After talking with my friends, it seems that things run a little deeper than I originally thought. Two of them who were offended by some of the things my H said to them are step-siblings, sharing a father (whom I also knew growing up) who was pretty abrasive and unsensitive. Apparently, my H says things that reminds them of their father, which neither of them can deal with.
So, while my H was still in the wrong for saying those things, it was not ENTIRELY his fault, as both of these friends admit that they have deep-seated personal issues that contributed to their interpretation of his behavior.
With that being said, H felt HORRIBLE after we talked about this. He has since personally apologized to my friends personally, and thanking them for bringing the problem to his attention so he can work on fixing it. And yes, he had been working on it. He thinks about everything that comes out of his mouth, what he says and how he says it. We have talked about seeing a counselor and he plans to - we haven't gotten around to it because we're in the middle of remodeling our kitchen and thus far that has been taking up all of our free time.
I had coffee with the friend who wanted to cut all ties with us, and we have since made plans to have dinner and do other things together. Her husband (one of the step-siblings) is still not on board, but even she admits it is because he is very avoidant and may never want to speak to my H again, which is now out of our hands since H did apologize. Nothing we can do about that. I still feel very wierd about hanging out with a couple who thought my H was abusing me, but I want to repair the relationship as much as I can.
So that's that. I still don't know how everything will turn out but I'm confident that we're on the right path.