Gusta J. (Zuckerman) Abels


Gusta J. (Zuckerman) Abels died peacefully at age 84 on Sunday morning July 3rd, 2016 at Yale New Haven Hospital. Born in Manhattan and raised in Brooklyn, New York, Gusta began studying drawing and painting at age 12 at the Art Students’ League in New York City. She attended Music and Art High School and received a BA in Art History from Barnard College and a MA in Art from Columbia University. After graduation, she was awarded a Fulbright Scholarship to study painting in Antwerp, Belgium. She married Bob Abels and raised her children in Livingston, New Jersey; there she taught art and art history at Caldwell College, Seton Hall University and several independent schools and exhibited her own work at galleries throughout the metropolitan area, including the Graham-Duveen Gallery in New York City and the Doubletree Gallery in Montclair, NJ.  Gusta moved to Branford, Connecticut, 18 years ago where she continued to paint and teach at the Guilford Art Center. Most recently, she and her husband of 58 years, Bob, lived at Evergreen Woods in North Branford where she taught painting and was a member of both the Resident Council and the Evergreen Woods Art Committee. A life-long Democrat, Gusta was a member of the League of Women Voters and a passionate political activist. She is survived by her husband, her daughters Julie and Margot, son-in-law David, daughter-in-law Bridget and her grandchildren, Jesse, Noah, and Makayla.

Services will be held at 1:pm Tuesday at Congregation Mishkan Israel, 785 Ridge Rd., Hamden, CT. Contributions may be made in her name to Planned Parenthood Federation of America, Inc. (Attn: Online Services) 123 William St. 10th fl. New York, NY 10038.
The family will be sitting shiva at the home of Julie and David Chevan, 132 Gillies Road, Hamden following the service and on Wednesday, July 6. Minyan services will be held each evening at 6:00 p.m.

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  1. Denise Gamble Broadbent and Clark Broadbent said,

    07.05.16 at 12:31 am

    My husband and I send our deepest condolences for your loss.
    I had Jesse and Noah as students at Spring Glen School and watched them carry on their grandmother’s strong love of the arts through music.
    Our hearts go out to you.

  2. Susan DiClemente said,

    07.05.16 at 2:38 am

    Margot and family, I am so sorry for your loss. She sounds like an amazing lady. Keeping you all in my thoughts.

  3. Lesley and Sally said,

    07.05.16 at 11:56 am

    So glad your mom’s wonderful art work adorns your home and lives on through her children. Love, Lesley & Sally

  4. Ellen B Kulka said,

    07.05.16 at 12:28 pm

    I took art classes with Gusta in Livingston many years ago. She was an engaging teacher. I am lucky enough to have acquired one of her paintings which still hangs in my living room, now in NY. We talked often about our years at Barnard, though we were in different classes and never met there. Sad to loose such a free spiit and talented artist.

    Ellen Kulka

  5. pauline (paula) digioia said,

    07.06.16 at 1:59 pm

    Dearest Bob and family-
    So extremely sorry for your loss. She was a spitfire – such a pleasure to know. Deepest sympathies.

  6. Joanne Penta said,

    07.07.16 at 2:49 am

    Bob and Family,
    My sincere condolences to you on the loss of Gusta. It was my pleasure to know her as a neighbor and a friend and especially enjoyed her wit, straight-talk, and intelligence. She lives on in her beautiful paintings and in your memories. What a legacy.