Keren Abra

Aug. 13, 1942 - June 23, 2024

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Keren Jean Abra (née Clark) died peacefully at home of complications related to Alzheimer’s dementia. Keren was born in Wellington, New Zealand and graduated from Victoria University with a degree in history. She had a varied career in New Zealand; teaching high school, joining the Volunteer Service Abroad council and becoming their selection and training officer. Keren was a founding member of Community Volunteers and its first national chairperson. Keren published a book "The Two-Way Street" (NZCER 1978) based on her research into why people volunteer for overseas service. In 1974 she traveled to the United Kingdom to obtain a social work credential at the University of Manchester, continuing at the University of Glasgow. Keren subsequently became a social worker in the Drumchapel Family Center. In Glasgow she met and married Bob Abra and they moved to San Francisco in 1979 with their newborn son, Graham; a second son, Lewis, was born in San Francisco. In 1987 she was overjoyed to reunite with her son Nick who had been adopted at birth into a loving family in New Zealand. Keren initially worked in the home until her sons went to school and then she took a teaching credential at San Francisco State University, starting a 25-year career teaching at Convent of the Sacred Heart Elementary school. As a dedicated educator she touched the lives of many students in elementary school classrooms, mentored new teachers and served on accreditation committees for the Western Association of Schools and Colleges. In retirement she pursued her love of plants and gardening, becoming a docent at the San Francisco Botanical Garden, also serving for 3 years as chairperson of the Docent Council and as a trustee. Keren loved cultural life in San Francisco, reading, writing, theater, the symphony, restaurants, walking the city, travel and hosting travelers. She was active in supporting many Bay Area social and cultural institutions as both a volunteer and donor. She was a dedicated lifelong friend to many in New Zealand, the United Kingdom and her chosen forever home of San Francisco. She was a brave breast cancer survivor, independent, strong willed and she was loved. Keren is survived by her husband of 46 years Bob, sons Nick Long (Jane), Graham Abra (Rachel) Lewis Abra (Noelle) and grandchildren; Maggie, Anna, Eliana, Eden, Ted and Jack. She was preceded in death by her mother Jean Clark, father Gilbert Clark, sister Kate Clark and brother Campbell Clark. A celebration of life will be planned later in the year, for information:


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Earth specializes in soil transformation, an environmentally-friendly alternative to burial and cremation. Over a 45-day process, we gently transform a body into nutrient-rich soil. We then send this soil to our local conservation land where it’s used for restoration projects such as reforestation and nourishing challenged ecosystems.

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