Small business champion and longtime Park Slope activist Albert Cabbad passed away in his Bay Ridge home last week. He was 88.
Cabbad died in his sleep on Feb. 18 after a bout of pneumonia and was buried on Monday, his family said.
Co-owner of the R&A Discount Store on Fifth Avenue along with his wife Ramona, who died three weeks ago at age 84, Cabbad helped found National Night Out, an annual summer event that encourages neighborhood police precincts to organize anti-crime rallies. At the gatherings, he marched alongside former mayors Ed Koch and Rudy Giuliani, former Borough President Howard Golden and, proudly, his own grandchildren.
“We have lost a great man,” his daughter Debra Cabbad said. “He didn’t miss out on anything.”
Often referred to as the mayor of Fifth Avenue, Cabbad always invited the U.S. president, the mayor, the governor, and a slew of other elected officials to the Night Out rallies. The Syrian immigrant was a proud American who always hung up his flag on the Fourth of July and loved his neighbors, according to his daughter.
“He was politically involved — he knew a lot of people,” she said. “He was always seeing what everyone was doing, always donating.”
Cabbad was also a vocal member of Community Board 6’s economic development committee in the 1990s and 2000s and was among the board members ousted by former Borough President Marty Markowitz in 2007 for his opposition to the Atlantic Yards mega-development.
“He was constantly teaching us to be more accepting, welcoming of diversity, and tolerant,” Community Board 6 district manager Craig Hammerman said.
Cabbad closed his Park Slope shop in 2004, but he visited it every day to play his lottery machine until last October, when he fell ill, his daughter said.
He is survived by four children, ten grandchildren, and nine great-grandchildren.