Abram Barkan 1919-2006


Prominent New York Realtor for over 60 years.

Past National President, American Society of Real Estate Counselors.

Past Governor, Real Estate Board of New York.


Abram Barkan died, Monday April 17, 2006 in Bedford, MA at the of age 87 of complications associated with Alzheimer’s disease. He was born in Brooklyn, New York on February 22, 1919 to Russian immigrant parents, David and Ida Barkan.  


Often referred to as the “Dean of Appraisers,” Mr. Barkan had a distinguished career in commercial real estate that spanned 61 years. Most of Abe’s career was spent with James Felt Realty Services, where he began his career as their office clerk, the day after graduating from New Utrecht High School. Under the tutelage of his mentor Jack Felt, Abe Barkan rose through the ranks of the Felt Organization, eventually becoming President of the company during the 1970s. He served as National President of the Counselors of Real Estate, President of the New York Chapter of the Appraisal Institute and was a longstanding Governor of the Real Estate Board of New York. With his long time partner and friend Henry Hart Rice, Abram Barkan built James Felt Realty Services into one of the premier real estate service companies based in New York City and active throughout North America. Abe and Henry engineered the sale of James Felt Realty to Grubb & Ellis, providing the Grubb & Ellis Company with a national platform and New York base of operations. Abe worked on many landmark assignments during his career such as the Redevelopment of Roosevelt Island, Development of Reston, Virginia and Lead Appraisal Expert for the US Railway Association representing the US Government in the bankruptcy of the Penn Central Railroad. He was very proud of his long term relationships with clients such as R.H. Macy, Metropolitan Life Insurance, Chase Manhattan Bank, Rockefeller Center and many others. Abe will be remembered by his colleagues for his complex real estate problem solving prowess, his exceptionally ethical standards and personable demeanor.


Abram Barkan was proud to have served in the United States Army during World War II.  As a member of the elite 82nd Airborne Division he was among the first American soldiers to land in Normandy on D-Day by glider. He was wounded in action in Normandy and again, far more seriously during the allied airborne invasion of Holland in September, 1944. Abe was awarded the Purple Heart and other citations for his brave service during wartime. During the last 3 ½ years of his life, Abe lived in the GRECC Long Term Care Center at the Edith Nourse Rogers Memorial Veterans Hospital in Bedford, Massachusetts. He received extraordinary care from each and every member of the staff. The Veterans Administration runs one of the foremost research and care facilities in the country for men and women suffering from dementia related illnesses. Many like Abe Barkan, who bravely risked their lives and served their country during World War II.


Abe and the late Grace Barkan were married for 51 years and had three sons, the late Leonard Barkan, Irwin Barkan and Martin Barkan. Irwin and Martin followed their Father into the Real Estate Industry and both were invited to membership into the American Society of Real Estate Counselors.


Irwin and his wife Lindsay Smith Barkan live in Waitsfield, Vermont with Abe’s three grandsons, Zachary, Taylor and Wesley. Martin and his wife Julie Picard Barkan live in Sherman Oaks, California with Abe’s granddaughter Melanie. Abram Barkan was very active in charitable and community service organizations in Essex County, New Jersey where he lived with his family. He served as President of Temple B’nai Abraham in Livingston, New Jersey, where he and Grace were very active members.


A funeral service will be held at Temple B’nai Abraham, Livingston, NJ on Thursday April 20th at 1:30 PM. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations are made in his name to:

ENRM VA Hospital

Voluntary Services Unit 62 AB

Attn.: Voluntary Services

200 Springs Rd, Bedford, MA 01730