Willa D. Abelson

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ABELSON, WILLA D. Willa D. Abelson, 82, passed away Wednesday, June 6, 2012, at her home in Urbana, IL. She had resided in New Haven from 1954-2009. Willa was born March 14, 1930 in Cleveland, Ohio to parents Gwendolyn Bale and William Dinwoodie. She married Robert Paul Abelson, June 11, 1955. He preceded her in death July 13, 2005. Survivors include sons John Abelson (Kendall Rafter) of Urbana and Bill Abelson of Seattle; sisters Claire Roth (Art), Judy Bray (Bill) and Margaret Guarino (John), all of Cleveland; and grandson Benjamin Abelson-Rafter of Urbana. Willa earned a bachelor's degree from Baldwin-Wallace College, a master's degree from the University of Massachusetts and a doctorate from Harvard University. She worked as a clinical child psychologist at New Haven's Clifford Beers Clinic and the Yale Child Study Center. She then changed careers and worked as a special education reading tutor in New Haven schools. She was an avid reader of mystery novels and loved singing, piano, painting and the company of good friends. She was a longtime member of the Unitarian Society of New Haven, and later that of Urbana. She will be most remembered for her vitality, good humor, grace, wisdom and loving relationships. On Saturday, September 22, her ashes will be interred next to those of her husband in Grove Street Cemetery at 1:00 p.m. A memorial service will follow at 3:00 p.m. at the Unitarian Society of New Haven (700 Hartford Turnpike, Hamden, CT 06517). Friends of Willa are invited to contribute their remembrances during the service. Condolences may also be offered online at www.beecherandbennett.com.

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Published in The New Haven Register on July 15, 2012
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