Luigi Abenante, MD, of Holmdel, has died at age 85. Dr. Abenante, MD, was a towering figure in his field. He was the first Board Certified Psychiatrist for the State of New Jersey and worked directly with the state since 1963. He worked for over 20 years at Lyon VA Administration in Lyons as a staff psychiatrist. Additionally, he worked at RWJ University Hospital and at Riverview Medical Center for an additional 20 years.
Dr. Abenante was in private practice for over 50 years in Plainfield, North Plainfield and Holmdel. He was one of the few celebrated pain management physicians and always had the best interest of his patients.
Dr. Abenante was an associate professor of Clinical Psychiatry for 20 years at Robert Wood Johnson School of Medicine, Rutgers University. He helped to cultivate the minds of the best and the brightest new Board Certified Psychiatrists in New Jersey to fruition. He was deeply loved by the University and his respective students.
However, Dr. Abenante’s greatest love was for his family and his love for Italy. He was adored by his wife, Maria Abenante, of over 56 and a half years and his children Dr. Frank, Dr. Vincent and Carolina Abenante, Esq. He allowed his children to be whatever they wanted. He was an inspiration to them. All his children not only hold doctoral degrees in medicine and law, but also master degrees in the sciences and business. He never let his children forget that you can accomplish anything in your life and to bring that inspiration back to your field, your family and your community.
That same drive and spark of genius was seeded in his beloved grandchildren: Sarah, Louis, Eliana, Patricia and Francesca Abenante. His grandchildren were his brightest lights.
Dr. Abenante loved Italy with a passion. He returned to Italy every year from 1957 until 2013 to travel not only Italy, but also all of Europe. He had a passion for history, science and archaeology which was never quelled. He would visit countless museums from one corner of Europe to the next. He enjoyed the arts and loved the New York Metropolitan Opera and events at the Met.
He was our brightest star. He was born during the Great Depression but accomplished so much in his life and with his family.
His siblings, brother Raffaele and sister Filomena, fondly remember him as a larger than life figure with an intellect that was unparalleled. He had the ability to talk to anyone and had no notion of discrimination in his heart.
He believed in the sanctity of life and the beauty and miracle that was life. He was a devote Catholic and his passion for the understanding knew no bounds. He fought for the rights of the elderly and the debasement of how modern society saw them. It was our pleasure and our honor to have known him. There was no greater man we could have ever hoped for to be our father. He loved his wife and children without exception. The hole that has been created in our heart with his passing knows no end. It is as if the sun has become a black whole and there is a vacuum that encompasses the universe, which is a testament to how great his presence was and how deeply he will be missed. God’s Speed my love.
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