Inside ABC, Fall 2017: Tributes and Memorials


Fall 2017

Tribues & Memorials

Tom Murray

Tom-MurrayBeloved former ABC Board President Tom Murray passed away peacefully on September 25, 2017, at the age of 88. Betty, his wife of 63 years, was by his side. Tom was the proud father of five daughters, many of whom continue his proud legacy of support for ABC.

Tom was originally from Mount Clemens, Michigan. He moved to Rochester in 1957 to work at the newly opened IBM plant, where he would continue working until his retirement in 1984. He then embarked on a second career that included work for the Mayo Franklin Heating Station and a volunteer leadership role with organizations including Junior Achievement, St. Pius X Church and, of course, ABC.

Tom served as President of the ABC Board for two terms — first from 1968-69 and again from 1997-1998. In addition to his formal role during these periods, Tom was a benefactor and active advocate for the organization in the community for more than 50 years

Tom has been widely hailed as one of the pioneers of ABC, with his leadership instrumental in forging the organization ABC has become today. Tom mentored many future Board members and staff, including ABC’s current Executive Director, Bruce Remme and Development Director Laurie Kellagher.

Heartwarming stories are shared by everyone he touched over the years. In addition to his generous personal support of ABC, he drew on his extensive network of personal relationships in the community to build a enduring network of benefactors.

Tom’s support took many forms, from serving as the public face of the organization at community events to specific contributions. The boiler he donated on his 80th birthday, known fondly as the “Murray Boiler,” keeps the main ABC facility warm to this day. He launched innovative fundraising drives for many of ABC’s initiatives throughout the years, including providing matching funds for a long list of capital improvements.

Thank you Tom for your support of ABC and congratulations on a life well-lived. Your work to improve the lives of persons throughout southeastern Minnesota will never be forgotten.

Ruben Romero


Ruben on Red Nose Day in 2016

On August 10th, 2017, Ruben Romero passed away at his home at the age of 62, surrounded by loved ones. Ruben had been a part of ABC for 36 years. At the time of his passing, Ruben was a regular attender in Abilities Unlimited.

Ruben loved coming to AU and hanging out with his friends. He was a friendly guy with an infectious personality, and people naturally gravitated toward him no matter where he was. He will always be remembered for his goofy sense of humor and his contagious laughter. The loss of Ruben was hard for many, but all are thankful for the opportunity to have known him and we will never forget the light he brought to our lives.

— Vaughn Hanson, Program Coordinator AU/ILS/SILS

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