Yohan Paul Abraham was born in Calcutta, India on April 1st, 1986 the first child of Paul and Elizabeth Abraham. He was a very happy baby, and remained so until his brother Stefan was born 367 days later. At that point he became a doting older brother, and let Stefan be the clown of the family.
Young Boy in Tucson
After the family moved to Tucson, Arizona to pursue their graduate studies, Yohan took well to the change. He loved hiking in the nearby mountains with his brother and father, especially trips up the trails around Mt. Lemon. He was a good student, but very serious about school even at a young age. Between the two of them, both kids proved to be a handful for busy parents, occasionally ending up on the wrong side of the “parental law” after impromptu trips out to the desert to mess around on their bikes and stir up ant mounds.
Growing Up in Minnesota
After Tucson, the family couldn’t have moved to a more polar opposite town. Mankato, Minnesota was a frozen wasteland and Yohan took to it like a dog to vegetables. That is to say, he was slightly unhappy but managed to get through it.
The town was very quaint and safe, the boys would spend their summers biking around to their friends houses. Setting off illegal fireworks from Wisconsin, and generally doing what pre-teen boys do, which is cause mayhem. There are marks on the house from errant balls, carved initials on trees and marks were made on the inside as well thanks to the time there.
High School in Chicago
As if the move from Tucson to Mankato was not drastic enough, the next one was to an enormous city with an exceptionally diverse high school. It was a paradigm shift from Mankato, but Yohan seemed to come out of his shell in those years. He found a clique of friends who liked what he did, computers/movies/hanging out in basements.
He volunteered on many occasions especially through his local church at camp courageous in Iowa and work camps in WV. Here he is seen working on a house in West Virginia
College Life at Purdue
Purdue was his choice of University, where he started as a Computer Science major. It was a conservative campus, and in many ways didn’t gel with his own personality, one that was very inclusive and diverse. Here he is pictured during a summer internship with a company in the Silicon Valley area.
He mainly had friends around his interests again, not finding the CS group particularly stimulating. It was his eventual dissatisfaction with CS and Purdue in general that lead him to see what else was out there. Yohan informed us he was considering volunteering in the armed forces for a while. He made us immensely proud of him by deciding to step out of his comfort zone and volunteer to serve his country.
At the end of his Purdue tenure, Yohan started to seek adventure. What greater adventure than joining the Army and testing his mettle as a man. In the Army Yohan gained a mountain of confidence, both in his abilities as a soldier and in the rest of his life. Now he was a conqueror of Basic Training and Advanced Infantry Training, Air Traffic Control (MOS), Pathfinder school and various other technical certifications.
Deploying to Afghanistan
During his service he served two consecutive tours in Afghanistan, the first six months spent in Kandahar base, and the second six month deployment at Forward Operating Base Wolverine. During this time he did a number of duties, including Air Traffic Control for the base, and riding as a door gunner on a Blackhawk helicopter.
He earned medals for being an exemplary soldier from the Army and NATO for his stints in Afghanistan..
Later Army Life at Ft. Campbell
After his deployments he returned to Ft. Campbell and joined Eagle Radio Air Traffic Control unit until his honorable discharge. It was here he met many of the soldiers whom he called friends later in his tenure, and most importantly of all, meeting his girlfriend Mandy one night out with friends in Nashville. Mandy tells the story that the night they met, Yohan let her know his boots had “a lot of heel for a guy”, something to be seen on a guy who stood 6’4”.
Starting Life with Mandy
After the Army Yohan moved in with Mandy and restarted his education at Middle Tennessee State University in Accounting. He found his passion in his studies again, and worked at an internship at Deloitte. He was a familiar face at Mandy’s elementary school, frequently plying both students and faculty with his baked goods, a hobby he picked up after leaving the Army. Here he is seen volunteering in one of Deloitte's initiatives where he worked in Internal Audit. He was settling into a very happy life and a bright future, before it was cut tragically short, leaving behind both 30 years of an unforgettable and exemplary life, and many broken hearts