Nov. 29, 1953 – June 27, 2014
A celebration of Jeffrey Orrin Aberbach’s life is planned for Saturday, Sept. 13, at the California State Railroad Museum roundhouse in Sacramento.
Jeff was born Nov. 29,1953, and left us at the young age of 60 on June 27, 2014. Although his life was short, he accomplished a great deal.
As an undergraduate student at Cal State Northridge, he secured a prestigious congressional internship in Washington, D.C., and served with Sen. Lloyd Bentsen of Texas, where he was given much recognition for his quick mind and learning ability. This experience provided Jeff the myriad tools necessary for his upcoming career.
He graduated with a degree in journalism and the rest is dynamic history. His career had him spend time throughout California on various newspaper staffs, including The Seal Beach News, Oxnard Press Courier and the Marin Independent Journal. His longest stay was at The Davis Enterprise from 1979 to 1999. There, he was responsible for covering county government and agriculture, and he served as news editor for 17 years. After leaving The Enterprise, Jeff was a member of the editorial staff of The Contra Costa Times.
Jeff recognized early that the newspaper business was facing challenges, so he transitioned to state government, where he was, most recently, lead publications editor at Cal Recycle, the California Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery, in Sacramento.
Jeff had interests outside journalism and he pursued them with the same enthusiasm as his writing. His volunteer work included working as an instructor and area coordinator for AARP. The classes included teaching safe driving to senior citizens in several counties in Northern California.
Jeff also volunteered for BERT, the Benicia Emergency Response Team, promoting a basic emergency training class.
Jeff served longest and with the most passion as a volunteer docent at the California State Railroad Museum in Old Sacramento. Jeff’s passion was trains. This love had him particularly enjoying the many roles he assumed for The Polar Express, a Christmastime train for children of all ages that was based on the classic book written by Chris Van Allsburg.
Jeff is survived by two sisters, Sharon (Roy) Michaels of Monterey and Kathy (Jim) Courtney of Northridge; two nieces, Gina Michaels (Damon Campbell) of Pacific Grove and Lindsey Courtney of Northridge; and a nephew, Aaron Michaels (Kate) of Mountain View; and great-niece Sasha, 6, and great-nephews Eli, 9, and Ryan, 19 months.
Jeff was preceded in death by his parents, Erich Aberbach in 1974 and Anita Aberbach in 2007.
Donations in his memory may be made to the California State Railroad Museum , 125 I St., Sacramento, CA 95814, or to a charity of the donor’s choice.
All are welcome to sign an online guestbook at www.passalacquafuneralchapel.com.