Many Houston residents are being remembered this week, including a pastor, a portrait artist and inventor, and a model who represented Sweden at the Miss World competition.
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Here are some of the lives lost this week:
Calvin Abraham, 83
Rev. Dr. Calvin Jonathan Abraham died Monday, January 31, 2022, after serving as pastor of Bella Vista Missionary Baptist Church for 43 years, according to his obituary.
He was remembered with the Bible verse Jeremiah 3:15, because he “exemplified these words throughout his ministry,” his obituary says. The verse says, “And I will give you pastors according to mine heart, which shall feed you with knowledge and understanding.”
According to his obituary, he had a gift for mentoring future pastors.
“One of his special gifts was developing men spiritually, in that well over forty baptized believing men accepted their calling into the Gospel Ministry. Several of his spiritual and adopted sons in the ministry serve as Pastors across the country, and others serve from Street Ministries to the United Nations Religious Council,” the obituary says.
Some of his many special recognitions include induction into the Phillis Wheatley High School Hall of Fame, meeting President Barack Obama and first lady Michelle Obama during a 2015 White House visit, and receiving an honorary doctorate degree from the Virginia University of Lynchburg.
Mona Raspler, 84
Mona Raspler died February 7, 2022, leaving behind her two sons and other family members and friends in the U.S. and Sweden, according to her obituary. Raspler was born in Sweden in 1937, and began theater school, acting and modeling at age 13. Her modeling work took her to Hamburg, Zurich and London as a teen, and she was runner-up for Miss Sweden at age 19. She represented her country at the Miss World pageant in London.
Raspler moved to New York City in 1961 to continue her modeling career, becoming a high-fashion international model and continuing her travels abroad. She was featured in ad campaigns including Clairol, Folgers and Sweet & Low, and acted on Broadway, her obituary says.
She was married in 1966 to David Raspler and “happily retired from her modeling career to dedicate her time to her family,” her obituary says. The family relocated to Houston in 1976, where she became actively involved in her community as a founding member of SWEA Houston, president of The Swedish Club and a member of the Swedish-American Chamber of Commerce. She also joined The Woman’s Fund, the Houston Motion Picture Academy, the Kinkaid School, American Field Service, Art & Artists Combine and the University Club, her obituary says.
Raspler enjoyed many activities and hobbies, “but more than anything, she enjoyed spending time with her sons,” her obituary says. “She was an ever-loving and supportive mom.”
“Friends and family will lovingly remember Mona for her vibrancy, warmth, and energy,” her obituary says. “She lit up the room with her beauty and engaging personality, and she shared enduring relationships with friends worldwide. She touched so many and will be greatly missed by all.”
Glenn Bahm, 95
Glenn Bahm died January 31, 2022, at age 95, leaving behind his children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren, his obituary says. He was a portrait artist and inventor whose inventions included a dental bridge system, a specialized water color easel and a folding wheelchair tray, according to his obituary. He also painted more than 200 portraits over his 70-year career, and his paintings are in homes across the country.
Bahm married Janice, his wife of 52 years, after World War II.
“His first portrait commission paid for the bricks that built their first home,” his obituary says.
Bahm moved his family to Houston from Louisiana in 1969, his obituary says.
“Glenn and Janice loved to go dancing and loved to travel, they were able to do plenty of both!” his obituary says. “He is now back with his Janice, dancing in the moonlight!”