Deceased April 12, 2018
Mike Abodeely died on April 12, 2018.
Many of us knew Mike as a football star. All of us who became close to him knew of the centrality of family to his persona—of the pride he felt for his Lebanese roots; for his brother, Paul, who followed him to Amherst; for his wife, Daphne; and for his two daughters, Stephanie and Melissa, who both made their way to Amherst (’84 and ’88, respectively) and married Amherst classmates. Mike served as class president from 1993 to 1998. Amherst roots ran deep.
Sophomore year, Mike roomed with fellow footballers Sam Chase ’58 and Pete Jenkins ’58. Pete recalls frequent wrestling matches with Mike, who outweighed Pete by at least 80 pounds. Mike was a big man at Amherst in the ’50s, a DKE and left tackle to Preston Brown ’58 on the right. After a junior-year ACL tear, Mike somehow managed to play rugby for a number of years thereafter. He was a surprisingly gentle mediator, partly because of his size but mostly due to his level-headed attitude.
Mike’s younger brother, Paul, followed him to both Amherst (’62) and football, co-captaining the ’61 team. Mike and his dad went to all the games, where they shared the joys and helped soften the disappointments. Mike followed his dad to Boston University for law school and, afterward, joined the family firm until the end of his life.
Mike is survived by his wife of 56 years, Daphne; his two daughters and sons-in-law; and five grandchildren. Mike and Daphne’s home in the Worcester area was overshadowed by their love for their second home on Cape Cod, where they continued their friendship with Pete, John Pendleton ’58 and Fred Greenman ’58.
Pete Jenkins ’58 said it most directly: “I loved him.” He spoke for me, too, indeed, all of us.
Hendrik D. Gideonse ’58, with Stephanie Abodeely Carlson ’84