NEW LONDON – Rita Patricia Abbott, 97, died Friday, Sept. 27, after a short illness.
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Born in Manchester on Sep. 6, 1916, she was the daughter of Patrick Dennis and Nora Lynch O'Shea.
After graduating from University of New Hampshire in 1940, Rita O'Shea married James D. Abbott of Wilton, whom she had met through a common piano teacher and to whom she was happily married for 67 years. In the 1950s she worked in various Massachusetts public libraries, taking an MLS degree at Simmons College in 1958. She later specialized in medical librarianship, building the Framingham Union Hospital library to support the hospital's famous heart study.
Mrs. Abbott was active in the Episcopal Church, being an associate of the Society of St. Margaret and an active member of the Society of the Companions of the Holy Cross. In retirement she read widely, wrote long letters to dozens of correspondents and continued the virtuosic knitting that had clothed her relatives and friends for many years. But her greatest joy always remained her marriage. Although in many ways different – even opposite – the Abbotts suited each other perfectly.
Mrs. Abbott is survived by sons Frank D. Abbott of Tucson, Ariz., and Andrew D. Abbott of Chicago; and by one grandson, James W. Abbott of New Haven, Conn.
Services will be held privately.
Memorial donations may be made to New London Hospital or to the Society of St. Margaret.
Published in The Concord Monitor on Sept. 29, 2013