Rayna Gaye Abrahams

1946 – 2022

After a 30+ year battle with a debilitating illness and inspiring many via her fight through severe disability to lead a productive and enriching life – Rayna Gaye Abrahams slipped away peacefully on Sunday 6th of March, just three days shy of her 76th Birthday.

Rayna was born in New York City to Harold and Sylvia Eisner and was the oldest of three girls. Harold’s job in the textile industry had their family always on the move. They landed for a brief time in Covina, California where Rayna graduated from Northview High School in 1963. She went on to attend and graduate from Cal-Poly Pomona.

She began her long career of serving others as a teaching assistant in the Watts neighborhood of Los Angeles. A series of adventures that followed landed her in the small town of Selleck, Washington where she met the true love of her life, Ken Abrahams. They blended their families to create a storybook life together.

When Ken’s work opportunities took him to the Olympic Peninsula, Rayna insisted that the family go together. As Ken began his new job as a timber faller, the 6-member family lived first in a two-room Sappho Camp skid shack. They eventually purchased a small farm on the Quillayute Prairie. The Jewish Girl from New York City became a farm woman.

In addition to creating a warm and loving household, Rayna was a community leader and a professional woman in her own right. Rayna ran for and earned a seat on the Quillayute Valley School Board where she served from 1979 – 1985. She was a champion for reform and led a movement to add once-controversial health education to the school curriculum. In addition to serving on the board Rayna taught at Forks High School. She touched the lives of many students and is remembered for treating all students with respect and fairness.

Rayna also volunteered with the Forks Abuse Center, protecting and advocating for victims of domestic violence – predominantly women.

It was during this time that Rayna began writing a weekly “Forks Neighbor” column for the Peninsula Daily News. Her column used anecdotes about life on the farm, raising her children, and other aspects of rural life as a vehicle for wise lessons in patience, justice and empathy. Her column was popular for years with much of the PDN readership.

In 1990 Rayna fell terribly ill and developed adult hydrocephalus. Despite a prognosis that had doomed her to a life in assisted living, Rayna fought her way back to independence and a working life. A successful battle with Lymphoma during this time barely slowed her down but earned her the unenviable title – cancer survivor.

In 1997 Rayna and Ken moved to Port Angeles. Despite permanent disabilities of balance and vision, Rayna continued to give back. She began a career as a social worker and case manager in several assisted living facilities in Port Angeles and Sequim. She saw a need for fair and impartial management of the affairs of elderly and incapacitated persons and began her own business as a Guardian ad Litum. She was highly sought after for her thorough investigations, and her work covered Clallam, Jefferson and Kitsap counties.

Rayna’s compassion for the needy eventually brought her from assisted living to housing homeless families. She spent several years as a case manager at Serenity House, and many families got a second chance and escaped bad circumstances through her efforts.

She served as a volunteer member of the North Olympic Library Board for 10 years and was part of the team that designed the new library in Port Angeles. She was also an active member of Kiwanis.

Rayna is survived by her husband Ken, her parents Harold and Sylvia (celebrating 77 years of marriage), her sisters Lori and Tami, her children Jimmy, Andrea, Jennifer, David and Aaron and over a dozen grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

She was a wonderful woman, a great neighbor and friend to many, a leader, a loving mother, and a doting and supportive wife – a mensch. Her smile lit up the universe, and she made you feel like you mattered. She lived a life of service. Rayna Gaye Abraham’s legacy lives on in the people she made. And in the people she made better.

We love you mom.

Per Rayna’s wishes, there will be no public memorial. In lieu of flowers and cards the family asks donations be made in honor of Rayna Abrahams to Serenity House of Clallam County at 2321 W 18th St, Port Angeles, WA 98363. Or online at: https://serenityhouseclallam.networkforgood.com/projects/135683-sheltering-clallam-county.