Adam Frankel

Obituary of Adam Frankel

Adam Nathan Frankel, 21 years old, died of an accidental overdose of opiates. Adam was not a user of opiates, but for some reason, that Saturday night, he purchased some.

Adam loved his family and his dog. Even when away from home, he wanted to know what his three sisters were doing. He loved his two grandmoms, his poppa, and two Pennsylvania uncles. He loved his Vancouver uncles and had a fun, easy relationship with them--as he said, that is what uncles are for. Adam adored his young Vancouver cousins, hoisting them onto his shoulders and prompting them to howl in laughter. He felt strong ties to his mother’s family’s Christmas tree farm in Pennsylvania, and Adam strongly supported his mother’s recent election to president of the farm association.

Adam was an extrovert, loving and valuing people. He delighted in being surrounded by friends. For Adam, friendship included unwavering loyalty. He would do anything for his friends, and that included emptying his savings account to help a friend travel from Massachusetts to South Carolina. He accepted and welcomed everyone into his life, an admirable quality though he did not always filter real friends from those leading him astray.

He inspired affection and loyalty from many, from Newton to Brookline to Virginia to Maine to Florida. He was a natural leader, starting with leading his sisters into Ninja games—he was always inventing new games, not one to sit quietly alone and read. At Jewish Community Day School, all the children followed him at circle time, occasionally to the consternation of his teachers. Youthful games with his friends at JCDS included Sleeping Bag Wars (the sleeping-bag-over-the-head game) and hitting the hockey puck into the dryer, torturing his parents, sisters, and babysitters. When he moved into the Brookline schools in grade 5, his teacher said it was as though he’d always been there.

He enjoyed Brookline High School, but started smoking pot in ninth grade and had challenges in the family and in school, which led to a peripatetic life for Adam. He loved a good debate and was considering law school, and he also was a number buff who knew every Red Sox jersey number and the cost of something to a penny.

Adam loved nice clothing and was fastidious—about not only his personal appearance and but also expired items in his parents’ refrigerator. He sported buttoned-down Hugo Boss shirts (bought on super sale), and loved his casual boater shoes and his Vince Camuto coat. He kept every shirt ironed and neatly hung. When he started working at the restaurant Mistral this summer, he discovered a love of fine food. At lunch locally with his mom, he observed that the butter served with the rolls was hard, not easily spread like the butter at Mistral. He recently savored a sampling of Mistral’s lavish mac-and-cheese with truffles. However, he also remarked that a good chef is able to make superb food from any ingredients.

Adam loved sports. His dad noted that Adam dressed up in hockey gear at the age of two and ran around as the Hockey Guy. He indeed became the Hockey Guy as hockey was a lifelong love, and Adam skated like a dream. He enjoyed playing hockey with his dad. He played baseball from early on as well, planning every birthday party around a baseball game with his classmates, and was undeterred when told that not every person played baseball. Senior year of high school, he started playing lacrosse, immediately securing a spot on the varsity team. Whether it was on the ice rink on the front lawn in Newton or on his sports teams in Brookline, Adam was a super athlete and a joy to watch. It also turned out that whatever team Adam was on became the winning team.

He and his friends were zealous Patriots fans before the Patriots became a winning team. Undoubtedly, he and his friends helped propel the Pats to success.

Adam was an avid student of geography, at eight years old memorizing the capital of every state and the location of every country. When Adam attended Jewish Community Day School, he read Torah under the supervision of a Rabbi who encouraged his interest in reading Torah. A student who appreciated ritual, he corrected his mother when she started singing the Shabbat (Sabbath) version of grace after meals when it was not Shabbat. During the year after his grandfather died, Adam, two years old, dressed in his Big Bird outfit and accompanied his mother to temple to say Kaddish, the Jewish mourning prayer. He provided tremendous support to his mother. Adam loved his grandfather—whom he called Gump Gump—and rode with Gump Gump on his tractors on the farm. When his grandfather died, Adam hugged his mother and asked, “Where Gump Gump is?” His mother responded, “Gump Gump has gone to be with God.” Adam replied, “I call that Heaven.”

Adam is survived by his parents, Jonathan and Donna (Hagenbuch) Frankel, his sisters Amanda, Wendy and Mia; his grandparents [including Dorothy Hagenbuch Kingsley, PA] and his extended family[Including his uncle, Rev. William R. Hagenbuch of Harford, PA].

Adam will be deeply missed by his family and friends forever.

The funeral will be held at Congregation Kehillath Israel, Brookline, MA. Burial will take place on 11 AM, Wednesday, November 21 in Harford Cemetery, Harford, PA. Donations in Adam’s memory may be made to Brookline Youth Hockey, P.O. Box 470663, Brookline Village, MA 02447.

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