Cambridge — Daphne Abeel, 75, of Cambridge, a writer and editor, died abruptly on March 2, 2013 in Portland, Ore. while visiting her younger brother, Neilson Abeel, and his wife, Tori Bryer.
Having inherited her father’s literary gene, Abeel had a long career in trade publishing. She started with Holt Reinhart and Winston in New York and was for 20 years an editor at Houghton Mifflin. She later worked at Crown Publishers. Her authors included Arthur Ashe, Robert Stone and Senator Jacob Javits. Her interest in politics, led her to work for Massachusetts State Representative Lida Harkins. She co-founded Abeel & Leet Publishers with Judith Leet in 1995. Later she turned to newspaper work as editor of the Needham Chronicle and the Armenian Mirror-Spectator. She was an Associate Member of the Signet Society at Harvard and the Cambridge Tennis Club.
Daphne Abeel was born October 23, 1937 in Morristown, N.J. to Elizabeth Stackpole and Neilson Abeel, She was the granddaughter of Neilson and Nina Jackson Abeel of Newark N.J. and J.Lewis and Katherine Whiteside Brown Stackpole of Boston and Mattapoisett. All were the descendants of early 17th Century immigrants to the New World.
She graduated from The Peck School, Morristown, N..J in 1951; Milton Academy, Milton Mass. in 1955; she entered Radcliffe College in the class of 1959 and transferred to Barnard College for her B.A. in 1959. She earned her MA in Comparative Literature at Columbia University in 1964.
Greatly gifted, she was a skilled and dedicated pianist who played in a chamber music group for many years. An ardent linguist, reader, traveler , horseback rider, cat lover, and tennis player; in later years she took up painting in watercolors. She was devoted to her friends and family and loved to laugh.
Her two marriages ended in divorce. She had a longtime relationship with William P. Homans, Jr., a prominent criminal defense lawyer in Massachusetts.