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Robert 'Bob' Abramson

Robert "Bob" Abramson of Cotati, a World War II bomber pilot who went on to work around the globe with the United Nations and later the World Bank, died Dec. 31 of heart complications. He was 89.

Born Dec. 22, 1923, in San Francisco to Selma and John Abramson, Abramson was one of six children. After graduating from Commerce High School in San Francisco, Abramson worked in the shipyards for a few years before volunteering for the Army Air Corps in 1943.

He was trained as a B-29 bomber pilot and flew nearly 30 missions in the Pacific, said his son, Bruce Abramson of Healdsburg.

Abramson was decommissioned in August 1945 after Japan surrendered. He went to San Francisco where Barbara Linnerson flew out from Wichita, Kan., to meet him. The pair had met at a USO dance in 1944 and were married three days after Linnerson arrived in San Francisco.

Abramson enrolled at UC Berkeley where he earned his bachelor's and master's degrees in philosophy and social welfare.

Abramson worked as a parole officer in Oakland, then in management training in Sacramento, before taking a job at the University of Southern California through which he was stationed in Pakistan in a program funded by the U.S. Agency for International Development.

He lived and worked in Pakistan, training government employees in efficiency and leadership strategies, from 1962 to 1968.

During his stint, his family had to be evacuated to Tehran, Iran, during the Pakistan-Indian War in 1965.

"The C-130s would keep their engines running. One hundred people had to board the plane in 10 minutes because there was worry that the plane could be hit if it stayed longer," Bruce Abramson said.

From 1973 to 1983, Abramson took U.N. management consultant posts in Kenya, Tanzania and Zambia.


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