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In Memoriam; John Abel and Stuart Berton

El Nido Family Centers is sad to announce that we recently lost two treasured Board members and former Board Presidents:  John Abel and Stuart Berton.

John Abel

John Abel was known as a giving, caring, and humble leader.  After a successful career as an ARCO executive, John joined the El Nido board in the 1980s. 

Over the next 3 decades his active involvement on the Board included multiple terms as Board President.

He was an advocate of corporate responsibility in community development, for the good of Los Angeles and its disadvantaged populations. 

He was supportive of programs and clients, regularly attending Parent Education graduation ceremonies and scholarship luncheons, as well as guiding at-risk youth on hiking tours through the Santa Monica Mountains. 

John helped individual senior citizens to manage their personal finances and maintain their independence.  In all his personal, professional and volunteer capacities, John set a living example.  His dedication to personal responsibility, caring for others and generosity was compellingly genuine.

John held degrees in both Engineering and Business from Stanford University and served in the Korean War.

His contributions to, and impact on, El Nido were profound.


Stuart Berton was a long-term and beloved board member who served as board president for a number of years after a successful career as an entertainment industry attorney. Through his steadfast leadership he led with passion and deeds.  He guided our organization during challenging times through his hard work, commitment and dedication to our mission and the families and communities we serve.  

Stuart connected El Nido with financial resources and funders, and generously contributed his own personal resources to ensure programs slated to be cut had the money to continue their life-changing and meaningful work in underserved communities.

Stuart enjoyed attending client events and activities because he truly cared and believed in the best of people. He also loved supporting staff and their work with families, and was known as kind, positive and fun to be around.  

Stuart’s vision and generosity has touched and empowered so many lives and has given so much hope and opportunity to disconnected and disenfranchised families that walk through El Nido’s doors.  He positively impacted El Nido and all who had the good fortune to know him and work with him, in countless ways. 


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