Abdul Wohabe

Obituary of Abdul Wohabe

ABDUL WAHAB WOHABE, 82, of Rye, New York, died peacefully on May 5 with his family by his side. Abdul, also known as Al, was born in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia in 1935 to Abdullah and Miriam Wohabe. After attending the Al-Najat Private School in Zubair, Iraq and serving in the Royal Saudi Air Force, he moved to the United States to continue his education. Following his undergraduate studies at Williams College, he earned his law degree from Cornell Law School. In 1959, he married Jane Sunshine of Paterson, New Jersey, with whom he had three children. Jane passed away in 1993. 

After graduating law school in 1962, he was associated with the law firm of White & Case and served as an officer of Morgan Guaranty Trust Co. In 1971, he founded his own law firm, in which his sons would eventually join him. He was a founder of the Arab American Bank in New York and served as a member of its board of directors from 1976-80. He was also a founder of the U.S.-Arab Chamber of Commerce in New York. In his private practice, he was a trusted advisor to numerous private and public sector clients including General Electric, Getty Oil, Exxon, Texaco, Xerox Corporation, Saudi Basic Industries Corporation (SABIC), National Shipping Company of Saudi Arabia, the Ministry of Commerce of Saudi Arabia, the Ministry of Industry & Electricity of Saudi Arabia, and the Saudi Arabian Embassy to the United States, among many others. He was at the forefront of modernizing the commercial legal framework in Saudi Arabia, carrying out commissions by the Government of Saudi Arabia to review and draft national legislation, including a code of Business Corporations, Consumer Protection Code, Code to Regulate the Marketing of Financial Securities in the Kingdom, and rules governing the conduct of the accounting profession in Saudi Arabia, as well as advising the Offset Committee of Saudi Arabia with respect to the implementation of the first Offset Program. 

Abdul was a resident of Rye from 1963 until his death. He was active in the local community, as a member of the Shenorock Shore Club and in local causes, including his sustained involvement in the successful opposition to the Oyster Bay-Rye bridge across the Long Island Sound proposed by Robert Moses in the late 1960s. 

A great lover of all things New England, Abdul also enjoyed spending time at his house in Dorset, Vermont. He was blessed to meet Vincenza (Enza) Boccasile, and they married in 2001. Enza introduced Abdul to “la bella vita” of all things Italian, and together they enjoyed life surrounded by their children and grandchildren. 

His family, near and far, was the most important thing to Abdul. He was a devoted and loving father. As the oldest of eleven siblings, he was always looking out for them, and he was unhesitatingly generous with friends and family alike. His favorite times were the occasions when he would host the family for holidays and other gatherings. Even after a devastating stroke in 2000, he always made his presence felt wherever he was. 

Abdul is survived by his wife Enza, sons David and Omar, daughter Miriam, four grandchildren, two sisters and seven brothers. He is also survived by Enza’s daughter Alessandra and son Stefano, and four step-grandchildren. 

He is preceded in death by brother Adnan Wohabe and first wife Jane Sunshine Wohabe. 

Everyone will deeply miss his strength, charm, passion for life, and sense of adventure. 

A private funeral service for family will be held on Monday, May 8 at the William H. Graham Funeral Home in Rye, N.Y.