October 31, 2014

Irving Rabb

It is with sadness that we announce the passing of former MBL Corporation member and Trustee Irving Rabb, who died on August 26. Rabb was a member of the MBL Corporation from 1988 to 1997 and an MBL Trustee from 1987 to 1997, where he served on the Nominating and Development Committees. The MBL flag will be lowered in his memory.

The following obituary appeared in the Boston Globe:

Irving Rabb; held key posts at Stop & Shop, Beth Israel
By Bryan Marquard, Globe Staff

For all Irving Rabb accomplished, he freely admitted he would have liked to do more in pursuits beyond the world of business.

“I’m a frustrated doctor,” he told BI News, a publication of Beth Israel Hospital, in 1971. “I almost went to medical school twice, but got only as far as working as an orderly for Beth Israel during World War II.”

Instead, he became a healing presence with Stop & Shop, the supermarket chain his family founded, and with institutions ranging from Beth Israel to a host of organizations serving the region’s Jewish community. In each role, friends and family said, he helped resolve disagreements, always with an eye toward improving the future.

Mr. Rabb, who formerly was vice chairman of Stop & Shop and chairman of the Beth Israel board, died Tuesday in his Cambridge home while sitting in his lounge chair watching “NewsHour” on PBS.

He was 98 and though his mind stayed sharp, his health had failed rapidly in the past two months.

“Everyone loved him,” said his daughter, Betty Schafer of San Francisco. “He was the one at Stop & Shop who mediated the labor disputes.”

Dr. James Rabb, a physician at what is now Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, said his father “really had the ability to empathize with people with different points of view and to come to a Solomonic decision with relation to these things. That’s a really special skill, especially in big business.”

Read the full obituary here.