Otto W. Abraham
ABRAHAM: Otto W. Abraham, age 89, of Churchill, passed away peacefully surrounded by his family on Thursday, Nov. 26 at 7:20 a.m. Longtime president of Engineered Products Inc., with offices in Pittsburgh and Cleveland, Otto was born in Offenbach, Germany, on Feb. 18, 1926, the son of Fredrick and Leisel Abraham, and emigrated from Nazi Germany to Pittsburgh in 1939. A graduate of Taylor Allderdice High School, Otto attended Carnegie Tech (now Carnegie Mellon University) for one year before enlisting in the U.S. Army where he joined the Horse Cavalry, which ultimately became the Tank Brigade. Otto served during World War II in Italy before eventually re-enrolling and graduating from Carnegie Tech with a Bachelor’s of Science degree in electrical engineering. In addition to being a top student academically, Otto excelled in sports and was the captain of the soccer team. In November of 1969, Otto married Barbara Korn Richman and together they have resided in Churchill ever since. Otto was an avid fan of his beloved Pittsburgh Pirates. His love of baseball began upon moving to America where he felt the quickest way to assimilate into the culture was to embrace the national pastime. Otto became a fan of the sport and became an usher at the old Forbes Field from 1942-1944. Together with three fraternity brothers, Otto founded EPI (Engineered Products Incorporated) in 1958, which fabricated and supplied structural steel and ornamental metals to the building industry. Among the many notable projects EPI was involved in were the building of PNC Park, Rivers Casino and PPG Place in Pittsburgh, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Jacob’s Field and Brown Stadium in Cleveland, and did work on the George Washington Bridge and Trump Tower in New York, and Faneuil Hall in Boston. Otto and EPI have been widely recognized for their exceptional capabilities. A hallmark of Otto’s time at EPI was his desire to teach and mentor. This was exemplified by a scholarship he and former partner Joseph Stein created for engineering students at Carnegie Mellon. Perhaps dating back to his time in the cavalry, Otto had a deep passion for horses. For more than 30 years, he owned and bred thoroughbred horses under the banner of the Big O Stables. An unparalleled devotion to his community and friendships were of the utmost importance to Otto as he built enduring relationships for the entirety of his life. Otto was president of Pittsburgh’s Concordia Club, longtime member of the Toastmaster’s Club, served on the board of the Allegheny Club, and held many posts with the local chapter of the United Jewish Federation (now Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh) as well as being a member of Rodef Shalom Congregation. Throughout Otto’s life, he was inspired by his mother, Leisel, who was instrumental in getting the family out of Nazi Germany in the 1930s. Leisel lived to age 99 and continually encouraged her sons to achieve their ultimate potential. Otto had more close friends than anyone I have ever known says longtime friend Chuck Reichblum. He had an exceptional way of maintaining his many friendships. Trusted friend Stan Levine said, “If I could only have one friend I would want it to be Otto. We have always shared the same values.” Stan Goldmann said how fortunate he was to have Otto as a friend for over 50 years. Otto is survived by his wife of 46 years Barbara K. Abraham; beloved daughter Susan Richman and son-in-law Mark Friedman of Hastings on Hudson, N.Y.; grandchildren Nicholas and Chloe Friedman; devoted brother Dr. Henry (Mildred) Abraham of Charlottesville, Va.; nephews Phillip (Janet) Abraham of Richmond, Va.; and Peter (Anne) Abraham of Virginia Beach, Va.; brother-in-law Robert (Susan) Korn of Lafayette Hill, Pa.; nephew Jonathan (Deborah) Korn of Cherry Hill, N.J. and niece Nancy Fineman of Lafayette Hill, Pa. Otto’s son James is deceased. Services were held at Rodef Shalom Congregation. Interment Beth Shalom Cemetery. To honor the memory of Otto Abraham, please make donations to Jewish Family & Children’s Service, 5743 Bartlett St., Pittsburgh, PA 15217 or a charity of the donor’s choice. Arrangements entrusted to Ralph Schugar Chapel, Inc. schugars.com.