We are saddened to inform the community of the passing of Abraham Presser, a man of extraordinary determination, who passed away peacefully on Sept. 25, 2023 at the age of 79, surrounded by loved ones.
He was born on Sept. 9, 1944, in Matanzas, Cuba, to Nuna and Raquel Presser. At the age of 16, Abraham fled Communist Cuba and emigrated to the United States.
After his family lost everything to Castro, Abe sought education as a means to a brighter future that could never be taken from him.
He graduated from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign in 1965 with a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering, and later moved to Los Angeles where he earned his MBA from the University of Southern California.
It was during his time in Los Angeles that Abe met Molly in what would become a love story spanning over five decades. They were married on Aug. 16, 1969, and lived in Los Angeles, and then Santa Barbara, where they raised four children together.
Abe’s professional career included stints in electrical engineering, import-export, and international sales. In 1985 he moved with his family to Santa Barbara to work alongside his brother Leon Presser at Softool Corporation, where he worked until retirement in 1995.
In 2000, Abe proudly came out of retirement, initially to become a student at Santa Barbara City College, and then to reinvent himself as a substitute teacher for the county of Santa Barbara, where he spent the next 20 years shaping the minds of adolescents and earning the underground title of “best substitute teacher in the universe” according to a local Facebook group.
He dedicated his time and efforts to giving back to the Jewish community, and to the Santa Barbara community at large, leaving an indelible mark of kindness and generosity wherever he went.
He helped launch Camp Unity at San Marcos High School, and held various positions of honor on the boards of the Santa Barbara Jewish Community Foundation and UCSB Hillel, and in 2008 was inducted into the UCSB Hillel Hall of Fame.
Abe is survived by his wife Molly Presser; children David Presser (Michelle Finkel), Eric (Sarah) Presser, Tammie Presser, and Beth Presser (Alec McQuilkin); and by his beloved grandchildren Sia and Micah Presser, and Adena and Rivka Presser.
Abe was the brother of long-time Santa Barbara resident Leon (Blanca) Presser, uncle of Liza Presser-Belkin (Richard Belkin) and Anita Presser (Daniel Greenwald), and great uncle to Danya, Ryan, Neve, Romy and Jed.
The funeral service was held on Sept. 28, 2023, at Mount Sinai Memorial Parks in Hollywood Hills, California. A Celebration of Life is being planned by his family to take place later this year.
In lieu of flowers, please consider making a donation to Congregation B’nai B’rith, UCSB Hillel or VNA Health in memory of Abraham Presser.
He was a real mensch.