Myrna Abramowicz, a civic activist who contributed her energy to environmental, educational and political causes, died Saturday in Napa at age 69.
She died in a local care home after being ill for several months, her family reported.
At the time of her death, Abramowicz served on Napa Valley Expo’s board of directors, the board of Friends of the Napa River, was an elected member of the board of the Napa County Park and Open Space District and served on the Napa County Democratic Central Committee.
She had previously served Napa Valley College’s Board of Trustees and had managed a number of local political campaigns.
Bernhard Krevet, president of Friends of the Napa River, said he was shocked to learn of Abramowicz’s death, noting that she had been fully involved in community life until just recently.
Abramowicz was a founding member of Friends in the 1990s, bringing a Realtor’s unique perspective to efforts to revive the Napa River and promote the flood control project, Krevet said.
“She wasn’t a typical environmentalist,” Krevet said. “She understood the urban side of environmental development.”
“I cherished her candor and insight into the political process that helped me a lot to avoid mistakes,” he said.
Ginny Simms, a good friend, said Abramowicz “served with distinction every place she went.”
“Her hand and style is throughout the community,” Gimms said. “She also raised a really wonderful son as a single mom.”
Joe Anderson, Napa Valley Expo’s CEO, said Abramowicz was the fair board’s most senior representative with a decade of service. She fought to make sure the Napa Town and Country Fair stayed where it is and the Expo wasn’t redeveloped for another purpose, he said.
A native of New York City, Abramowicz moved at age 21 to San Francisco where she met her future husband, Harvey. They moved to Napa where he established a real estate business.
When her husband died in 1977, she raised their young son, Steven, by herself. She was a commercial Realtor, active until recently.
Abramowicz was in her 40s when she went back to school, attending Napa Valley College, then graduating four years later from UC Davis with a degree in history.
Her obituary describes her as a “lifelong Democrat” who attended the national convention that nominated Bill Clinton for his first term as president.
Active in the local Napa synagogue, Abramowicz headed the committee that recently arranged for a Jewish cemetery to be established in St. Helena.
She is survived by her son, Steven, his wife Kara and two grandchildren, all of Seattle.
Her funeral is scheduled for Tuesday at 1 p.m. at Treadway & Wigger Funeral Chapel in Napa. Donations are suggested to the Abramowicz Family Fund at the Napa Valley Community Foundation.