Obituary of James Ludwig
James Carl Ludwig, owner of Abigail’s Restaurant in Cambridge, passed away suddenly from the effects of a lifelong heart condition, Marfan’s Syndrome. He was 43 years old. James was born in Livingston, NJ, grew up in Cornwall, NY and was a graduate of Cornwall High School. He attended SUNY Purchase before deciding that cooking was his life passion. He started at the bottom learning every facet of the restaurant business from washing the dishes, to being line cook, sous chef, head chef and finally owner. Over the years he learned from great mentors while working at the Vault, The Independent, East Coast Grill, B-Side and several other restaurants in the Boston area, absorbing all that he could about cooking styles, flavors, management, and everything else involved in running a restaurant. The culmination of all his knowledge and experience was Abigail’s Restaurant where he could showcase his personal cooking style. It was named after his first child and has been a vibrant spot in Kendall Square for the past 7 ½ years. His dream was to provide his customers upscale, locally inspired cuisine in a warm and inviting atmosphere.
His dream almost didn’t happen. Right before the restaurant opened, he had to have major heart surgery and became paralyzed from the waist down. For some, that might have ended the dream-- but not for James. With a great deal of assistance, especially from Sarah Murnane, Abigail’s opened and gradually, when James was able, he assumed more and more responsibility for the restaurant, bar, and catering service. He was blessed to have surrounded himself with talented chefs and an incredible staff that were like his second family. He treasured what he created at Abigail’s and delighted in giving his customers memorable cuisine and dining experiences.
James had a life outside the restaurant as well. He enjoyed photography, and dreaming about fancy cars, and was always up for adventure. He would try different cuisines from around the world. Spicy food was his favorite and he was never afraid to order exotic and sometimes bizarre dishes. Although he might not appreciate the taste or flavor, he needed to add it to his dining experience. He loved cooking meals together with his daughters. Sometimes, he would bring them to work and let them be his helpers for the day. He also enjoyed family vacations and spending hours at a time playing video games, such as “Zelda”, with the girls.
James met his life partner Kaitlyn at the restaurant. Kaitlyn was constantly by his side caring for him and loving him through both the challenging times and the wonderful life experiences they shared together. James embraced life, didn’t let hardships stop him, and loved his family, especially his daughters, with his entire being. He accomplished more in his short life, than most dream of, and his memory will live on in the hearts of all those he loved.
James was the loving father of Abigail (15) and Elsa(9) Ludwig of Cambridge and Watertown. He was the son of Carl Ludwig of Irvington, NY and Mary Marchese of Kingston, NH. His sister, Elise Ludwig, lives in Los Angeles, CA with her husband John Collinson. James was the life partner of Kaitlyn Sullivan of Cambridge, formerly of Tewksbury. Former companion and mother of his children, Sarah Murnane, lives in Watertown.
Visiting hours will be held at the Donovan-Aufiero Funeral Home, 140 Otis St., Cambridge on Saturday Dec. 22 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. A reception will follow at Abigail’s, 291 3rd Street, Cambridge starting at 1:30 p.m. Relatives and friends are respectfully invited. Memorials in James’ name may be made to the Marfan Foundation, 22 Manhasset Ave, Port Washington, NY 11050 or www.marfan.org.
Edward V. Sullivan
43 Winn Street
Burlington, MA 01803
Ph: (781) 272-0050