Erik Abel died on Thursday, March 31 at his home in Northampton. He was 40 years old. Erik grew up in West Springfield and graduated from West Springfield High School. In his youth, he participated in a number of sports, and developed a wonderful appreciation of the outdoors. He was SCUBA certified, enjoyed kayaking and rock climbing, activities through which he formed lifelong friendships. During his teens he also developed a deep love of music. Whether it was ska, punk, blues, or rock, Erik had a favorite artist and was quick to share his passion and opinions. He enjoyed live performances and festivals most of all and was a regular at Pearl Street and other local music venues.
He graduated from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst with a degree in economics. After a brief introduction to the corporate world, he ventured into the piercing and tattoo business where he managed several parlors. For the past many years, he managed Four Seasons Liquors where he brought continued business acumen and fostered a sense deep community among employees and customers alike.
Described by a friend as a “force of nature,” Erik was passionate about all people and things that touched his life. He did not approach life, or even enter a room, quietly, and was always ready to share whatever story was on his mind. Throughout his life, Erik formed deep and enduring friendships with those he cared about most. He found connection and meaning in helping others, a gift and perspective that was grounded in navigating the challenges that he faced.
Erik’s own skin was a work of art, a series of tattoos that served as an expression of his struggles and hopes. They were perhaps his best obituary.
He will be profoundly missed by his parents Debi and Scott Abel, his brother Brendan and his wife Emily, his sister Marissa, and was a loving uncle to Victoria, Alaiya, June and Griffin. He enjoyed the company and friendship of his cousins, aunts and uncles and extended family over the past years. He was predeceased by his maternal grandparents Morgan and Angie Stephens of East Longmeadow and paternal grandparents Doug and Sally Abel of Maine.
We are looking forward to celebrating the life of Erik on Saturday, April 23rd at Glendale Ridge Vineyards in Southampton, MA. Erik's family will greet friends starting at at 3PM. A service will be held at 4PM, followed by a reception and time to share in friendship. Dress will be casual.