Dr. Macy Abrams of San Diego and El Cajon passed away May 5 after a long illness. He was 91. Macy was born and raised in his beloved Louisville, Kentucky on Oct. 29, 1926. Considered a music child prodigy, Macy was the concert-master of the Louisville Symphony Orchestra at the age of 14. His primary instruments were the violin, piano, and clarinet, but in truth, he could play anything, and usually didn’t bother reading the sheet music.
A member of “The Greatest Generation,” Macy served in the US Army during WWII with the 7th Infantry Division as a combat rifleman. He would later joke that he single-handedly took Okinawa from the Japanese, but the horror of what he saw there profoundly influenced the inclusive manner in which he led his life. After the war Macy returned to Louisville where he married his childhood sweetheart, Betty Stengler, in December, 1946. The couple moved to San Diego soon thereafter, where son Marv was born the following year. Another son, Larry, came along in 1959, completing the family. Macy earned a BA in music from San Diego State College on the GI Bill, then later an MA followed by a Ph.D. in psychology. He became a pioneer in the field of organizational development, and was well known for his innovative work at the Naval Personnel Research Laboratory on Pt. Loma. He later was on the founding adjunct faculty of National University. Together, Macy and Betty traveled the world several times over, enjoying virtually everywhere they went.
Macy was preceded by his wife, Betty, who died of Alzheimer’s Disease in 2014 after 68 years of marriage; also, his parents Phil and Jeanette, and an infant sister, Adelaide. He is survived by his two sons, Marv (Ann) of Mission Viejo, and Larry (Nolita) of San Diego, and a brother, Al (Sandy). Also, four grandchildren, Janet (Tony), Dave (Rachel), Matt, and Melissa, three great-grandchildren, and numerous nieces and nephews.
The family would appreciate donations to the Parkinson’s Disease Foundation, The Alzheimer’s Association, or the UC Irvine Institute for Memory Impairments and Neurological Disorders (UCI-MIND). .