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John Burke Sabel II

May 31, 1938 - January 30, 2022

U.S. Veteran

Private Family Memorial Service

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John Burke Sabel II, passed away on Sunday, January 30, 2022 in Ashland, MA at the age of 83. Born May 31, 1938 in New York City, the son of John Sabel and Mary Dale Cooper, he grew up in Fairmont, WV. He attended Loomis-Chaffee where he graduated with Distinction in 1956. From there he matriculated in the Army ROTC program at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology where he earned a degree in Aerospace Engineering in 1961.

After graduation, he served in the Army Ordnance Corps in Ft. Lee, VA and was released early to work for Sikorsky Aircraft in Stratford, CT. A lifelong learner, he went on to earn degrees from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute ‘64, Harvard Business School ‘66, and the University of Southern California ’86. He spent his career in the Airline and Aerospace industries working at American, Eastern, National, Pan America and Alaska Airlines and General Electric, TRW and the Hughes Aircraft Company. After his retirement he lived in Redondo Beach, CA where he served as President of the 40 Plus Chapter of Los Angeles, a nonprofit group that helped laid-off managers and executives find new jobs.

A lover of tinkering and technology, he took great pride in building his own stereo and television (Heathkit), an epic trainset and one of his son’s most successful science fair projects. There was a liberal arts side in him as well. He took up an interest in photography and classical painting later in life and had a deep love affair with classical music. He could name that tune (including symphony and conductor) after just a few notes of hearing a recording or broadcast and was given to tears of joy at the first strains of a performance at
Tanglewood. He loved the outdoors and being out in the sun and fresh air, be it a hike in the hills above LA or relaxing on a beach in Key Biscayne. Over the last several years, though largely bed-ridden and of failing memory, he took great pleasure in hearing about the successes of his grandchildren as they pursue the learning and interests in their lives.

John is survived by his sister, Lee Snyder of Silver Spring, MD, his cousin, Dick Morehead of Lake Forest, IL, two children, Elizabeth and her husband, Bob Murchie of Hopkinton, MA, his son, David and wife Sarah, of Saratoga, CA and 5 grandchildren, Connor and Megan Murchie and Heather, Anna and Katie Sabel.

A private family memorial service is being planned for later this year. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions can be made to The Boston Symphony (https://www.bso.org/donate), or the Fresh Start Furniture Bank (https://freshstartfurniturebank.org/donate.php). Arrangements are under the care of the Chesmore Funeral Home of Hopkinton.