Werner Abken

Obituary of Werner Abken

Werner Abken, age 97, of Clinton, NJ, passed away Sunday, August 27, 2023, at the Hunterdon Medical Center located in Flemington, NJ.  Born September 2, 1925, in Hamburg, Germany, he was the son of the late Karl Anton Abken and the late Elfriede (nee Schumacher) Abken.

In 1936 Werner and his family left Germany to become permanent United States residents. While Werner was learning English as his second language, he also developed his natural artistic talents. Due to his creative abilities, Werner attended the specialized high school known as the New York School of Industrial Arts and in 1943, he entered the New York Scholastics art competition. He was awarded the 2nd Prize by Mayor Fiorello LaGuardia.

Immediately after high school, Werner served in the US Army in World War II in Europe for three years.  He was recognized for his service, being awarded the WWII Victory Medal as well as the Euro-African-Eastern Good Conduct Medal. He was PFC as well as officially serving as an interpreter.

After the service he used the GI bill to study at the Art Students League of NYC. From there he launched his career in advertising where he became an art director and met his wife, Sylvia. Later he worked as independent freelance commercial artist with many of the largest NYC advertising houses with artwork published in Time, Life, and other magazines and newspapers, as well as numerous television commercials and a movie. 

Werner married Sylvia (nee Moldauer), in 1956. Together they raised their four children; Peter, Carl, Alice, and Erica, whom he adored. He was blessed with seven grandchildren that he took great joy in when spending time with them. 

In his free time Werner created fine art in multiple media such as oil paintings, watercolor paintings, sculptures, and photography. Art was his life passion, Werner and his family were avid visitors to all the NYC art museums as well as galleries. When he wasn’t busy creating, he was reading his books, taking peaceful walks to appreciate nature’s beauty, and star gazing at night through his telescope. He had an adventurous and curious nature. Whether he was scuba diving, para-sailing, playing X-BOX, or navigating a new computer, he was always up for trying something new. 

Werner is predeceased by his beloved wife, Sylvia (nee Moldauer) Abken; and his parents, Karl Anton Abken and Elfriede (nee Schumacher) Abken.

Werner will be forever missed by his sons, Peter Abkenand his wife Susan, Carl Abken and wife Doris (deceased); daughters, Alice Cartwright and husband Brian, Erica Berger and husband Floyd; grandchildren, Ian Cartwright and wife Sonie, Sydney(Cartwright) and husband Sam Pavlick, Elise (Abken) and husband Benedikt Brandt, Carol (Abken) and husband Cameron Eagles, Lindsay(Abken) and Kit Lau, Lauren Abken, and Alyssa Wagner.

Graveside services will be held on Thursday, August 31st, at 1:00 PM at the Hillside Cemetery, located at 1401 Woodland Avenue, Scotch Plains, NJ 07076. To send condolences to the family please visit www.martinfh.com

In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in Werner's name to The Metropolitan Museum of Art.  Please Click Here to Donate



Graveside Service

1:00 pm
Thursday, August 31, 2023
Hillside Cemetery
1401 Woodland Avenue
Scotch Plains, New Jersey, United States
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