Tom Abraham, Merchant

Gerlach Brothers Road Ranch & Store

Tom Abraham was an American businessman and civic leader in Canadian, Texas.

He was born in the Kafracab, Lebanon to Nahim Malouf (1885–1965) and Alia Malouf (1885–1979), but the parents changed their surname to "Abraham" when they entered the United States through Ellis Island. Tom grew up in Canadian, where he graduated from Canadian High School in 1928.

In 1932, Abraham graduated from Texas Tech University in Lubbock, where he played on the football team and was the business manager for The Daily Toreador, the Student newspaper. He helped to launch the Red Raiders Club and was part of the commission which created the Texas Tech Dad's Association (later the Texas Tech Association of Parents). Prior to his death, Abraham was believed to have been the oldest living Texas Tech letterman.

After graduation from Tech, Abraham worked in Paducah in Cottle County south of Childress. On April 28, 1935, Tom married his neighbor, the former Helen Ferguson (August 7, 1915 - February 11, 2008). A native of Merkel near Abilene in Taylor County, Helen was the daughter of Frank Ferguson and the former Maude Hill. Tom and Helen moved to Canadian to work in the senior Abraham's "Fair Department Store" and eventually became the owners. The 1920s vintage Fair Store is shown to the right.

Tom was instrumental in building the original sanctuary of his church, the First Presbyterian Church of Canadian. He and his brothers also helped to establish the Edward Abraham Memorial Home. He was active in Rotary International and the Masonic lodge in Canadian. In his later years, Tom received "Man of the Year" designation from the Canadian-Hemphill County Chamber of Commerce and the Americanism Award from the Daughters of the American Revolution, an honor given only to immigrants who helped other immigrants obtain citizenship. In 1976, he chaired the Hemphill County Bicentennial Commission. In 1980, he received the Freedoms Foundation Award in Valley Forge, Pennsylvania.