese wine , probably from the Bekka valley . It was wonderul and our first introduction to Lebanese wines.

Rest In Peace, Eli. The memories are alive and well ! You will always be in our hearts.

Dick Macken

April 14, 2018

Eli and I were roommates at Northwestern University our senior year, graduating in 1963. Eli was a pleasure to room with, and we shared many good times together. Through him, I developed a strong interest in the Middle East, which became my life's work. I went on to get a Ph.D. in Near Eastern Studies at Princeton and held a series of positions all focusing on the Middle East in teaching, the oil industry and the Department of State. I am grateful to Eli for giving me my direction in life. I was part of Eli and Jody's wedding, and we stayed in touch over the years. I especially liked the brief time when Eli lived in Naples. I wish he'd stayed longer. I had a very enjoyable visit with Eli and Jody after they moved to San Diego, going to many of the local sights. Eli always knew the best restaurants to go to. I will miss his wit and humor. Eli was always a pleasure to be with, and he left us much too soon. Goodbye, friend. I will miss you.

Sharon Willan

April 14, 2018

I first met Eli in 1982 when I was teaching with Jody. I remember Eli as a gracious host with a subtle sense of humour and always a twinkle in his eye.

I remember having dinner with Jody and Eli at their home in Scarborough. It was time to prepare taxes and I told Eli that I was frightened because I hadn't done my taxes in several years. Oh my! Mistake! What a talking to I received. He then walked me through getting my papers in order to bring them to a tax consultant. I've never missed having my taxes prepared since that time.

My last visit with Eli was three years ago in San Diego when a friend, Glenys and I visited. His vibrancy and determination to be well were so evident. Again his loving smile and welcome will always remain with me.

You will be sorely missed, dear Eli. Journey well!

Beverley Stone

April 14, 2018

We have many fond memories of Eli from the 25 years we were privileged to have the Abssy family as our next door neighbours. Eli was unique in many ways, always interesting, always most generous. One of our favourite, endearing memories of Eli is his insistence that all ingredients in his food be FRESH. A restaurant meal with him always began with his interviewing the server to determine the degree of freshness of the food before we placed the order. He was definitely a man with clear priorities.

We shall miss his presence in this world. Rest in peace, Eli.

David and Beverley Stone.
Toronto, Ontario